The article simply says what it says, what I find fascinating is a data-center agreeing to share specific statistics with the author and allowing them to be published. Remember, the data center referred to has ~2 million spindles.....
What bothers me the most is the idea of a 10-15$ controller having a "glitch" that ends up failing the array it's a member of. As the author states, this is completely unacceptable in other controllers such as automotive & industrial EMC's. Even given that, his speculation regarding accelerator pedal malfunctions in a handfull of Toyotas is probably spot-on....
As far as testing, you'll usually see Kesender
test units, or a custom equivalent (we have the one linked). Again, we *never* return failed units into production, and I personally don't know anyone that does. Besides testing, we use our rig to securely erase failed / retired drives......
Hi everyone. I am an occasional reader of this forum and web site. I wrote the blog referenced, and its a pleasure to see you guys discussing it.
A few things as follow up. 1) it turns out I was pretty much on the money with Toyota's acceleration problems. The transcripts from the lawsuit released over the last week pretty much confirm it. 2) You're absolutely right - typically no enterprise will return drives to production. There are some insidious aspects to that. 1) a drive controller chip costs ~$4-$7. A disk costs an OEM ~$40 to $200 depending on "quality", performance, and volume. But they'll often charge you $400-$600 for the drive. Whats more is they charge you a big annual service fee which includes the drive replacements. They make a lot
of money on that service so they like you returning drives. Its a way to keep a revenue stream.
In contrast, it turns out array vendors like EMC and NetAPP have been managing this stuff behind the scenes for years. They do resets. Rumors are they even do full reformat - essentially re manufacture the drive in place. And of course the guys who really have financial incentives to get it right - many with millions of drives, and google with probably 10 million - they keep the drives in service.
On heat and vibration - this is usually not a factor if servers are designed properly, and in the datacenters where this information was gathered they are very
well designed. So those should not be a factor at all.