Researchers publish first large-scale, in-field SSD reliability report

By Shawn Knight
Jun 24, 2015
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  1. facebook ssd facebook nand storage ssd flash memory reliability storage reliability

    Spinning hard drives have been around long enough that we have a pretty good idea of what to expect as it relates to their lifespan and even which ones are best to avoid. Because solid state drives are relatively new, there’s still a lot to learn as it pertains to flash-based storage.

    A new report from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University should go a long way in helping us understand the emerging storage medium.

    In it, researchers examined Facebook’s datacenters over the course of a four-year period and while it doesn’t specify the makes and models of drives examined, there’s still plenty to take away.

    facebook ssd facebook nand storage ssd flash memory reliability storage reliability

    As The Tech Report notes, data was gathered straight from the drives’ hardware rather than an operating system, effectively measuring how much data was actually written to the flash cells. In the chart above, we can see that failures tend to happen early on followed by an extended period without any issues. This continues until the drives reach the end of their useful lives.

    One interesting trend to note is that initial use of new drives lead the controller to immediately identify cells that are unreliable. Higher and lower capacity drives alike exhibit this behavior although the window for detection is shorter with smaller drives.

    facebook ssd facebook nand storage ssd flash memory reliability storage reliability

    Operating temperature was also shown to impact reliability. Drives running at lower temperatures and those that used more aggressive throttling mechanisms exhibited fewer cell failures. Our own research on SSD drive temperatures can be found here.

    The full report, titled “A Large-Scale Study of Flash Memory Failures in the Field,” is available online for those wishing to dig a bit deeper.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2015
  2. John Vance

    John Vance TS Rookie

    Watch out for Crucial they do not honor warranty unless you have exactly what they want for verification, they wanted a receipt, you could not read mine due to it being on heat sensitive paper and had faded to become unreadable, they Deigned my warranty. needless to say I'll not do business with them again.
  3. General Sam

    General Sam TS Enthusiast Posts: 55   +12

    So its your fault you didn't buy online or backup your receipts. Their just covering themselves from easy scams of lost receipts. Buying
  4. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Addict Posts: 124   +92

    I lost my best buy receipt for a hard drive. I called best buy, and they sent me a duplicate. Thankfully, I had used the store card for the purchase.
    It's not a nice feeling when half your drive is bad sectors, and they suddenly ask for a receipt you discarded long ago.

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