Google’s seminal paper on “Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population” has shown everyone that what was widely believed beforehand is not necessarily true. A short recap of the paper is available from Google’s Disk Failure Eperience StorageMojo for the impatient. The nail in the coffin of the SMART myth that it will help detect near-failing disks and save us from the multiple-disk failures hazard of RAID. It had shown the way that needs to be followed, collecting real data from enough systems to make it possible to draw real conclusions.
Unfortunately, there was very little follow on. In my work I hope to get into the large shoes of Google and attempt another, and this time an open attempt to collect the data and make it widely available for learning.