[svlug] SSD was: Slides from the GoLUG meeting

Steve Litt slitt at troubleshooters.com
Thu Jun 2 18:24:35 PDT 2016

On Thu, 2 Jun 2016 14:29:19 -0700
Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> Note to Mr. Litt about his short-lived hard drives:  Just as a data
> point, I've been getting an average of around a decade of service life
> out of 24x7 usage in my servers.
> I'm going to hazard some guesses about why:
> 1.  Repeated power-downs / power-ups are stressful.  Except where the
> power grid shoots me in the foot, my drives stay spun up.

For the last 5 years, I reboot every 2 to 4 weeks. Before then, as a
power saving measure, I shut down every night and powered up every

> 2.  I learned a long time ago that heat accumulation is the biggest
> killer of electronics, and took compensating measures.  The main one
> is no longer trusting OEMs about cooling.  I felt very let down when I
> realised that my former employer VA Linux Systems used the same
> abysmal sleeve-bearing 80mm case fans in its top-of-the-line 2U
> chassises as did all the worst white-box vendors.  So, I long ago
> replaced those with aftermarket Antecs -- and I'm reasonably sure
> that alone saved some hard drives.

The preceding is definitely a factor in my case. For 2 years we had no
air conditioning (in central Florida). Also, I don't open my computers
and vacuum them very often, so when I do, there's a lot of that
dust-cotton. I now either keep the computers off the floor, or
separate them from the carpet with wooden planks. Also, before 2 years
ago, I had nothing but 80mm fans. Everything ran hot.

> 3.  I learned a long time ago that power supply problems are the
> second biggest killer of electronics, and took compensating measures.
> Sometimes, this means replacing cruddy PSUs (like the lackluster
> 'Sparkle' PSUs VA linux used in its workstations), but also the last
> couple of years I've interposed an outboard voltage regulator unit
> between my server and the AC feed -- so AC brownouts and spikes don't
> kill my gear, either.

I generally get high quality, high efficiency, $100 power supplies with
each new Daily Driver Desktop.

> Not to say that I recommend running the same hard drives for a decade:
> I don't advise that at all, I shouldn't be doing it, it's a pretty bad
> idea, and after some improvements to infrastructure, I intend to make
> sure I cease doing it.

And that's just the point. Except for Seagates and ancient IBM
Deathstars, the majority of my hard drives retired in perfect working
order. I think I've had a couple Western Digitals die before
retirement, but many more of my Western Digitals retired undefeated.

Steve Litt 
May 2016 featured book: Rapid Learning for the 21st Century

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