disk burn in testing

Steven Alligood steve at bluehost.com
Wed Feb 10 10:04:40 MST 2010

On 02/09/2010 07:52 PM, Mike Lovell wrote:
> does anyone have good recommendations as to some tools or utilities to
> use for exercising or burning in new hard disks? where i work, we buy *a
> lot* of disks and currently use a utility called thrash [1]. we just
> have it do a couple million random writes to the disk. but i could use
> some other tools to test the disks in different ways as well to get a
> better idea if the disk is going to hold up. i've thought about using
> bonnie++ or iozone as well. what you any of you use, if anything? thx.
> mike
> [1] http://www.csc.liv.ac.uk/~greg/thrash/

Just exactly how many disks do you find that fail with that method, and 
do you end up with less disks failing and needing replacement in the 
first few months of production versus more disks failing at one year, 
two years, etc?

I guess I am asking why you bother to waste man hours thrashing the poor 
disks and removing potential life from them rather than just making sure 
they are all in good RAID sets and replacing them as they fail (hot 
spares and man-hours to replace rather than test)?

My company deploys more than 100 new drives per week, and the testing 
alone would be much more time consuming to find the very few bad drives 
in testing versus replacing them as they fail in those first few weeks.  
Add to that the fact that the testing may reduce the life sufficiently 
that you have more failures at the one and two year points, and it seems 
a waste to test like that.

I am always open to better ways of doing things, so please, if you find 
the thrashing helps, I would love to hear the results.


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