Something we are trying to do more of at STH is highlighting when things go less than perfectly. We now operate a fleet of several hundred nodes at any given time, and things fail. In the STH forums, we have had threads for years where members can post their hardware failures. This is the inaugural failure of 2022 for the new thread.
Farewell Seagate Exos X12 12TB Enterprise Hard Drives
These two Seagate Exos X12 12TB drives were two of 16 that we have in two 8-bay NAS units we use mostly just for backup storage.
Both drives were built in February 2019, and put into service many months after. That makes the drives less than three years old. What was quite interesting about the drive failures here is that both drives were next to one another in the NAS. It is actually more common that drives experience clusters of failures rather than individual random failures. Sometimes hard drive failures chain from one drive to the next, but also the chassis, backplane, and power are other common sources of multiple disk failures. If you ever experience multiple disk failures, especially in a short time period on a single backplane, it is worth exploring chassis-level challenges.
In fact, it is not the only pair of drives that we had fail in the first two weeks of 2022. We will have a story about a doomed HPE ProLiant cluster in the near future as well. Luckily, given how we had this system configured we did not lose any data here so restoring from backups was not necessary.
Many assume that buying “enterprise” drives are tantamount to having extremely reliable drives that will not fail. This is, of course, not the case. Always assume drives can fail.
As we kick off the new year, this failure was nowhere near as significant as the DIMM fire that kicked off 2021’s thread. Still, if you have failures and want to share them, check out the new 2022 share your hardware failures thread in the STH forums.