How do you assess flash reliability? The largest study of flash drives in production — six years, 10 device models, three types of flash, millions of drive days — offers new insight.
The best way to examine the reliability of a technology, one could argue, is by looking at how the technology actually performs in real-world production — rather than, say, in a lab experiment under controlled conditions, using a small number of drives, and under synthetic workloads. That was the premise for a research study on the reliability of flash drives presented at FAST ’16, the 14th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies, February 22nd -15th, 2016 in Santa Clara California and titled: Flash Reliability in Production: The Expected and the Unexpected.
Covering a six-year period and millions of drive days, the study looks at reliability data from 10 device models with three types of flash technologies (MLC, eMLC, and SLC) and with feature sizes ranging from 24nm to