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is it possible (has anyone ever done this) to get Dell to ship servers with HDD's from multiple batches to better protect against simultaneous failure? My Dell AE is not very helpful at all.

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I hate to be a party pooper, and no offense intended but, I hate to see these types of questions.

When you buy RAM do you buy each stick from a different batch? Do you buy tires for your car from different batches? Do your fast food french fries have to each come from a different potato?

I know I'm being a bit extreme but my point is this: buy the drives, don't worry about whether or not they're from the same batch and get on with your life. You probably have the same statistical chance of having multiple drives fail from different batches as you do with drives from the same batch.

I've purchased more servers from Dell than I can remember, have never requested or cared whether the drives came from the same batch or not, and have had probably 2 drive failures in 5 years, none simultaneous.

If you can point me to any real world studies that show that there's a higher incidence of multiple drive failures of drives sourced from the same lot, I'd love to see them.

Again, no offense intended.

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No problem, here is a real world study: Google conducted an extensive study which concluded that same-batch harddrives have a much higher probability of failure. You can find it here:… – AX1 Dec 14 '10 at 17:33
OK, it's going to take me a while to read that, but thanks. – joeqwerty Dec 14 '10 at 17:35
To make it easier, here is a quote: "Failure rates are known to be highly correlated with drive models, manufacturers and vintages [18]. Our results do not contradict this fact. For example, Figure 2 changes significantly when we normalize failure rates per each drive model." – AX1 Dec 14 '10 at 17:39
Well I'm reading it and so far I don't see any mention of same-source\same-batch disk drives in this study. – joeqwerty Dec 14 '10 at 17:39
@joequerty: I believe @AX1 is assuming the word "vintage" used in this study (and the one cited by reference #18 of the study) roughly correlates to "batch". I'm not sure if that is correct or not though. – MattB Dec 14 '10 at 22:08

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