Long-term storage of
disk drives for archival
and other applications

Ronald Watts, Michael Ries,
Troy Merrell, Andrei Khu...
The History of Long-term Data Storage
                                                   Causes of Deterioration
         ...
The History of Long-term Data Storage - 2
                                                                      Causes of ...
The History of Long-term Data Storage - 3
                                                                                ...
The Never-Ending Evolution…

                          Drive capacity increases every year
                        Greater...
Long-Term storage hardware trends



                Data Tape Cartridge
                                                 ...
Current Record Retention Requirements
                         Minimum Retention Period Requirement on Media (years)
     ...
Selected long-term storage HDD applications

                               HDD Long-Term Storage Applications


         ...
World climate’s impact




      Summary:
          Temperature and humidity vary dramatically across the world during the...
Seagate’s “Design for storage” program goals
• Understand environmental effects on long-term storage
    •         Establi...
Factors impacting long-term storage reliability
                           Time
                                In general...
Long-term Reliability vs. Environment
                     4.0%


                                  Example               ...
Conclusions
  Disk drive is a medium for long-term storage with unique
  combination of direct access to data and low $/GB...
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Long Term Data Storage 2007

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Presentation given at the Storage Visions Conference in Las Vegas in 2007

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Long Term Data Storage 2007

  1. 1. Long-term storage of disk drives for archival and other applications Ronald Watts, Michael Ries, Troy Merrell, Andrei Khurshudov
  2. 2. The History of Long-term Data Storage Causes of Deterioration • Temperature (Alternate freezing and heating) • Natural or artificial light • Corrosion • Rainwater Storage media: charcoal and dirt on stone • Inferior storage Data type: analog (image) medium Storage life: >17,000 years • Well preserved in (in a sealed dry cave) favorable storage conditions! 1/17/2007 Andrei Khurshudov Page 2 WW Advanced Reliability
  3. 3. The History of Long-term Data Storage - 2 Causes of Deterioration • Chemical contamination (smoke from candles, torches and braziers) • Physical contamination (greasy dust, sediment from rain, glue, animal varnish, and residue from past cleanings had built up on the frescoes) • Handling (cracking) • Higher quality storage media • Higher rate of Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, 1512 degradation due to Storage media: Paint on stone detrimental storage Data type: analog (image) conditions! Storage life: < 500 years (initial customer request: intended to last … forever) 1/17/2007 Andrei Khurshudov Page 3 WW Advanced Reliability
  4. 4. The History of Long-term Data Storage - 3 Causes of Deterioration • Temperature (fire) • Chemical contamination (smoke) • Water damage • Similar storage media Name: ‘Diamond Sutra’ (the world’s earliest • Drastically complete survival of a dated printed book), AD 868. different storage Storage media: ink on paper conditions! Data type: analog (images, characters) Storage life: >1,100 years (sealed in a cave) Name: ‘War With Devils’, 1797 Storage media: ink on paper Data type: analog (images, characters) Storage life: <200 years (no special storage efforts) Observation: • Storage conditions are critically important for reliable data storage ! 1/17/2007 Andrei Khurshudov Page 4 WW Advanced Reliability
  5. 5. The Never-Ending Evolution… Drive capacity increases every year Greater capacity creates new applications and opens new markets Many new applications and markets require longer storage time Longer storage time brings new failure modes and new reliability challenges Reliability challenges are resolved via better understanding and “design for reliability” efforts Better design improves reliability and helps increasing capacity Drive capacity increases every year … 1/17/2007 Andrei Khurshudov Page 5 WW Advanced Reliability
  6. 6. Long-Term storage hardware trends Data Tape Cartridge Data Disk Drive Cartridge More changes in the future! Traditional storage hardware Disk Drive Storage VCR Tape Storage Tape Backup Disk Drive Backup Tape Library Disk Drive Library 1/17/2007 Andrei Khurshudov Page 6 WW Advanced Reliability
  7. 7. Current Record Retention Requirements Minimum Retention Period Requirement on Media (years) 0 5 10 15 20 25 Automotive industry Pharmaceutical industry Healthcare Financial services Government Agencies Sarbanes-Oxley • Mandated record retention periods differ dramatically from 3 to 20 years depending on the application • High HDD long-term reliability is required to cover all applications • We should expect even longer retention periods to be required in the future 1/17/2007 Andrei Khurshudov Page 7 WW Advanced Reliability
  8. 8. Selected long-term storage HDD applications HDD Long-Term Storage Applications Automotive Institutional Security Archival CE • Video Surveillance • Pharmaceutical • Corporate data • GPS • Music (MP3, etc) • Security Database • Medical • Data libraries • Black Box • Movies • Legal/evidence • Life Sciences • MAID Arrays • Mobile internet • Set-top boxes applications • Academics • Tape Replacement • Entertainment • Photos applications • Financial services • Mobile Video • Emails •Off-site storage Recording • Government Agencies • Games •Disaster Recovery • Spare parts • Sarbanes-Oxley • Family financials • Other applications • Backup • Etc. * Appeared in the last 5 years • Different applications bring different requirements and different storage environments: from an unheated garage to a vault with climate control • New applications are introduced continually 1/17/2007 Andrei Khurshudov Page 8 WW Advanced Reliability
  9. 9. World climate’s impact Summary: Temperature and humidity vary dramatically across the world during the year (from almost 0% RH to 100% RH and from -30oC to +40oC) Need to design products for a wide range of T/RH Controlled storage environments aren’t always possible Need to design for the worst case Reliability will vary with the location (isolated populations) Future: Might need to optimize design for a specific geographic location Knowledge of the world climates and drive response to the external environments are critical for successful design 1/17/2007 Andrei Khurshudov Page 9 WW Advanced Reliability
  10. 10. Seagate’s “Design for storage” program goals • Understand environmental effects on long-term storage • Establish importance of major stressors • Develop mitigation means • Develop a reliability prediction model for long-term storage • Sample question: What is the reliability after 7 years of storage at oC/65% RH? 50 • A: Under these conditions, population reliability will be 99.9% with 90% confidence • This model covers a wide range of conditions • Develop an accelerated storage test methodology • 20 years in 20 days? • Develop recommendations for long-term storage conditions • Recommend acceptable storage environments and durations for new markets: CE Institutional Archival Security, etc. Automotive (EE25 series) 1/17/2007 Andrei Khurshudov Page 10 WW Advanced Reliability
  11. 11. Factors impacting long-term storage reliability Time In general, increases opportunity for any degradation Temperature Accelerates physical and chemical processes exponentially Impacts thermal decay rate Humidity Accelerates corrosion and other processes External contamination Might result in both external and internal damage Handling (shock and vibration) Causes non-operational mechanical damage Stray magnetic fields Cause data erasure 1/17/2007 Andrei Khurshudov Page 11 WW Advanced Reliability
  12. 12. Long-term Reliability vs. Environment 4.0% Example Unfavorable storage conditions 3.5% 3.0% 2.5% Fail % 2.0% 1.5% 1.0% Average storage conditions 0.5% Optimized Optimal storage conditions 0.0% HDD 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0 Storage Time, Year Long-term reliability is a strong function of both Drive Design and Storage Environment Even a well-designed drive will be compromised by improper/uncontrolled storage conditions This applies to all storage media types including disk drives Seagate has developed a sophisticated model capable of predicting required storage conditions for any given reliability requirement and duration Sample question: what temperature and humidity conditions are required to maintain the 99.5% reliability for, say, 3.5 years? 1/17/2007 Andrei Khurshudov Page 12 WW Advanced Reliability
  13. 13. Conclusions Disk drive is a medium for long-term storage with unique combination of direct access to data and low $/GB Long Term HDD Reliability is a function of both drive design and storage conditions Storage conditions must be optimized based on reliability requirements and storage duration Seagate has developed the optimization methodology Customer storage environment has strong influence on long-term drive reliability Even for the HDD that was optimized for long-term storage, extreme environmental conditions will impact long-term reliability Seagate is uniquely positioned to work with the customers requiring long-term storage: Seagate has a dedicated R&D program focusing on “Design for Storage” Know how to design products for high reliability Developed highly-accelerated test methodologies Know how to select optimal storage environments for each application 1/17/2007 Andrei Khurshudov Page 13 WW Advanced Reliability

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