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Intel 320 series drives firmware bug

From: Greg Smith <greg(at)2ndQuadrant(dot)com>
To: "pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org" <pgsql-performance(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Intel 320 series drives firmware bug
Date: 2011-07-21 11:16:24
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-performance
As one of the people recommending early investigation of Intel's recent 
320 series drives, I've been following the news around them too.  It 
looks like there's one serious firmware bug that shows up on these so 
far, what's being called the "8MB bug".  Basically, under some 
conditions, the drive comes back from a restart believing it's only 8MB 
in size.  Very bad.

In the discussion forum where this been highlighted: the largest data point I 
noticed said that a large deployment has had 7 out of their 600 320 
drive deployments go bad in this way, so 1.2%.  Another report says 13 
out of their 64 systems are dead now.  You did never even consider 
deploying this drive unless it was with RAID-1 and good real-time 
backups, right?

Hopefully everyone knows by now that the V1 of any hardware should sit 
in QA for a while to shake out issues like this before you move 
production onto it, and this one seems to be the big bug in this 
design.  It seems like a firmware bug that an update will fix, not a 
more serious design issue, so I'm not too concerned about it yet. is where the official 
commentary on the resolution is being posted to.

P.S. they have increased the warranty on these drives to 5 years, before 
this all happened, so Intel has made a large bet on this model working 
as advertised:  
We just need to figure out how/where they're drawing the "enterprise 
usage levels" line at.

Greg Smith   2ndQuadrant US    greg(at)2ndQuadrant(dot)com   Baltimore, MD

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