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> Documents : Cycles, Cells and Platters: An Empirical Analysis of Hardware Failures on a Million Consumer PCs
NickTheGreek
post 10 Jan 2013, 12:30 PM
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File Name: Cycles, Cells and Platters: An Empirical Analysis of Hardware Failures on a Million Consumer PCs
File Submitter: NickTheGreek
File Submitted: 10 Jan 2013
File Category: Documents

Edmund B. Nightingale, John R Douceur, and Vince Orgovan
April 2011

We present the first large-scale analysis of hardware failure rates on a million consumer PCs. We find that many failures are neither transient nor independent. Instead, a large portion of hardware induced failures are recurrent: a machine that crashes from a fault in hardware is up to two orders of magnitude more likely to crash a second time. For example, machines with at least 30 days of accumulated CPU time over an 8 month period had a 1 in 190 chance of crashing due to a CPU subsystem fault. Further, machines that crashed once had a probability of 1 in 3.3 of crashing a second time. Our study examines failures due to faults within the CPU, DRAMand disk subsystems. Our analysis spans desktops and laptops, CPU vendor, overclocking, underclocking, generic vs. brand name, and characteristics such as machine speed and calendar age. Among our many results, we find that CPU fault rates are correlated with the number of cycles executed, underclocked machines are significantly more reliable than machines running at their rated speed, and laptops are more reliable than desktops.

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