An In-Depth Study of Correlated Failures in Production SSD-Based Data Centers


Shujie Han and Patrick P. C. Lee, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Fan Xu, Yi Liu, Cheng He, and Jiongzhou Liu, Alibaba Group


Flash-based solid-state drives (SSDs) are increasingly adopted as the mainstream storage media in modern data centers. However, little is known about how SSD failures in the field are correlated, both spatially and temporally. We argue that characterizing correlated failures of SSDs is critical, especially for guiding the design of redundancy protection for high storage reliability. We present an in-depth data-driven analysis on the correlated failures in the SSD-based data centers at Alibaba. We study nearly one million SSDs of 11 drive models based on a dataset of SMART logs, trouble tickets, physical locations, and applications. We show that correlated failures in the same node or rack are common, and study the possible impacting factors on those correlated failures. We also evaluate via trace-driven simulation how various redundancy schemes affect the storage reliability under correlated failures. To this end, we report 15 findings. Our dataset and source code are now released for public use.

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@inproceedings {264846,
author = {Shujie Han and Patrick P. C. Lee and Fan Xu and Yi Liu and Cheng He and Jiongzhou Liu},
title = {An {In-Depth} Study of Correlated Failures in Production {SSD-Based} Data Centers},
booktitle = {19th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST 21)},
year = {2021},
isbn = {978-1-939133-20-5},
pages = {417--429},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = feb

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