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If you were willing to sacrifice the effective performance and capacity of a storage-device, can you get extra reliability somehow?

All help appreciated.

Edit: I found this wikilink: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_file_systems#File_systems_with_built-in_fault-tolerance

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closed as not a real question by Tom Wijsman, Canadian Luke, Hennes, Diogo, Indrek Oct 15 '12 at 22:59

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
The question is a bit open, and I would either look at the default answer for this (which is RAID 1, see serverfault.com/questions/339128/… if you do not know what RAID is), or specify more precisely what your question is. –  Hennes Oct 15 '12 at 21:47
    
What actual practical problem are you experiencing? I doubt there to be a clear relation between performance and reliability. As for capacity, more capacity would mean you can duplicate your data and thus store it in more than a single place so if one place breaks you'd still have the other. –  Tom Wijsman Oct 15 '12 at 21:48
    
Nice, is it worth me trying to fix this question? –  jon Oct 15 '12 at 23:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

According to Google's own HDD failure report, during their first years of life, hard disks tend to fail less often when utilized less. Therefore, if you can take some load off that single hard disk, it could potentially extend its lifespan.

One way to do this would be moving data that is often used to a ramdisk, ie utilizing a tmpfs on a *nix system and rsyncing data back and forth (an implementation of such a practice is demonstrated in the Anything Sync Daemon).

A temperature of 40-45°C also seems to help.

A question that might also interest you is:

However, all hard disks fail at some point in time and nothing will prevent this. The only certain way to add reliability is by adding more storage devices to the equation.

As of having a bad power supply, you should replace it at once. A bad PSU can potentially destroy one or many components, including a hard disk board, rendering it unusable.

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Thanks. I'm going to subtly update my question title, apologies. Your answer is still great. +1. –  jon Oct 15 '12 at 22:34
    
I have edited my answer to provide advice on bad power supplies. –  zmode Oct 15 '12 at 22:37
    
@zmode: Say, I read this thread you linked to with interest (What's the effect of standby (spindown) mode on modern hard drives?) One of my PCs runs almost 24x7 and has two drives - a small fast one for the OS and a big slower low-power one for media storage/serving. I have set the big drive to spin down when not in use. Is this harmful in the long run, going by the thread? –  Karan Oct 15 '12 at 22:41
    
@Karan I have not found any scientific (statistically proven) indication that this is the case, but I have been repeatedly advised to not (often) spin down my hard disks. Refer to this thread here: superuser.com/questions/197862/… –  zmode Oct 15 '12 at 22:43
    
Hmm... The way I see it, this is not the main OS drive and is accessed only when media is to be saved to it or served by it. So for many hours in the day it is just lying dormant. I set it to spin down solely because I felt this type of usage pattern (few hours of usage vs. many hours of inactivity) meant having it spin continuously for the entire day was just a waste of energy and would cause unnecessary wear and tear. Was I wrong? (I guess it's difficult to predict just where the cross-over point is where spinning down no longer makes sense.) –  Karan Oct 15 '12 at 22:50

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