Gospel according to HPE: And lo, on the 32,768th hour did thy SSD give up the ghost

Running for more than three years? Check the firmware

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Updated Using an HPE solid-state drive? You might want to take a look at your firmware after the computer outfit announced that some of its SSDs could auto-bork after less than four years of use.

The problem affects "certain" HPE SAS Solid State Drive models once the 32,768th hour of operation has been reached and, frankly, is a bit of a disaster for admins not on top of their firmware patching game.

Failing to update to version HPD8 will, according to a blunt missive from HPE, "result in drive failure and data loss".

Do we detect the use of an integer or something similar in a counter by one of HPE's SSD suppliers, perchance? The Register asked HPE, but we have not received a response as yet.

Once borked, users must restore from backups. "Neither the SSD nor the data can be recovered," says HPE. Oh, and those of you looking nervously at your RAIDs: "SSDs which were put into service at the same time will likely fail nearly simultaneously."

That's nice.

The potentially affected boxen include HPE ProLiant, Synergy, Apollo, JBOD D3xxx, D6xxx, D8xxx, MSA and StoreVirtual 3200.

Readers may recall that it was an Apollo-based supercomputer that spent some quality time on orbit from 2017. That computer had its own share of SSD problems, with nine of its SSDs failing while in space, but we suspect that might be more down to the environment than a magical number of uptime hours being hit.

As for HPE, while it administers a stern word to the unnamed SSD manufacturer, users of affected SKUs should take a close look at the company's advisory, check their hours and patch if needed.

"By disregarding this notification and not performing the recommended resolution," thundered HPE, "the customer accepts the risk of incurring future related errors."

So there.

Thanks to Reg reader Paul for the tip. ®

Updated on 25 November to add

HPE has sent us a statement:

A supplier notified HPE on 11/15 of a manufacturer firmware defect in certain solid state drives used in select HPE server and storage products. HPE immediately began working around the clock to develop a firmware update that will fix the defect. We are currently notifying customers of the need to install this update as soon as possible. Helping our customers to remediate this issue is our highest priority.

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