IBM GXP Drives - Not For 24/7 Use (!)

It is no secret in the storage world that IBM's 75GXP drives have had reliability issues. We've seen stories of users replacing drive after drive of this particular device. There is even a law suit pending against IBM with regards to this drive. The successor to this drive was the IBM 60GXP series, a drive which does not seem to have generated the same, unusual level of user problem reports. Apple has used (is using?) this drive in recent G4 units.


The plot thickened when IBM recently released their high-capacity 120 GXP series, but in the specs indicated that it should only see 333 power-on hours/month (11 hours/day avg). This staggering recommendation renders the drive useless for server applications or use in machines that are up 24/7. Well, a recent article on VIAHardware.com delves into this issue and discovers, disturbingly, that IBM claims to have indicated this usage guideline on ALL of the GXP line. While this guideline is easy to find for the 120GXP (on that drive's PDF datasheet found on the product site), it's buried a little deeper for their other drives (to quote the article):

    Neither the 75GXP nor the 60GXP have the 333 hour-per-month specification mentioned in their own versions of that document, however. The 60GXP lists this setting only in its "Functional Specifications documenta hefty 195 page engineering-level PDF. The specification in question is located prominently on page 50 in a relatively small section. The 75GXP, on the other hand, does not have a Functional Specification link and does not mention the limitation on its data sheet either. I was unable, in fact, to even FIND mention of such a limitation for this particular model.

So...as indicated by IBM, if you have any GXP-series drive and leave it on more than 333 hours/month (11 hours/day avg) then you are exceeding its spec and failure would seem to lay in wait. Some of the most disturbing news I've heard in quite a while.

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