Thursday, 26 March 2020 11:52

HPE warns firmware bug will kill four SSD models after 40,000 hours

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HPE has warned users of four models of its SAS solid state drives that the devices, which are used in servers and storage products, could die after 40,000 hours of operation unless a firmware fix is applied.

The company said the issue was unrelated to one publicised in November last year which described an SSD failure after 32,768 hours of use.

The HPD7 firmware fix was said to be critical, HPE said, adding that the issue was not unique to its drives, but potentially affected other customers and manufacturers who bought the same drives from the maker.

That maker is rumoured to be SanDisk, which was acquired by Western Digital in 2016. Last month, Dell EMC issued an urgent firmware update note for some of its SSDs, with the difference being that it mentioned the drives were made by SanDisk.

Contacted for comment, a Western Digital spokesperson told iTWire: "Per Western Digital corporate policy, we are unable to provide comments regarding other vendors' products. As this falls within HPE's portfolio, all related product questions would best be addressed with HPE directly."

"HPE was notified by a Solid State Drive (SSD) manufacturer of a firmware defect affecting certain SAS SSD models used in a number of HPE server and Storage products (i.e., HPE ProLiant, Synergy, Apollo 4200, Synergy Storage Modules, D3000 Storage Enclosure, StoreEasy 1000 Storage)," HPE said in an advisory.

"The issue affects SSDs with an HPE firmware version prior to HPD7 that results in SSD failure at 40,000 hours of operation (i.e., 4 years, 206 days, 16 hours)."

Details of the SSDs as released by HPE:

HPE Model Number           HPE SKU DESCRIPTION

EK0800JVYPN                    HPE 800GB 12G SAS WI-1 SFF SC SSD

EO1600JVYPP                    HPE 1.6TB 12G SAS WI-1 SFF SC SSD

MK0800JVYPQ                   HPE 800GB 12G SAS MU-1 SFF SC SSD

MO1600JVYPR                  HPE 1.6TB 12G SAS MU-1 SFF SC SSD

HPE said it recommended an online firmware update on HPE Gen9 servers during minimal I/O activity.

"This will not require a reboot in most circumstances. However, in instances where the online firmware update does not complete successfully, an offline update is required. After the flash update completes, the Smart Component will provide a message regarding whether the flash completed successfully," the company added.

It said a reboot was needed when updating HPE Gen8 servers. "In addition, online firmware flashing of drives attached to a HPE Smart Array controller running in Zero Memory (ZM) mode or Host Bus Adapter (HBA) is NOT supported. Only offline firmware flashing of drives is supported for these configurations."

Thanks to The Register for a link to the Reddit post on the Dell EMC SSD bug.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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