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NOT AVAILABLE ON DISKLESS UNITS - ONLY FOR PRECONFIGURED SYSTEMS
NASBIT© is a SimplyNAS initiative aptly named Network Attached Storage Burn in Testing. This term is used to describe the process of testing new Network Attached Storage (NAS) hardware and firmware for faults before putting it to use in a live environment. This is done by running 'Stress testing' software for a stipulated period of time, but longer if required.
Whenever we receive an order with hard disks drives pre-installed, it is configured and a complete burn in is carried out to ensure the server hardware is up to our high standards. If the hardware and any associated components fail at any point, we return it back to our vendor partners. The actual process is easy, although setting it up isn't.
Hard Disk Drives
All Hard disk drives are pre-tested prior to integration; any possible faulty drives prior to this stage are already eliminated.
Once installed they will undergo a series of stress tests including severe temperature fluctuations allowing adaptability in differing temperate environments.
Our stress testing software writes large volumes of data to the hard drives over and over again to ensure that the drive platters are functional, and it will also delete and move files, and check the disks for errors.
First, when the new server is turned on, we boot off of the network, and proceed to run the memory test that takes its sweet time and takes nearly 10-12 hours dependent on manufacturer and model.
The appropriate RAID level is set and the system awaits completion of RAID synchronization. Once completed the NAS server undergoes numerous re-boots and a deletion of original RAID and a final re-build of RAID level again.
Our software performs several tasks to test the CPU. It compiles the Linux kernel over and over again, runs complicated mathematical problems, and runs code specifically written to run the CPU at its hottest.
Why is NAS Burn in Testing (NASBIT©) necessary?
If within the designated time span the NAS server is still running and hasn't crashed, it is considered suitable for rolling out to be deployed. If it fails the tests anywhere along the way, it is packed up and returned to be replaced with new. NAS servers that have survived this process will certainly survive almost anything you can thrown at them.
You would normally expect that this level of testing would be completed by the hardware manufacturers and so these tests shouldn't show up any faults. In our experience of testing hundreds of machines we do find faults, and we do send systems back.
The reason it is so important to perform this level of testing on NAS servers is that the uptime demands are so high. The slightest faults will cause outages and downtime. Once a NAS server is deployed, never again will you have the opportunity to take it offline and perform such detailed testing. Even if it were to crash, there is always a demand that it be put back online as quickly as possible, not left offline whilst thorough diagnostics are completed.
Pass Data Quickly (PDQ) is a methodology we have designed allowing us to copy large chunks of data back and forth to test the integrity of all the hard disk drives installed as well as the system's on board RAID controller for reliance on reliability and data protection.
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