IronWolf Health Management on Synology’s NAS


Seagate and Synology collaborated to include the IronWolf Health Management feature into Synology’s NAS. IronWolf Health Management monitors the health of Seagate IronWolf and IronWolf Pro series of hard disks more accurately than the usual S.M.A.R.T utility. Aside from monitoring the drive parameters traditionally used by S.M.A.R.T utility, IronWolf Health Management monitors more than 200 drive parameters that may influence the health state of hard disk.


Prognostics and Hard Disk Health Management

So how does IronWolf Health Management help? Through trending of recorded hard disks’ health parameters over time, it may uncover defect trends and provide early notifications of potential catastrophic hard disk failures. This would buy you precious time to save your data (i.e. data backup, disk replacement).

Paradigm shift from traditional ‘fail-and-fix‘ to ‘predict-and-prevent‘ through prognostics.

Traditionally, we focus on the reliability (of hard disks) to avoid failure events. That is, getting a reliable user-proven hard disk to avoid getting into the state of premature hard disk failure. If it were to fail, we will just replace the hard disk. Hence, the term ‘fail-and-fix‘. In a fail-and-fix scenario, precious data (on the failed hard disk) would be lost if there are no additional back up or redundancy in place.

Recently, manufacturers are into prognosticsadvanced indication of future events. They tap into sensors to uncover relationships and spot trends to establish scoring models to predict or forecast impending system failures. These techniques are more of an art (data analytics and domain knowledge) on the manufacturer side to determine which and how certain sensor parameters contribute to system health.