[Sticky] What anonymous data is SoftRAID collecting and why?
Over the past 10 or so years, we have learned a lot about why disks fail and how to anticipate failure before a disk catastrophically fails. We call this "Predictive Failure".
This has developed into one of SoftRAID's most powerful features, allowing users to detect and replace disks before they actually fail, but are exhibiting signs that failure is imminent.
SSD's, NVMe and other flash technologies do not have the same failure patterns as rotating media. Flash manufacturers make some basic information available, such as a media "wear indicator", where an SSD is about to use up its last "writable" blocks.
However, the technology for predicting future failure on SSD's does not yet exist. We hope by collecting raw data on SSD's, we will discover patterns that enable us to predict failure.
the primary goal of collecting anonymous disk and use information, is to build up a database of drive statistics.
We do intend to publish our results! If we see a badly performing drive model, with high failure rates, we will let you know about it, so you can avoid that with your purchases. Of course, we need a large enough sample of drives to do this, so we hope large numbers of users eventually opt-in!
It is actually difficult to assess failure rates in the real world of consumers, as we do not know when a disk "disappears", whether it was just disconnected, moved to another computer, or failed. In any case, we can still observe failure prognostication on disk drives and eventually be able to collate valuable information, such as which models to avoid using for critical data, should we discover disk models that show high failure rates.
We are also going to collect basic use data that show us how users are actually using SoftRAID.
What RAID volumes are being used?
What % of various OS releases are being used?
Are users creating RAID 4 volumes with SSD's?
How often are Thunderbolt disks being spontaneously "ejected"?
Some raw data may help us report issues to Apple when we see a problem developing, and the scope, such as the issue with Thunderbolt disks getting ejected from the bus at random times.
We also hope to improve SoftRAID by collecting such data. We hope to avoid putting effort into features that few users will use, and focus development on enhancing popular features!
Let us know any questions you have about this technology. We will be happy to answer any questions.
To reassure users: This is absolutely anonymous information!
We are NOT collecting any data that can identify a user.
We are NOT collecting email addresses
We are NOT collecting your computer serial number or MAC address
We are NOT collecting geo-location data
We are NOT collecting user identifiers of any kind
We are NOT collecting any personal data whatsoever.
(This also means if we detect a specific problem, we will not be able to notify you, but we think your privacy is more important)
Besides disk information and how they are being used (SMART status, hours of use, RAID types, etc.), we are collecting environmental data, such as macOS version, amount of RAM, Computer model and external drive enclosure types.
We anticipate releasing the disk reliability data that results from this data collection. We think that will be very exciting!
Thanks for supporting us!