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Hardware Error Analysis and Severity Characterization in Linux-Based Server Systems

Authors: N. Georgoulopoulos, A. Hatzopoulos, K. Karamitsios, K. Kotrotsios, A. I. Metsai


Current server systems are responsible for critical applications that run in different infrastructures, such as the cloud, physical machines, and virtual machines. A common challenge that these systems face are the various hardware faults that may occur due to the high load, among other reasons, which translates to errors resulting in malfunctions or even server downtime. The most important hardware parts, that are causing most of the errors, are the CPU, RAM, and the hard drive - HDD. In this work, we investigate selected CPU, RAM, and HDD errors, observed or simulated in kernel ring buffer log files from GNU/Linux servers. Moreover, a severity characterization is given for each error type. Understanding these errors is crucial for the efficient analysis of kernel logs that are usually utilized for monitoring servers and diagnosing faults. In addition, to support the previous analysis, we present possible ways of simulating hardware errors in RAM and HDD, aiming to facilitate the testing of methods for detecting and tackling the above issues in a server running on GNU/Linux.

Keywords: hardware errors, Kernel logs, GNU/Linux servers, RAM, HDD, CPU

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