Described herein are techniques for rebuilding the contents of a failed storage unit in a storage system having a plurality of storage units. Rather than rebuilding the contents on a dedicated spare which may be costly, the contents are rebuilt on system-level over provisioned (OP) space of the non-failed storage units. Such system-level OP space is ordinarily used to perform garbage collection, but in the event of a storage unit failure, a fraction of the system-level OP space is repurposed into a temporary hot spare for storing the rebuilt contents. Upon recovery of the failed storage unit, the storage space allocated to the temporary hot spare is returned to the system-level OP space.
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