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Setting up smartmontools

I recently built a small server running lubuntu and decided it would be wise to setup smartmontools in order to monitor the drive health. SMART seems to be built into lubuntu in gnome-disks, however, ...
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How does SMART work for scsi device?

After going through the man pages of smartctl, smartd and smartd.conf, I am no clearer on how S.M.A.R.T. is supposed to work on a scsi device. I have a default configuration file that says: ...
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SMART extended offline test validity

Is it possible for the smartctl -t long /dev/sda to complete without error and still the drive fail? How detrimental to the disk's life expectancy is running the test daily/weekly? Thanks!