Multi-mode pumps based on single emitter diodes deployed in distributed pump architectures offer significant advantages in thermal management and reliability for pumping high-power fiber lasers and amplifiers. In a distributed architecture, while individual diode failures do not directly generate failures of other diodes in the distributed ensemble, failures do cause the rest of the sources to drive to higher power levels to compensate for the loss of power. A model of the ensemble lifetime based on module failure rates and power-scaling factors demonstrates that the distributed pump architecture requires random failure rates corresponding to better than 200,000 h mean time between failure (MTBF) to meet typical application requirements. A high power multi-mode pump module suitable for commercial aplications is shown. Critical elements are based on telecom architectures, including the optical train and the fiber alignment. The module has a low thermal resistance of 4 C/W from the laser diode junction to the external heat sink, couplng efficiency of over 80% into 0.2 NA, and demonstrated reliable output power of over 5W CW with peak wavelengths near 915 nm. Telecom qualified modules have random failure rates corresponding to better than 1,000,000 h MTBF. Stability of the critical fiber alignment joint for single mode packages has been demonstrated at elevated temperatures (e.g. 85 C) for thousands of hours. The reliability of the commercial multi-mode package can be estimated by similarity to the telecom package, and is verified by testing of conditions considered to be at risk based on the differences between the known telecom, and the new commercial package, designs. Test results are shown for temperature cycling, CW operation, and damp heat. The relationships between anticipated MTBF requirements, test duration and test population are shown.