add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up authorcheckmark clipboard combo comment delete discord dots drag-handle dropdown-arrow errorfacebook history inbox instagram issuelink lock markup-bbcode markup-html markup-pcpp markup-cyclingbuilder markup-plain-text markup-reddit menu pin radio-button save search settings share star-empty star-full star-half switch successtag twitch twitter user warningwattage weight youtube

Backblaze HDD reliability statistics

Aichon

73 months ago

This seemed relevant, so I thought I'd share it here: http://blog.backblaze.com/2014/01/21/what-hard-drive-should-i-buy/

Backblaze (a cloud-based backup solution, for anyone unfamiliar with them) posted statistics on the reliability rates for the different drives they use. Some of the numbers are pretty astounding. For instance, The Seagate drives they use apparently only had a 73% rate of survival after 3 years of use, whereas Hitachi's and Western Digital's were around 97% and 95%, respectively. Even so, they still say that their preferred drives are Seagate's in many cases, simply as a matter of cost.

Some of the statistics may prove useful to any system builders interested in picking reliable drives, as well as for steering folks away from some particular models that have high failure rates.

Comments

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Caught this as well on LifeHacker. Was thinking of posting it myself, but way to be on it!

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I saw it over at a tech blog I follow. I didn't realize it had been widely reported yet. Regardless, it's worth seeing.

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

Those statistics may actually be applicable in real world scenarios. TechReport stated similar results, although they do not have PBs of storage.

  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

These numbers are ******** and completely useless. Here's a brief list off the top of my head of what's wrong:

  • They didn't compare similar drives at all.
  • They just grabbed whatever drive was cheapest.
  • They were tested in extreme vibration and heat.
  • The number of drives of each type and size varied wildly.
  • 72 months ago
  • 1 point

You're talking about the numbers I quoted at the top, I take it? If so, then I pretty much agree. They're interesting numbers, but not particularly useful since they're specific to Backblaze.

I'd stop short of calling them BS, however, since Backblaze never claimed that the numbers were representative of the brands as a whole, merely that they were representative of the specific drives that they used. And you should definitely take a look at the other numbers in the blog post, since they broke out the statistics on individual drives, meaning that we have access to the raw data and can form our own conclusions from it.

Really, these numbers are just an HDD survivability benchmark. So long as you recognize that the benchmark is limited in scope to the drives they use, I don't see what the problem is. Most of us are interested in cheap drives, so the fact that they are too means that this data is relevant to us. And we have wildly varying needs in terms of drives, so the fact that they tested a wide variety means that there's lots of useful data for us to look over.

We need to be aware that their usage conditions (i.e. the high heat and vibration you mentioned) are different than what we'd see in typical home use, but so long as we understand that and take the numbers with an appropriately-sized grain of salt, there's actually quite a lot of useful comparisons that can be drawn out of the raw data they provided.

Long story short, skip the sensationalist numbers at the top, but make sure you read the meaty stuff underneath it. They're worth it. :)

Sort

add arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up authorcheckmark clipboard combo comment delete discord dots drag-handle dropdown-arrow errorfacebook history inbox instagram issuelink lock markup-bbcode markup-html markup-pcpp markup-cyclingbuilder markup-plain-text markup-reddit menu pin radio-button save search settings share star-empty star-full star-half switch successtag twitch twitter user warningwattage weight youtube