Backblaze releases hard drive reliability stats for Q3 2015



We’ve just posted the following news: Backblaze releases hard drive reliability stats for Q3 2015[newsimage][/newsimage]
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It’s good to see Seagate shedding some of its old press this time around. I can’t wait to see how the newer drives age. I also can’t wait to see if there’s a surprise shift in the industry to where Backblaze manages to implement SSDs as bulk storage drives, because I currently don’t know of any wide-scale studies of consumer SSD drives, and putting them in an environment like this would be a good (yet unintended) benchmark.


There’s been a lot argued in the past about the potential pitfalls and misinterpretations that can come out of Backblaze’s data. But I think one particularly important point is that their drives are subjected to a major amount of vibration. Backblaze tightly packs 45 drives into a single chassis. This alone is probably one of the biggest reasons that some drive models utterly fail for Backblaze, but may still work well in a home desktop.

Recently I was reading buyer reviews for one of Seagate’s inexpensive “desktop” marketed drives. I noticed that the majority of bad reviews were from people who were either explicitly using the drives in a NAS application, or who didn’t specify but mentioned having bought a large number of them (which implies a NAS). Most of the people who were happy with the drives were apparently using them as single drives in a desktop.
Some drives aren’t built to handle vibration.
Backblaze prefers to use the cheapest drives, so if that cheap model is optimized for desktop performance, and not a multi-drive low performance NAS, then the whole brand looks bad in Backblaze’s data.

I don’t think Backblaze’s overall failure rate by brand name is meaningful.
However, the data becomes more interesting if you focus on a specific model of drive, especially if one is thinking about using that same model in a NAS that they are building.