Consumer Drives Might Be More Reliable Than Enterprise Hard Drives

Online backup service Backblaze uses the same hard drives most of us use to store our data — which means it has almost 35,000 consumer drives housing our data. Its latest report claims that consumer hard drives are actually slightly more reliable than expensive "enterprise" style drives.

We've covered Backblaze's analysis before, and it still rank Hitachi/HGST drives as the most reliable. This time, the research discovered that the drives designed for corporate server use — that is, so-called "enterprise drives" — actually failed more often than consumer drives. If you're buying enterprise drives because you think they will last longer, it may be worth looking into that decision further.

Your mileage may vary and this is just one company's analysis, but it's an interesting stat. Check out the link and decide for yourself which drive is the most reliable.

Consumer Drives Might Be More Reliable Than Enterprise Hard Drives

Hard Drive Reliability Update — Sep 2014 | Backblaze


    Because enterprise use and personal use are completely the same thing.

    ...but nor are enterprise and consumer disk failures the same. An enterprise level disk will usually be 'failed' by the system it is in when it is deemed to be performing at less than the desired level. (this is usually "you are taking too long to pass data to the host controller" -> FAIL ) It may be fine in another system for years to come.

    Enterprise disks have most data recovery features turned down or removed (for predictable access times), defaulting instead to the host controller to make the decisions on when it is time to move data because a part of the disk subsystem is underperforming. That could be heat related, surface related, head related or a drive electronics issue, to scratch the proverbial surface. Stick an enterprise drive in a desktop without a clever host controller or extra space to offload weak data, then you might find huge data losses after a while.

    A desktop drive is designed to make you wait while it cleans up after itself. Moving weak data to healthier parts of the disk, even dynamically reassigning bad sectors and marking of dead areas, never to be written to again! Of course, if you aren't listening to, or getting in touch with your hard drive, only your computer's performance (and a clever reporting system, present on most modern machines) will hint at any signs of disk failure. Being that a great deal of by business is comforting customers after their hard drive has self destructed, systems in place may be insufficient.

    There is one hard drive I'm thinking of where, if you knew when and what to listen for, you could enjoy the theatre of its highly entertaining and 100% catastrophic self destruction, as it predictably happened. Almost all the drives did the exact same song and dance (like tap dancing) as the writable surface delaminated from the disk medium.

    One can hardly blame the manufacturer for flying so close to the sun. It simply was the fastest consumer disk of its day. not to be outdone for some time. Bless the pioneers, and be thankful for the stalwarts. We are currently long-term benchmarking the Seagate 4TB SSHD in an 8 disk RAID6 system with SSD Cache on top of that. And I can't recommend Hitachi Enterprise 7200 rpm highly enough as near line and backup disks, especially in a cached, spin down environment.

    Brain dump ended.

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