backup service Backblaze takes a look at failure rates amongst the hard drives in its data centres. This year’s no different, and they have got all kinds of stats for all kinds of drive.
By the end of 2016, Backblaze cataloged 73,653 hard drives. Of those drives, three models, a 4GB Toshiba model, 8GB Toshiba model, and 8TB Seagate model were the only ones that recorded no drive failures, though that 8TB drive came out in November so it doesn’t really qualify. Perhaps most importantly though, the overall number of failures for the year is only 1.95%, down from 2015’s 2.47% and 2014’s 6.39%.
As for failures by vendor for the year, WDC tops the list, with a 3.88% failure rate, though when it comes to volume, Seagate’s 2.65% failure rate is notable because of the number of drives in the test (45,531 as opposed to WDC’s 1,626). How Backblaze account for failures, drive counts, and drive days is all documented over on their site if you’re curious.
Perhaps even more interestingly, they have also included statistics ranging back all the way to 2013, where one particular Seagate model (ST1500DL003) had an astounding failure rate of 90.92%.
Of course, all this data is limited to the data Backblaze collects, which is limited to the drives in their data centres. This doesn’t necessarily resemble the typical consumer experience since you’re probably not putting your hard drive through nearly the use they are. Regardless, it’s a fascinating look and a good starting point if you’re shopping for a new hard drive or a little worried about one you’re using.
Backblaze Hard Drive Stats for 2016 [Backblaze]