Looking for a high capacity HDD? These are the ones that fail the least

Last quarter we already saw how the reliability of SSDs was stalking that of HDDs, although there were certain nuances to be addressed, such as the number of units of one type or another. Now, Backblaze has nothing less than 194,749 units in general, of which 3,537 were reportedly bootable and 191,212 were data storage units.

In the first ones, you will find what is really interesting, since they are divided into 1,557 HDD units and 1,980 SSDs, but unfortunately this time the company has not revealed the data of these and therefore they have focused on the units data exclusively. In return, they show us the general comparative data between HDD vs SSD in terms of their AFR. What are the models that fail the least?

Manufacturers show their reliability on HDD and SSD?

The drive count was done at the end of September this year and 386 HDDs or SSDs that were in testing have been removed, leaving an overall count of 190,826 hard drives for storage, which is still a more than high number for get some good statistics.

What the table shows makes several things clear. The first is that the total failure rate per unit has dropped, but instead the total percentage count seems to have risen because there have been units and models that ruin the performance of the rest.

The best possible example is the 12 TB HGST drive (model: HUH721212ALE600), which with 2,600 HDD has had 0% failures, that is, not a single model has died or showed signs of weakness. On the opposite side we have the 14TB Seagate ST14000NM0138 which with 1,630 drives has an AFR rate of 6.29%.

In fact and if we look by brands, Although Seagate is the one that is most represented (only three models more than the WDC and HGST group) it takes the palm of bad reliability, where only one Toshiba model comes close to them with a 4.07%.

A low average AFR, but higher than that of SSDs


Backblaze makes honorable mention of several HDD models that it indirectly recommends due to their low number of failures, such as:

  • 12 TB HGST (Model: HUH728080ALE600).
  • Seagate 6TB (Model: ST6000DX000).
  • Toshiba 4TB (model: MD04ABA400V).
  • Toshiba 14TB (Model: MG07ACA14TEY).
  • 16TB WDC (Model: WUH721816ALE6L0).

Some of these units have been in use for more than 70 months and there they continue to fight, but this scenario is diametrically opposite when instead of being used for massive data they are used as boot units.

We do not have the data as such, but according to the table the average AFR of these data units is 1.10%, while in boot it amounts to 6.76% currently. The SSDs for their part are in the 1.43%, but here you have to keep one thing in mind: the time of use.

As we can see in the graph, the AFR rate per year of life is very similar in SSD and HDD, where for the latter the curve began to rise from the fifth year. Solid state hard drives are in their fourth year of life and comparatively speaking they narrowly improve the reliability of HDDs, which was at that time below the 2%. What will happen next year with SSDs? We will see, but it is possible that they will follow a similar path given the similarity of the graphs by years.

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