Backblaze posts annual hard drive failure rates report

Online backup service Backblaze has posted its annual hard drive statistics in which the company shares numbers on failure rates of the nearly 105,000 the company has in its data centers. The company publishes the annual report since 2013.

Backblaze posts annual hard drive failure rates report

With a failure rate of 1.25%, 2018 was the year with the lowest failure rate since the company started publishing data. The number continues to show a declining trend. In 2016, the annual rate was 1.95% a year later, in 2017, that number dropped to 1.77% and in 2018 it’s the previously mentioned 1.25%. In those years also the average size of the HDD increased from 4.5 TB in 2016, to 7.7 TB last year.

Although Backblaze only has 45 of them, none of the Toshiba 5 TB drives has failed since Q2 2016. Also the 10 TB Seagate HDDs perform well, Backblaze has almost 1,200 of them, but they have an annual failure rate of only 0.33%. Other drives that appear to be fairly reliable are the various 4 TB HGST variants of which Backblaze has almost 22,000.

Toshiba’s 14 TB helium filled currently show the highest annual failure rate, but Backblaze states about that, “the initial annualized failure rate (AFR) is just over 3%, which is similar to the other new models, and we would expect the AFR to drop over time as the drives settle in”.

Backblaze increased its total storage capacity from 500 Petabytes to 750 Petabytes in the last year.

The company continues to replace lower capacity drivers with higher capacity ones. Last year the company replaced lower density 2, 3, and 4 TB drives, with 8, 10, 12 and 14 TB, according to Backblaze its data center techs migrated or added 75 drives a day on average, every day of the year.