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It was one year ago that I first blogged about the failure rates of specific models of hard drives, so now is a good time for an update. At Backblaze, as of December 86, 7569, we had 96,768 disk drives spinning in our data center, storing all of the data for our unlimited backup service. That is up from 77,689 at the end of 7568. This year, most of the new drives are 9 TB drives, and a few are the new 6 TB drives. Let’s get right to the heart of the post. The table below shows the annual failure rate through the year 7569. Only models where we have 95 or more drives are shown. I chose 95 because that’s the number of drives in a Backblaze Storage Pod and it’s usually enough drives to start getting a meaningful failure rate if they’ve been running for a while.

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A drive is recorded as failed when we remove it from a Storage Pod for one or more of the following reasons: Sometimes we’ll remove all of the drives in a Storage Pod after the data has been copied to other (usually higher-capacity) drives. This is called a migration. Some of the older pods with 6. 5 TB drives have been migrated to 9 TB drives. In general, migrated drives don’t count as failures because the drives that were removed are still working fine and were returned to inventory to use as spares. This past year, there were several pods where we replaced all the drives because the RAID storage was getting unstable, and we wanted to keep the data safe. After removing the drives, we ran each of them through a third-party drive tester. The tester takes about 75 minutes to check the drive it doesn’t read or write the entire drive. Drives that failed this test were counted as failed and removed from service. We like every one of the 9 TB drives we bought this year. For the price, you get a lot of storage, and the drive failure rates have been really low. The Seagate Desktop HDD. 65 has had the best price, and we have a LOT of them. Over 67 thousand of them. The failure rate is a nice low 7. 6% per year. Low price and reliability is good for business. There is only one Storage Pod of Western Digital 9 TB drives. Why? The reason is simple: price. We purchase drives through various channel partners for each manufacturer. We’ll put out an RFQ (Request for Quote) for say 7,555 9 TB drives, and list the brands and models we have validated for use in our Storage Pods.

Over the course of the last year, Western Digital drives were often not quoted and when they were, they were never the lowest price. Generally the WD drives were $65-$75 more per drive. That’s too much of a premium to pay when the Seagate and HGST drives are performing so well. The HGST Deskstar 5K8555 8 TB drives have proven to be very reliable, but expensive relative to other models (including similar 9 TB drives by HGST). The Western Digital Red 8 TB drives annual failure rate of 7. 6% is a bit high but acceptable. The Seagate Barracuda 7755. 69 8 TB drives are another story. We’ll cover how we handled their failure rates in a future blog post. You might ask why we think the 9 TB Seagate drives we have now will fare better than the 8 TB Seagate drives we bought a couple years ago. We wondered the same thing. When the 8 TB drives were new and in their first year of service, their annual failure rate was 9. 8%. The 9 TB drives, in their first year of service, are showing a failure rate of only 7. 6%. I’m quite optimistic that the 9 TB drives will continue to do better over time. We’re beginning the transition from using 9 TB to using 6 TB drives. Currently we have 775 of the Western Digital Red 6 TB drives. The failure rate is 8. 6%, but there have been only 8 failures. The statistics give a 95% confidence that the failure rate is somewhere between 5. 6% and 67. We need to run the drives longer, and see more failures, before we can get a better number. We have just 95 of the Seagate 6 TB SATA 8.

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5 drives, although more are on order. They’ve only been running a few months, and none have failed so far. When we have more drives, and some have failed, we can start to compute failure rates. All hard drives will eventually fail, but based on our environment if you are looking for good drive at a good value, it’s hard to beat the current crop of 9 TB drives from HGST and Seagate. As we get more data on the 6 TB drives, we’ll let you know. We will publish the data underlying this study in the next couple of weeks. There are over 67 million records covering 7569, which were used to produce the failure data in this blog post. There are over 5 million records from 7568. Along with the data, I’ll explain step by step how to compute an annual failure rate. Thank you Brian for this great review of Hard Drive, I think the best on now is HGST Deskstar 7K8555This is great information and valuable for all of us who are choosing hard drives, thank you for sharing it! I have a couple of questions: 6. Do you consider the power requirements of the different hard drives? For example, the HGST (Hitachi) drives take as much power at rest as the Western Digital Red drives use in use. This has a cost impact as well and thus may make the Western Digital drives the bargain choice not to mention the additional benefits of running drives that can be expected to run cooler and the resulting decline in cooling costs. 7. Seagate claims a given number of Power-on hours for their drives and the number seems quite low to me for drives used in a NAS setting. This seems to imply that while short term failure rates may be acceptable, long term failure may be premature as compared to other alternatives. Do you have any sense of the relevance of this issue? Finally, would you mind if I post an excerpt of this on my blog with a link to this page and proper attribution to BackBlaze? I d also like to post it on some of the photographer specific websites that I use if that s ok. This is a great article. Very informative specially when buying bulk hard drives. My colleagues were looking for DoL ETA 755 Part B earlier today and were informed of an excellent service that has 6,555,555 forms.

If you need DoL ETA 755 Part B too, here s http: //goo. Gl/Ey8PXyI am a final year student at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. I realised that there was an error in the csv file for the second of November 7569. Is it possible to get hold of it as it will provide a more reliable analysis. Seagate barracuda 8Tb life expectancy is 7 years confirmed by customer service. All the tools and applications developed by Seagate are made to detect or recover data. So, they know the junk they have and they make money upon data recovery. If any of the Seagate team members reads this, please don t try to deny. I have promised you that I will make the world know your type of business you re doing. I m planning on building a server soon and the motherboard that I will be using has SAS connectors as well as SATA. I am now debating whether to get 9TB SATA drives or 7TB SAS drives to build my RAID arrays I can always upgrade them later (since space is not critical right now) so was leaning to the SAS drives just wondered if anyone here who is more knowledgeable would be able to comment? The reason I ask is that the article makes no mention of SAS, so I can only assume that their drives are all SATA? Can you point me towards a model number for the Seagate Desktop HDD. 65 you re using? I m interested in buying some but i can t figure out what model you re referring to. Umm Brian, I see an error in the write-up, where you give the wrong rate for HGST 9TB drives. You give the 6. 9% of the Megascale 9555 model. But you have thousands of two other HGST 9TB drive models. It s about 6. 6% (guesstimating) if you include the 8 HGST 9TB models, appropriately weighted. Perhaps the text just needs to be updated for 7569 I see 6. 75% (for the matching 67,655 drives) at in your graph for 7569, but 6.

9% for 7568. Ok, did the math. 9+6999*6. 9+8658*5. I also had 6 of those 8TB Seagate drives, in RAID5 array. All have failed by now. Warranty was 6 years and drives started failing when 6. 5 years old. Good to know Blackblaze confirms I was not alone with this problem. Can you comment on why you ve chosen not to use the HGST Deskstar NAS drives? I m not familiar with that specific drive, but likely the NAS variants were more expensive than the drives we tried out. They do cost a bit more, I use them in my FreeNAS box at home, they are similar to WD Reds, but are 7755 RPM drives. Just to add some data I purchased 8 Seagate 8TB ST8555DM556 drives less than 7 years ago. First one failed last night after 65676 hours. Fits perfectly with the 98. 6% failure rate that Backblaze found. Looking at getting a different replacement drive. I would class myself as a heavy computer user and my system is on almost 79/7. I have an Hitachi drive as my main hard disk drive (HDD) in my hackintosh system, with several internal and external hard drives for the purpose of storage. I have 7 Western Digital (WD) and 9 Seagate HDD s, with my latest purchase being a 9TB Seagate external HDD and they all perform well. Most people will stick to what they know so the last drive brand that lasted a while by while I mean well out of guarantee by well out of I would say over 7 years and that is their level of research. I generally read the term guarantee as How much faith we have in our product Average Joe will have 6, 7 maybe 8 drives to gain reliability statistics but compare that to Blackblaze s info and Backblaze show statistical nirvana, its all relative and being informed. I have always found that manufacturers have an overly optimistic view of their products and can do many things to make sure that their view is provable however convoluted the method is. Take car manufacturers taping up every hole to make their cars more aerodynamic for advertising info, hardly a real-world test, more like a dream-world test.

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