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Backblaze Publishes 2016 Hard Drive Reliability Statistics

Online backup service Backblaze has posted its hard drive reliability statistics for 2016, based on nearly 72,000 drives and almost 23 million drive-days. At the end of last year, overall failure rates were 1.95 percent, which is down 0.52 percent from last year. The most reliable drive maker was HGST, with a failure rate of just 0.60 percent, whereas HGST’s owner Western Digital brought up the rear, with 3.88 percent of its drives dying. Backblaze uses more drives from Seagate than any other manufacturer, and while Seagate’s new 8 TB drives proved quite reliable, the company’s 4 TB drives remain problematic. Backblaze’s most heavily used Seagate 4 TB model posted an above-average failure rate of 2.77 percent, and another model stumbled in with an abysmal 13.57 percent failure rate. The moral of the story: pay close attention to manufacturer and model when buying drives.Generic Globefollow link

 

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Derek Roff  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2017-02-08 13:41
It's wonderful that Backblaze does careful statistical analysis, and reports the results. The full reports are interesting, understandable, and informative. Their usage pattern is very intensive, hundreds to many thousands of times what an individual user would demand of their drives. If only there were as good an analysis of disk failures for individual users. I _think_ lighter usage should cause longer life, but by how much?
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Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-02-08 13:46
When it comes to something with as many moving parts as a hard drive, it's hard to say. Also, Backblaze drives are likely in far cleaner environments than most consumer drives.
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JohnB (SciFiOne)   2017-02-08 22:56
How does one know what type of drive is inside a branded enclosure such as G technology?
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Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2017-02-09 08:32
You'd have to ask the company. It's possible they source from multiple manufacturers, so that would be worth asking too.
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Charles E Flynn  2017-02-16 09:49
G-Technology is owned by Hitachi. I bought a rotational drive by G-Technology within the last year, and it has a Hitachi mechanism.
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JohnB (SciFiOne)   2017-02-16 13:37
Thanks.
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G Perry  2017-02-10 07:54
I can see the value of this to enterprise / company use but even experienced consumers generally only need backup drives at around 1 and 2TB.

Can you imagine losing 8TB of photos? Yikes.
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JohnB (SciFiOne)   2017-02-16 13:32
People who collect videos can build up a lot of GB. I once calculated that if all my DVDs were stored on a HD at the same size/quality as the DVDs it would take about 8000 GB. That's one reason I don't store them that way.

Before anyone asks, yes, we do watch them more than once - most more than twice.
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