Thursday, February 3rd 2022

Backblaze Announces 2021 Hard Drive Failure Rates

Backblaze, a cloud storage provider has recently released their latest annual report on the performance of their 202,759 hard disks in operation. The company operates drives of various capacities and ages from Seagate, Toshiba, HGST, and WDC monitoring each models annualized failure rate (AFR). The latest report shows that the AFR for all drives in operation rose to 1.01% in 2021 up from 0.93% in 2020 but significantly below the 1.83% reported in 2019. The larger capacity newer drives are primarily responsible for this figure with them accounting for 69% of total active drives but only 57% of drive failures.

The most reliable drive operated by Backblaze remains the 6 TB Seagate ST6000DX000 with an AFR of just 0.11% while having an average age of 80.4 months. The least reliable drive is also from Seagate with the 14 TB ST14000NM0138 having an AFR of 4.66% in Q4 2021 down from 6.29% in Q3 2021. While these statistics cannot be used to reliably judge the quality of drives from any particular manufacturer they serve as a good reference for general trends in hard drive reliability.
Source: Backblaze
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19 Comments on Backblaze Announces 2021 Hard Drive Failure Rates

#1
CallandorWoT
pretty much the same every year, HGST is king, not what WDG is western digital gold?
Posted on Reply
#2
VulkanBros
Either Western Digital Green or Global, I would imagine.
Btw - HGST and Toshiba is owned by WD, or they corporates.....
Posted on Reply
#3
CallandorWoT
VulkanBrosEither Western Digital Green or Global, I would imagine.
Btw - HGST and Toshiba is owned by WD, or they corporates.....
yeah thats why the chart confused me, I thought HGST owned them. seems weird.

HGST is almost impossible to buy from what i remember... so seagate is only option really. or WD
Posted on Reply
#4
VulkanBros
CallandorWoTyeah thats why the chart confused me, I thought HGST owned them. seems weird.

HGST is almost impossible to buy from what i remember... so seagate is only option really. or WD
We use HGST a lot - almost all HDD´s in our datacenter´s are HGST - at least all the mechanical/spinning drivers are.
So they are mainly for companies
Posted on Reply
#5
CallandorWoT
VulkanBrosWe use HGST a lot - almost all HDD´s in our datacenter´s are HGST - at least all the mechanical/spinning drivers are.
So they are mainly for companies
fair enough, and that makes sense. If my HDD dies its mostly steam games so I really don't care lol
Posted on Reply
#6
Juventas
CallandorWoTpretty much the same every year, HGST is king, not what WDG is western digital gold?
WDC :) Corporation.
Posted on Reply
#7
Tomorrow
CallandorWoTyeah thats why the chart confused me, I thought HGST owned them. seems weird.

HGST is almost impossible to buy from what i remember... so seagate is only option really. or WD
Im not sure about your region but in Europe HGST drives are available. Bought myself the HC530 14TB a while back. It was cheaper but better specced than competing 14TB drives from WD itself and Seagate/Toshiba.
Posted on Reply
#8
Selaya
hgst got bought out by wd.
all wd drives backblaze's currently using are rebranded (ex-) hgsts. you can see that from the model numbers.
Posted on Reply
#9
docnorth
CallandorWoTyeah thats why the chart confused me, I thought HGST owned them. seems weird.

HGST is almost impossible to buy from what i remember... so seagate is only option really. or WD
HGST are now sold as WD Ultrastar DC, they are supposedly even better, but usually noisier than other HDD's.
Posted on Reply
#10
Mescalamba
docnorthHGST are now sold as WD Ultrastar DC, they are supposedly even better, but usually noisier than other HDD's.
Good HDD, bad if you need to be near it or don't have noise insulated case. Also prone to some damage during transport and speed might not match what they declare.
Posted on Reply
#12
Minus Infinity
Oh I own the Toshiba 6TB model, so fingers crossed it's reliable for me too. My 8TB version was DoA making horrible scraping sounds, not a good start for my first venutre into Toshiba drives. But the price of WD black is ridiculous now, so I needed to look elsewhere and HGST are so hard to find unless you want enterprise drives.
Posted on Reply
#13
R-T-B
lexluthermiesterSeagate leads the failure rates, again... What a shock..
And yet the difference between big name manufacturers failure rates remains around 1-2%... almost academic at this point.
Posted on Reply
#14
lexluthermiester
R-T-BAnd yet the difference between big name manufacturers failure rates remains around 1-2%... almost academic at this point.
4.79% and 6% are not "almost academic" which is what I presume you are saying in place of margin of error, which would be a flawed conclusion..
Posted on Reply
#15
timta2
VulkanBrosEither Western Digital Green or Global, I would imagine.
Btw - HGST and Toshiba is owned by WD, or they corporates.....
Toshiba is not owned by Western Digital. They are a huge Japanese corporation, that makes all kinds of products. Western Digital just had a temporary deal with Toshiba back in the day.

"As part of the deal, Western Digital agreed to trade assets with Toshiba, with Toshiba receiving assets for the production of 3.5-inch hard drives (1, 2 and 3-platter drives produced in Shenzhen, China), in exchange for a Toshiba factory in Thailand for producing 2.5-inch drives (which had been inactive since the 2011 floods).[6]"

HGST is owned by Western Digital and for the most part has been integrated into Western Digital's product line.

"In October 2015, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce issued a decision allowing Western Digital to begin integrating HGST into its main business. WD was required to maintain the HGST brand and sale team for at least two more years.[9] Since then, first WD-branded products left HGST's plant at 304 Industrial Park in Prachinburi Province, Thailand; in reverse, certain HGST-branded products became produced at Western Digital's plants in Bang Pa-in District, Ayutthaya Province, Thailand and Penang, Malaysia. In 2018, Western Digital announced that it was phasing out its HGST brand and that all of its remaining product lines (particularly Ultrastar) will henceforth be marketed as brands of Western Digital.[10][11]"

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HGST
Posted on Reply
#16
R-T-B
lexluthermiester4.79% and 6% are not "almost academic" which is what I presume you are saying in place of margin of error, which would be a flawed conclusion..
They are when the average floats around 2% or so.

Are you seriously trying to tell me I should blacklist a brand because I am worst case say 5% more likely to experience a failure?

No I am not saying it's margin of error. I am saying the data is of limited utility. I'd take whatever is cheaper, frankly.
Posted on Reply
#17
lexluthermiester
R-T-BAre you seriously trying to tell me I should blacklist a brand because I am worst case say 5% more likely to experience a failure?
Hey, you do whatever you feel good about. And if you want to take a bigger risk to save a little bit of money, go for it.
R-T-BI'd take whatever is cheaper, frankly.
I don't. I look for quality first, then look for the best deal.
Posted on Reply
#18
Mescalamba
BTW. something that isn't written there. They use "end user HDDs" not actual enterprise drives that are designed to last in such environment. Basically they do torture tests of basic HDDs. I guess benefit for most people.

Myself, I run enterprise drives.
Posted on Reply
#19
lexluthermiester
MescalambaBasically they do torture tests of basic HDDs.
That's the idea. It's an excellent way to test endurance.
MescalambaMyself, I run enterprise drives.
That's cool, there is no problem with that. Most people don't though.
Posted on Reply
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