• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Backblaze Releases Hard Drive Stats for Q1 2019

Raevenlord

News Editor
Staff member
Joined
Aug 12, 2016
Messages
2,828 (2.32/day)
Location
Portugal
System Name The Ryzening
Processor Ryzen 7 1700 @ 3.7 GHz
Motherboard MSI X370 Gaming Pro Carbon
Cooling Arctic Cooling Liquid Freezer 120
Memory 16 GB G.Skill Trident Z F4-3200 (2x 8 GB)
Video Card(s) TPU's Awesome MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X
Storage Boot: Crucial MX100 128GB; Gaming: Crucial MX 300 525GB; Storage: Samsung 1TB HDD, Toshiba 2TB HDD
Display(s) LG 29UM68P (21:9 2560x1080 FreeSync Ultrawide)
Case NOX Hummer MC Black
Audio Device(s) ASUS Xonar DX
Power Supply Seasonic M12II Evo 620W 80+
Mouse Cooler Master Masterkeys Lite L
Keyboard Cooler Master Masterkeys Lite L
Software Windows 10 x64
As of March 31, 2019, Backblaze had 106,238 spinning hard drives in our cloud storage ecosystem spread across three data centers. Of that number, there were 1,913 boot drives and 104,325 data drives. This review looks at the Q1 2019 and lifetime hard drive failure rates of the data drive models currently in operation in our data centers and provides a handful of insights and observations along the way.

Hard Drive Failure Stats for Q1 2019
At the end of Q1 2019, Backblaze was using 104,325 hard drives to store data. For our evaluation we remove from consideration those drives that were used for testing purposes and those drive models for which we did not have at least 45 drives (see why below). This leaves us with 104,130 hard drives. The table below covers what happened in Q1 2019.





Notes and Observations
If a drive model has a failure rate of 0%, it means there were no drive failures of that model during Q1 2019. The two drives listed with zero failures in Q1 were the 4 TB and 5 TB Toshiba models. Neither has a large enough number of drive days to be statistically significant, but in the case of the 5 TB model, you have to go back to Q2 2016 to find the last drive failure we had of that model.

There were 195 drives (104,325 minus 104,130) that were not included in the list above because they were used as testing drives or we did not have at least 45 of a given drive model. We use 45 drives of the same model as the minimum number when we report quarterly, yearly, and lifetime drive statistics. The use of 45 drives is historical in nature as that was the number of drives in our original Storage Pods. Beginning next quarter that threshold will change; we'll get to that shortly.

The Annualized Failure Rate (AFR) for Q1 is 1.56%. That's as high as the quarterly rate has been since Q4 2017 and its part of an overall upward trend we've seen in the quarterly failure rates over the last few quarters. Let's take a closer look.
Quarterly Trends

We noted in previous reports that using the quarterly reports is useful in spotting trends about a particular drive or even a manufacturer. Still, you need to have enough data (drive count and drive days) in each observed period (quarter) to make any analysis valid. To that end the chart below uses quarterly data from Seagate and HGST drives while leaving out Toshiba and WDC drives as we don't have enough drives from those manufacturers over the course of the last three years.



Over the last three years, the trend for both Seagate and HGST annualized failure rates had improved, i.e. gone down. While Seagate has reduced their failure rate over 50% during that time, the upward trend over the last three quarters requires some consideration. We'll take a look at this and let you know if we find anything interesting in a future post.
Changing the Qualification Threshold

As reported over the last several quarters, we've been migrating from lower density drives, 2, 3, and 4 TB drives, to larger 10, 12, and 14 TB hard drives. At the same time, we have been replacing our stand-alone 45-drive Storage Pods with 60-drive Storage Pods arranged into the Backblaze Vault configuration of 20 Storage Pods per vault. In Q1, the last stand-alone 45-drive Storage Pod was retired. Therefore, using 45 drives as the threshold for qualification to our quarterly report seems antiquated. This is a good time to switch to using Drive Days as the qualification criteria. In reviewing our data, we have decided to use 5,000 Drive Days as the threshold going forward. The exception, any current drives we are reporting, such as the Toshiba 5 TB model with about 4,000 hours each quarter, will continue to be included in our Hard Drive Stats reports.
Fewer Drives = More Data

Those of you who follow our quarterly reports might have observed that the total number of hard drives in service decreased in Q1 by 648 drives compared to Q4 2018, yet we added nearly 60 petabytes of storage. You can see what changed in the chart below.



Lifetime Hard Drive Stats
The table below shows the lifetime failure rates for the hard drive models we had in service as of March 31, 2019. This is over the period beginning in April 2013 and ending March 31, 2019.



View at TechPowerUp Main Site
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2010
Messages
4,539 (1.33/day)
"lets take a bunch HDDs, use them for server use, and let the whole internet catch on fire again"
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
12,100 (2.69/day)
System Name Pioneer
Processor Intel i9 9900k
Motherboard ASRock Z390 Taichi
Cooling Noctua NH-D15 + A whole lotta Sunon and Corsair Maglev blower fans...
Memory G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 @ 13-13-13-33-2T
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX 1080 FTW2
Storage Mushkin Pilot-E 2TB NVMe SSD w/ EKWB M.2 Heatsink
Display(s) LG 32GK850G-B 1440p 32" AMVA Panel G-Sync 144hz Display
Case Thermaltake Core X31
Audio Device(s) Onboard TOSLINK to Schiit Modi MB to Schiit Asgard 2 Amp to AKG K7XX Ruby Red Massdrop Headphones
Power Supply EVGA SuperNova T2 850W 80Plus Titanium
Mouse ROCCAT Kone EMP
Keyboard WASD CODE 104-Key w/ Cherry MX Green Keyswitches, Doubleshot Vortex PBT White Transluscent Keycaps
Software Windows 10 x64 Enterprise... yes, it's legit.
"lets take a bunch desktop HDDs, use them for server use, and let the whole internet catch on fire again"
Missed the most important detail...

if they used server HDDs the data MIGHT be vaguely useful.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
5,484 (1.91/day)
Location
Florida
System Name natr0n-PC
Processor 2600K @ 4.4GHz / Dual Xeon 5675's @ 3.33GHz 12c/24t
Motherboard Sabertooth Z77 / GA-7TESM
Cooling Deepcool Assassin - 3 Fans / Custom
Memory 2x8GB 2133MHz Samsung Dual Channel / 6x4GB 1333MHz Samsung Hexa Channel
Video Card(s) Evga GTX 980 SC / Asus Strix 980ti
Storage Various SSD/HD
Display(s) Samsung 23' 2048x1152 / Various Dells
Case Sunbeam Transformer Silver / Matrexx 55
Audio Device(s) SB X-fi on all systems
Power Supply Corsair TX 650w / Evga NEX 750B
Mouse Alienware AW558 @ 5000 DPI
Keyboard Asus KB34211
Software XP64/7/8.1/10
Benchmark Scores http://valid.x86.fr/79kuh6
I enjoy these lists.

Seagate is the winner of the losers.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
15,958 (4.39/day)
The take away again...any of them will be fine for a consumer with such low failure rates. If you are splitting hairs between 2 of every 100 or 1 of every hundred, you need physical redundancy and a good backup plan (as always) not a HDD with an ever so slightly improved failure rate (in a data center which is an unrealistic use model for consumer drives anyway).
 
Joined
May 30, 2015
Messages
701 (0.42/day)
Location
Renton, WA
if they used server HDDs the data MIGHT be vaguely useful.
They did use server HDDs.

Toshiba MG07ACA14TA - 9-disk He-Sealed 7200RPM Enterprise HDD
HGST HUH721212ALE600/ALN604 - HC520 He-Sealed 7200RPM Enterprise HDD
Seagate ST12000NM0007 - Exos x12 He-Sealed 7200RPM Enterprise HDD
Seagate ST10000NM0086 - Exos x10 He-Sealed 7200RPM Enterprise HDD

I think you get the picture. The lower capacity Seagate drives are desktop class and have been used continually by Backblaze for a few years. They offer a consumer baseline to compare against. The other vendor's drives are long-service NAS or Surveillance drives, which some might argue should have a similar life span to an Enterprise drive.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
254 (0.20/day)
System Name Gaming PC / I7 XEON
Processor I7 4790K @stock / XEON W3680 @ stock
Motherboard Asus Z97 MAXIMUS VII FORMULA / GIGABYTE X58 UD7
Cooling X61 Kraken / X61 Kraken
Memory 32gb Vengeance 2133 Mhz / 24b Corsair XMS3 1600 Mhz
Video Card(s) Gainward GLH 1080 / MSI Gaming X Radeon RX480 8 GB
Storage Samsung EVO 850 500gb ,3 tb seagate, 2 samsung 1tb in raid 0 / Kingdian 240 gb, megaraid SAS 9341-8
Display(s) 2 BENQ 27" GL2706PQ / Dell UP2716D LCD Monitor 27 "
Case Corsair Graphite Series 780T / Corsair Obsidian 750 D
Audio Device(s) ON BOARD / ON BOARD
Power Supply Sapphire Pure 950w / Corsair RMI 750w
Mouse Steelseries Sesnsei / Steelseries Sensei raw
Keyboard Razer BlackWidow Chroma / Razer BlackWidow Chroma
Software Windows 1064bit PRO / Windows 1064bit PRO
i dont think those data are useful tbh. you dont know what kind of workload the hd was used
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2015
Messages
789 (0.48/day)
This report makes WD look good, just because they're practically not included in there.

Funny that.
 

Ahhzz

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 27, 2008
Messages
5,889 (1.37/day)
System Name Ironic
Processor Intel 2500k 4.4Ghz
Motherboard ASROCK|Z68 PROFESSIONAL Gen 3
Cooling Corsair H60
Memory 32GB GSkill Ripjaw X 1866
Video Card(s) Sapphire R9 290 Vapor-X 4Gb
Storage Samsung 860 EVO 1Tb/WD BLACK SN750 500GB NVMe
Display(s) 22" Dell Wide/ 22" Acer wide/24" Asus
Case Antec Lanboy Air Black & Blue
Audio Device(s) SB Audigy 7.1
Power Supply Corsair Enthusiast TX750
Mouse Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum
Keyboard Corsair Vengeance K90
Software Win 7 Ult 64 bit
They missed where they took out 180 WD 3Tb drives.... Did I miss where they explained that?

Ah, nvm. Their chart is from Q4 2018. Looks like they pulled them from service somewhere last year, and wouldn't have explained it again. Thought it was Q1 to Q1.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
12,100 (2.69/day)
System Name Pioneer
Processor Intel i9 9900k
Motherboard ASRock Z390 Taichi
Cooling Noctua NH-D15 + A whole lotta Sunon and Corsair Maglev blower fans...
Memory G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 @ 13-13-13-33-2T
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX 1080 FTW2
Storage Mushkin Pilot-E 2TB NVMe SSD w/ EKWB M.2 Heatsink
Display(s) LG 32GK850G-B 1440p 32" AMVA Panel G-Sync 144hz Display
Case Thermaltake Core X31
Audio Device(s) Onboard TOSLINK to Schiit Modi MB to Schiit Asgard 2 Amp to AKG K7XX Ruby Red Massdrop Headphones
Power Supply EVGA SuperNova T2 850W 80Plus Titanium
Mouse ROCCAT Kone EMP
Keyboard WASD CODE 104-Key w/ Cherry MX Green Keyswitches, Doubleshot Vortex PBT White Transluscent Keycaps
Software Windows 10 x64 Enterprise... yes, it's legit.
The other vendor's drives are long-service NAS or Surveillance drives, which some might argue should have a similar life span to an Enterprise drive.
I wouldn't go that far, but they are a good middleground.

They certainly are at least trying this time around to address some longstanding concerns: Good. They still have some major statistical representation issues, but at least it's more useful than nothing now.
 
Joined
Sep 4, 2013
Messages
37 (0.02/day)
Yes, they really should just give the names in the chart, with models in the article.

HMS5C4040ALE640 MegaScale DC
HMS5C4040BLE640 MegaScale DC
HUH728080ALE600 Ultrastar He8
HUH721212ALN604 Ultrastar DC HC520 (aka He12)
ST4000DM000 Desktop HDD
ST6000DX000 Desktop HDD
ST8000DM002 Desktop HDD
ST8000NM0055 Exos 7E8
ST10000NM0086 Exos X10
ST12000NM0007 Exos X12
MD04ABA400V Surveillance HDD
MD04ABA500V Surveillance HDD
MG07ACA14TA Enterprise HDD
WD60EFRX Red NAS

So, not really a fair comparison. HGST is all enterprise drives. Seagate and Toshiba is a mix. WD is for SOHO NAS (i.e. they're not Red Pro).
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Messages
3,635 (1.42/day)
Location
Jyväskylä, Finland
System Name Classified
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 2600 @ 4.025GHz
Motherboard Asus TUF B450 Plus Gaming
Cooling Custom loop by Alphacool
Memory G.Skill Value 16GB DDR4-2400
Video Card(s) EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW @ 1400/7800
Storage 2x256GB, 240GB & 2x 480GB SSDs, 2TB HDD
Display(s) 2x 1920x1080 (23" & 22")
Case Corsair Carbide Air 740
Audio Device(s) Sound Blaster Z
Power Supply Seasonic Focus+ Gold 750W
Mouse Logitech G400s
Keyboard Dell keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro
Benchmark Scores 6040 in Time Spy, 15731 in Fire Strike with GTX 980 Ti
Aaaand Seagate leads the stats. What a surprise..
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
12,100 (2.69/day)
System Name Pioneer
Processor Intel i9 9900k
Motherboard ASRock Z390 Taichi
Cooling Noctua NH-D15 + A whole lotta Sunon and Corsair Maglev blower fans...
Memory G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 @ 13-13-13-33-2T
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX 1080 FTW2
Storage Mushkin Pilot-E 2TB NVMe SSD w/ EKWB M.2 Heatsink
Display(s) LG 32GK850G-B 1440p 32" AMVA Panel G-Sync 144hz Display
Case Thermaltake Core X31
Audio Device(s) Onboard TOSLINK to Schiit Modi MB to Schiit Asgard 2 Amp to AKG K7XX Ruby Red Massdrop Headphones
Power Supply EVGA SuperNova T2 850W 80Plus Titanium
Mouse ROCCAT Kone EMP
Keyboard WASD CODE 104-Key w/ Cherry MX Green Keyswitches, Doubleshot Vortex PBT White Transluscent Keycaps
Software Windows 10 x64 Enterprise... yes, it's legit.
Aaaand Seagate leads the stats. What a surprise..
I like how everyone auto-assumes that and misses the fact the worst drive in this list by AFR is a HGST...
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Messages
3,635 (1.42/day)
Location
Jyväskylä, Finland
System Name Classified
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 2600 @ 4.025GHz
Motherboard Asus TUF B450 Plus Gaming
Cooling Custom loop by Alphacool
Memory G.Skill Value 16GB DDR4-2400
Video Card(s) EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW @ 1400/7800
Storage 2x256GB, 240GB & 2x 480GB SSDs, 2TB HDD
Display(s) 2x 1920x1080 (23" & 22")
Case Corsair Carbide Air 740
Audio Device(s) Sound Blaster Z
Power Supply Seasonic Focus+ Gold 750W
Mouse Logitech G400s
Keyboard Dell keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro
Benchmark Scores 6040 in Time Spy, 15731 in Fire Strike with GTX 980 Ti
I like how everyone auto-assumes that and misses the fact the worst drive in this list by AFR is a HGST...
Heey hold on a minute, I have a Seagate drive on my PS2 and it works..


These stats just mean that I wouldn'd be buying these or recommending to my friends.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
15,958 (4.39/day)
I like how everyone auto-assumes that and misses the fact the worst drive in this list by AFR is a HGST...
For consumer drives and more realistic use scenarios, I would look at Puget Systems's data. Again, I think we'll find that outside of a 'bad' drive most are not worth fretting over the % failure. I get that one drive might have 2x the failure rate of another, but, that is the difference between 99/100 working or 99.5/100 working. Context is important here. :)

https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Most-Reliable-PC-Hardware-of-2018-1322/#Storage(HardDrive)
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
129 (0.03/day)
Will they ever move over to SSDs or is the improved failure rate and performance of an SSD totally insignificant to them in comparison to the cost of HDDs?
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
15,958 (4.39/day)
I used to work for AWS and it depends on the system as to what drives are used. If speed is needed over capacity, SSDs are used. Otherwise, its platter storage.

That said, AWS isn't really a backup joint, primarily, so there's that.

But yes, I would imagine it is cost prohibitive still to run all high capacity SSDs. It takes almost no time for a tech to replace a platter/HDD and get the array rebuilt, versus the HUGE cost difference between comparable capacity platters/SSD.
 
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
129 (0.03/day)
I used to work for AWS and it depends on the system as to what drives are used. If speed is needed over capacity, SSDs are used. Otherwise, its platter storage.

That said, AWS isn't really a backup joint, primarily, so there's that.

But yes, I would imagine it is cost prohibitive still to run all high capacity SSDs. It takes almost no time for a tech to replace a platter/HDD and get the array rebuilt, versus the HUGE cost difference between comparable capacity platters/SSD.
I had a look around for SSD failure rate figures when choosing what drives to buy but couldn't really find anything reliable like these mass results.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
15,958 (4.39/day)
AWS doesn't post their failure rates...but I can tell you daily technicians replaced 5-10 drives /day of thousands.

The best you have may be Puget Systems I referenced earlier.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Messages
3,635 (1.42/day)
Location
Jyväskylä, Finland
System Name Classified
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 2600 @ 4.025GHz
Motherboard Asus TUF B450 Plus Gaming
Cooling Custom loop by Alphacool
Memory G.Skill Value 16GB DDR4-2400
Video Card(s) EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW @ 1400/7800
Storage 2x256GB, 240GB & 2x 480GB SSDs, 2TB HDD
Display(s) 2x 1920x1080 (23" & 22")
Case Corsair Carbide Air 740
Audio Device(s) Sound Blaster Z
Power Supply Seasonic Focus+ Gold 750W
Mouse Logitech G400s
Keyboard Dell keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro
Benchmark Scores 6040 in Time Spy, 15731 in Fire Strike with GTX 980 Ti
Will they ever move over to SSDs or is the improved failure rate and performance of an SSD totally insignificant to them in comparison to the cost of HDDs?
For servers etc. SSD's aren't just yet the thing.


I love WD drives myself, damn that Samsung sold its HDD business. They were also awesome.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
670 (0.36/day)
Will they ever move over to SSDs or is the improved failure rate and performance of an SSD totally insignificant to them in comparison to the cost of HDDs?
SSDs have been used in high end file servers for years (enterprise SSDs not consumer SSDs obviously), it's only really huge archive servers or budget small business servers that still use HDDs.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
15,958 (4.39/day)
For servers etc. SSD's aren't just yet the thing.
They can be though. It just depends on the use. At least at AWS, and I would assume with Aszure, it depends on what type of server you need as to what the storage is like. Hell, I know we had ROWS, like 20 yards long with complete SSD systems for some of their services.

Some even have a small SSD for the OS to boot from (If it isn't PXE booted and an image dumped on it).
 
Joined
Nov 29, 2016
Messages
658 (0.59/day)
System Name Unimatrix
Processor Intel i9-9900K @ 5.0GHz
Motherboard ASRock x390 Taichi Ultimate
Cooling Custom Loop
Memory 32GB GSkill TridentZ RGB DDR4 @ 3400MHz 14-14-14-32
Video Card(s) EVGA 2080 with Heatkiller Water Block
Storage 2x Samsung 960 Pro 512GB M.2 SSD in RAID 0, 1x WD Blue 1TB M.2 SSD
Display(s) Alienware 34" Ultrawide 3440x1440
Case CoolerMaster P500M Mesh
Power Supply Seasonic Prime Titanium 850W
Keyboard Corsair K75
Benchmark Scores Really Really High
Joined
Dec 16, 2012
Messages
3,635 (1.42/day)
Location
Jyväskylä, Finland
System Name Classified
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 2600 @ 4.025GHz
Motherboard Asus TUF B450 Plus Gaming
Cooling Custom loop by Alphacool
Memory G.Skill Value 16GB DDR4-2400
Video Card(s) EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti FTW @ 1400/7800
Storage 2x256GB, 240GB & 2x 480GB SSDs, 2TB HDD
Display(s) 2x 1920x1080 (23" & 22")
Case Corsair Carbide Air 740
Audio Device(s) Sound Blaster Z
Power Supply Seasonic Focus+ Gold 750W
Mouse Logitech G400s
Keyboard Dell keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro
Benchmark Scores 6040 in Time Spy, 15731 in Fire Strike with GTX 980 Ti
They can be though. It just depends on the use. At least at AWS, and I would assume with Aszure, it depends on what type of server you need as to what the storage is like. Hell, I know we had ROWS, like 20 yards long with complete SSD systems for some of their services.

Some even have a small SSD for the OS to boot from (If it isn't PXE booted and an image dumped on it).
Yeah I guess. But for servers, they should be some industrial shit, just like SCSI/SAS drives.

I know too many people who think that you can just use consumer drives in servers, well, you can, but.... They exist for a reason. Server hardware, I mean.
 

newtekie1

Semi-Retired Folder
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
26,653 (5.19/day)
Location
Indiana, USA
Processor Intel Core i7 9900K@5.0GHz
Motherboard AsRock Z370 Taichi
Cooling Corsair H115i Pro w/ Noctua NF-A14 Fans
Memory 32GB Corsair DDR4-3000
Video Card(s) ASUS Strix GTX 1080Ti
Storage 500GB SX8200 Pro + 8TB with 1TB SSD Cache
Display(s) QNIX QX2710 1440p@120Hz
Case Fractal Design Define S
Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
Power Supply eVGA SuperNOVA 1000w G3
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
Will they ever move over to SSDs or is the improved failure rate and performance of an SSD totally insignificant to them in comparison to the cost of HDDs?
They only care about cost/GB, speed of the drives doesn't matter to them.
 
Top