Backblaze reveals failure charges for laborious drives in 2021, releases an SSD report for the primary time: Digital Images Evaluate


Final month, cloud storage and knowledge backup firm Backblaze launched its 2021 Annual Report for laborious drive failure charges. Like in earlier years, the report targeted on failure charges for laborious disk drives (HDD). Nonetheless, yesterday, for the primary time, Backblaze launched a particular follow-up to its 2021 Annual Report targeted on solid-state drives (SSD).

Trying first at the usual report on HDD storage, Backblaze ended 2021 with a complete of 203,928 knowledge drives underneath its administration. All the info drives use HDD know-how. This venerable storage know-how shops and retrieves digital knowledge utilizing magnetic storage. Spinning platters are paired with magnetic heads to learn and write knowledge. Exhausting drives like this can fail, and yearly, given the sheer variety of drives Backblaze manages, lots of, and even 1000’s, of drives fail.

Of the 203,928 knowledge drives, Backblaze eliminated 409 from consideration as a result of they had been used both for testing functions or the corporate did not have a minimum of 60 samples of that drive in use. That leaves 202,759 laborious drives. Of those, 1,820 complete drives failed throughout 2021. Backblaze measures failure price by annualized failure price. AFR = (drive failures / (drive days / 365)) * 100. Of the thought-about drives, a 6TB Seagate (mannequin ST6000DX000) had the bottom failure price of any drive mannequin, with an annualized failure price (AFR) of solely 0.11%. Backblaze notes that that is notably spectacular provided that this mannequin is the oldest in its fleet, with a median age of 80.4 months. As Backblaze says, these drives are ‘thumbing their nostril on the tail finish of the bathtub curve.’

A pair of drive fashions added for 2021 are each performing properly. The 16TB WDC drive (mannequin WUH721816ALE6LO), with a median age of 5.06 months, has an AFR of 0.14%. The 16TB Toshiba drive cohort (mannequin MG08ACA16TE) has an AFR of 0.91%.

The whole AFR for 2021 for all Backblaze’s drive fashions was 1.01%, which is barely increased than in 2020 when the AFR was 0.93%. Nonetheless, 1.01% is significantly decrease than 2019’s AFR of 1.89%. General, HGST and WDC are the very best performers over the past three years, with AFR underneath 0.5% in all however a few quarters. Toshiba comes up subsequent with Seagate drives providing the very best AFR. In fact, once you dig into the info, you discover that there are drives from every producer that carry out properly.

To dig additional into the numbers and obtain all knowledge, try the full report. Now, let’s flip our consideration to the brand new SSD report. Whereas Backblaze makes use of HDDs for its knowledge storage, the SSDs within the report are completely used as boot drives. Beginning in This fall 2018, Backblaze started changing failed HDD boot drives with SSDs. For Backblaze, boot drives additionally retailer log information and momentary information produced by the storage server. On daily basis, a boot drive reads, writes and deletes information. As of the top of 2021, Backblaze was utilizing 2,200 SSDs.

Trying on the annual failure price for SSDs general, it is much like HDDs. In 2019, which was only a single quarter, AFR was 0.86%. In 2020, it was 0.78%. Final 12 months, it elevated a bit to 1.22%. Nonetheless, there are two evident outliers in 2021. The Essential (CT250MX500SSD1) and Seagate (ZA2000CM10002) SSDs failed at charges of 43.22% and 28.81%, respectively. Why? Nicely, in contrast to the HDD report, there is a distinction in pattern dimension. Backblaze makes use of solely 20 Essential drives, and so they had been all put in in December. Whereas there is a excessive AFR, there is a low pattern dimension and a large confidence interval. The state of affairs is extra excessive with the Seagate drive in query. There are solely 4 of them in use and considered one of them failed.

Normally, not many SSD fashions are utilized in considerably excessive numbers. Backblaze makes use of 1,090 of the Seagate ZA250CM10003 drive and it had a 1.04% AFR in 2021. The corporate additionally employs 562 Seagate ZA250CM10002 drives. Its AFR was much more spectacular at 0.36%. Backblaze has 250 Dell DellBoss VD SSD drives. Not a single one failed.

In case you dig round in Backblaze’s knowledge, there are some anomalies it desires to level out. Two SSD fashions present up within the knowledge aren’t within the report, together with the Samsung 850 EVO 1TB and the HP SSD S700 250GB. They had been used for inner testing or particular migration duties.

Whereas 2,200 SSDs is a small variety of drives, there’s nonetheless loads of knowledge value contemplating. Backblaze will frequently add SSD boot drives to its operation, enhancing the standard of the info. Backblaze can also be contemplating including SSDs that it makes use of in different kinds of servers in its atmosphere to the 2022 annual report. To learn the complete 2021 Annual Report: SSD Version, go to Backblaze.


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