If you think hard drive reliability and a galaxy remote, remote can never be combined, you have a lot to learn. In honor of May 4, cloud backup company Backblaze released the results of the reliability of its Q1 drive, lightly sprinkled with various references to Star Wars. In Q1, the company monitored a total of 207,478 hard drives across its data center. Its report focuses on drives still in use at the time and examines lifetime failure rates. As an example of how this is going, it begins with a Yoda quote from The Last Jedi: “Great Teacher, Failure.”
In the latest survey, the most resilient “senior” drive in the company’s storage pod is the 6TB Seagate ST6000DX000. Although the company has only 886, none have failed this past quarter. This is despite the fact that the average age of the drive is more than seven years. That’s an impressive feat. In fact, it declares a very good backblaze, “the power is strong with it.” A. An equally long-range 4TB Toshiba model also suffered zero casualties in the Q1, MD04ABA400V. Its average age is 82.3 months. Although there are only 97 people who are far from buzzing in the pods. This model has experienced only one failure each year, which is unusual.
As far as “Padawan” drive goes, aka Youngling Drive, there were several standouts. Backblaze uses three high-powered Western digital drive models in its pods, and none failed in Q1. However, they have all been installed recently. There is a 14TB model which is more than a year old and two 16TB models which are almost brand new This makes it difficult to properly assess their reliability over time.
The company has also announced a new reliability visualization method shown above. This is called Drive Status Failure Square and it divides all the drives used into four quadrilaterals. The upper-right (I) drives are the first drives that will be replaced in time They have been around for a long time and often start to feel like failure. The upper-left (II) drives are the “winners.” They have been down for a long time and have a low failure rate. Moving to Quadrilateral III, these are the sad young up start who are hoping to move to Quadrilateral II one day. They are probably already planning their Castle Run. Finally, quadrilateral IV is the “model”. These drives should be replaced but they need to be monitored as they show unusual failure rates according to their age.
In terms of annual failure rate (AFR), the lifetime rating for all of the company’s drives is 1.39 percent. This number is only 0.01 percent less than the number in the previous quarter. This is part of an ongoing trend with the company showing that modern hard drives are highly reliable and in that case like SSDs. The company’s Lifetime AFR a year ago was 1.49 percent, so the reliability of the drive is slowly improving over time. While this is an extended, Backblaze study titled this section, “You Failed Me Last Time.”
Finally, if you need a drive to be your only hope, and want to know which drive is the most reliable from today’s manufacturers, here they are:
- HGST: 12TB, Model: HUH721212ALE600. AFR: 0.33%
- Seagate: 12TB Model: ST12000NM001G. AFR 0.63%
- WDC: 14TB Model: WUH721414ALE6L4. AFR: 0.33%
- Toshiba: 16TB Model: MG08ACA16TEY. AFR 0.70%