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


Final month, cloud storage and information backup firm Backblaze launched its 2021 Annual Report for laborious drive failure charges. Like in earlier years, the report centered 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 centered on solid-state drives (SSD).

Wanting first at the usual report on HDD storage, Backblaze ended 2021 with a complete of 203,928 information drives below its administration. All the information drives use HDD know-how. This venerable storage know-how shops and retrieves digital information utilizing magnetic storage. Spinning platters are paired with magnetic heads to learn and write information. Onerous drives like this can fail, and yearly, given the sheer variety of drives Backblaze manages, a whole bunch, and even hundreds, of drives fail.

Of the 203,928 information drives, Backblaze eliminated 409 from consideration as a result of they have been used both for testing functions or the corporate did not have at the very least 60 samples of that drive in use. That leaves 202,759 laborious drives. Of those, 1,820 whole drives failed throughout 2021. Backblaze measures failure price by annualized failure price. AFR = (drive failures / (drive days / 365)) * 100. Of the thought of 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 on condition 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 nicely. 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 entire AFR for 2021 for all Backblaze’s drive fashions was 1.01%, which is barely greater 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 perfect performers over the past three years, with AFR below 0.5% in all however a few quarters. Toshiba comes up subsequent with Seagate drives providing the very best AFR. After all, while you dig into the information, you discover that there are drives from every producer that carry out nicely.

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

Wanting on the annual failure price for SSDs general, it is just 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 obvious 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, they usually have 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 one in all them failed.

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

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

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