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One billion hours on, and HGST still rules the roost for hard disk reliability

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Billy Haigh
May 18, 2016 02:24
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HGST's drives have long stood out as the most reliable, and that trend continues.

Their failure rate is remarkably low; even after three years in service, the 3TB and 4TB units have annualized failure rates of just 0.81 percent and 1.03 percent, respectively.

2TB units, which last quarter were already on average more than 5 years old, have seen a small increase in failure rate—1.57 percent, compared to 1.15 percent a year ago—but still show extraordinary reliability considering their age.

EnlargeBackblaze

The company continues to substantially stick with Seagate 4TB units, in spite of somewhat worse failure rates, due to a combination of better pricing and availability.

This availability concern also pushes the company towards 4TB units over 6 or 8TB ones; although the pricing of those is starting to make them cost-effective, their bulk availability is still limited.

While the company uses a mixture of different disks, within each of its Vaults systems of 20 individual Storage Pods, with older storage pods holding 45 drives and the latest ones increasing that to 60 it standardizes on a particular type, so Backblaze needs to be able to buy 1,200 disks at once to be able to deploy disks at any kind of a reasonable scale.

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Billy Haigh
May 18, 2016 02:24
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