SSDs are more reliable than HDDs, according to Backblaze data

Backblaze’s new SSD report for Q2 2022 shows the lifespan of its SSD boot drives powering its backup servers since 2018. Backblaze’s latest update proves the reliability of SSDs in hard drives.

Backblaze started tracking SSD lifespans when it moved from HDD backup servers to SSD servers. Due to the newness of the drives, it took five years for the company to notice noticeable changes in the lifespan behavior of SSDs compared to the lifespans of HDD boot drives of the same age.

SSD life records 2018-2021 are similar to HDD failure rates. Year 1 had the lowest HDD and SSD failure rates, both around 0.6%. The second year increases HDD and SSD failure rates by 0.85%. SSDs and HDDs show comparable failure rate curves over years 3 and 4, while SSDs are weaker overall. Hard drives linger at 1.8% while SSDs barely topped 1%. Things diverge.

In year 5, SSDs start to get overwhelmed. HDD boot disk failure rates increase from 2% to 3.6% in one year. Backblaze SSDs drop from 1.05% to 0.92%. SSDs are 3 times more reliable than HDDs. SSDs have no moving parts, so it’s not surprising. Still, it’s great to have real data based on thousands of drives indicating that SSD life expectancies will far outperform traditional drives, especially once the storage ages. Excessive writes or poorly designed firmware and controllers can still cause SSD failure.

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