SSDs Fail Almost As Often As Hard Drives, According To Backblaze Data

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Backblaze, a cloud storage company, has released new statistics revealing that SSD failure rates are almost as high as hard drive (HDD) failure rates. Backblaze explained its drive analysis for SSDs and hard drives in a recent blog post, which revolves around real-world use in a real environment.

SMART statistics are used by the company to monitor the health of its drivers. Backblaze claims it has no idea why its SSDs are failing at such a high rate right now.

Backblaze defines a drive failure as a total failure or impending drive failure when scanning for drive failures. Backblaze analyzes internal SMART drive statistics to anticipate drive statistics, which include read error rate, SSD wear leveling, power-on times, total program failures, and more.

Backblaze only looked at the boot drives of its storage servers, rather than the main storage drives, to make the analysis more informative. From starting the server to reading, writing, and deleting files, boot disks are used almost constantly, resulting in very little downtime.

Backblaze has been using a mix of SSDs and hard drives for boot drives on its servers since 2018, making it an ideal target for this type of testing.

(Image credit: Backblaze)Backblaze displays the lifetime failure rates of SSDs and HDDs in the first table, which dates back to 2013. As you can see, HDDs have a significantly higher failure rate than SSDs, which is why we suggests that SSDs are, as we have been promised, much more durable than hard drives.

However, there are a few issues with this, the most serious being the age of the driver. In 2018, Backblaze started installing SSDs. However, the company has hard drive health data dating back to 2013, which significantly skews the results.(Image credit: Backblaze)

We can observe that the results changed drastically after taking into account the age of the drive and assimilating SSDs and hard drives. In terms of failure rate, SSDs are not far behind hard drives, with an annualized failure rate of 1.05% versus 1.38% for hard drives.

Backblaze doesn’t know why SSDs die so quickly, but the data clearly shows that they aren’t as tough as we once assumed – and to be clear, these SSDs break completely due to normal use, without going overboard. writing to the disc. endurance.

(Image credit: Backblaze)

Backblaze also notes that due to aging drives, hard drive failure rates increased significantly from 2018 to 2020 (before leveling off in 2021). (most of these drives were installed around 2014). This indicates that once Backblaze SSDs are a few years old, they can suffer the same fate. However, only time will tell if this is the case.

At the moment, it’s unclear why these SSDs fail so often, not least because they have no moving parts. Backblaze SSDs are unknown in terms of make and model. Budget and / or NAND flash controllers may be present in some, or other considerations may be at play.

The picture will likely become clearer as the company collects more long-term data from SSDs. Whatever the cause of the drive failure, whether your drives use spinning platters or non-moving NAND, it’s always a good idea to back up your data or use a RAID array with redundancy.


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