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Backblaze: consumer HDDs not yet worse than enterprise models

Thursday, August 31st, 2017 | Gadgets

The backup provider Backblaze has published the statistics of its used magnetic hard disks for the second quarter of 2017. To the existing HDDs, a further 635 have been added, so the company is analyzing data from 83,151 HDDs. An important finding: Seagate hard drive consumer models are no less reliable than their enterprise counterparts.

    Compared to the first quarter, default rates are fairly constant. (Graphic: backblaze)

This is explained by Backblaze on the Seagate ST8000NM002 hard drive, the consumer model of the ST80000NM005. Both 8-byte models are a similar long combined time in operation. Since the third quarter of 2016, the enterprise disks have been running 363,282 days in continuous operation and fall to 1.61 percent. Consumers have 422,263 days behind them, and are down 1.6 percent.
However, many of the enterprise disks are only about two months old. HDDs are more common in the first months due to production errors. An even more concrete comparison wants to install Backblaze next year, if the plates have run longer.
Constant performance compared to the first quarter
Backblaze has now introduced a quarter-to-quarter trend for its comparison with the previous quarter. This can be seen from the fact that most hard drives deliver a constant performance. Only the 6-TB-Seagate HDDs are 1.49 percent more frequent. Hard drives from HGST continue to prove very reliable. Even the 4 TB disks, which have already been running 1.4 million days since combined, have only a failure rate of 0.55 percent.

Backblaze also praises its own Vault systems, which are built in own production. They are more cost-efficient than stand-alone storage containers. Vaults connect 20 containers in a closed system. The company wants to migrate all hard disks in vaults in the future. In addition, next year hard drives with 12 TB capacity will be installed.


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