Backblaze is back with an update on its hard disk and SSD failure rates for the third quarter of 2021. 194,749 drives were in use by the corporation as of September 30th, 2021, spread across four data centers and two continents, with 3537 drives that were a combination of SSDs and hard drives.
Backblaze cataloged these drives in order to determine which ones had failed and which ones had been the most trustworthy during the quarter. The only exception is the removal of 386 drives, which were either in small quantities or were being utilized for testing reasons at the time of removal.
The HGST 12TB drive, the Seagate 6TB drive, the Toshiba 4TB drive, the Toshiba 14TB drive, and the WDC 16TB drive are the best-performing drives for the third quarter of 2021. With the exception of the HGST drive, all of these drives experienced only one drive failure. Backblaze points out that these drives are still in their infancy, with only a limited amount of activity time, but that the results are still encouraging. The HGST 12TB drive, on the other hand, has shown to be extremely reliable, with zero drive failures reported during its entire life cycle.
Additional solid-state drives on the list include the HGST 4TB, HGST 12TB, and WDC 14TB drives, among others. All of these drives have an average failure rate of less than 0.5 percent, indicating that they are reliable performers for Backblaze's servers, which have very minimal dependability problems. Backblaze is also pleased to inform that the lifetime average failure rate of its hard drives has continued to decline over time. On the whole, the best-performing drives are comprised of seven units ranging in capacity from 4 to 16TB and produced by Seagate, WDC, and HGST.
The WDC 14TB and the HGST 12TB, which have an AFR of 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, are the most outstanding drives on the market today. This is particularly impressive considering that some of these drives are up to six years old and are still performing admirably. The SSD and hard disk drive comparisons on Backblaze have also been updated to determine whether SSDs are more reliable than their hard disk drive counterparts. As of the third quarter of 2021, it looks that failure rates for SSDs are quite similar to those for hard drives, at 1.5 percent. According to Blackbaze's knowledge of drive failure rates, this appears to be entirely reasonable. SSDs are expected to fail more frequently as they age, which is to be expected.
What we don't yet know is how quickly or slowly the SSDs will decline. For the time being, it appears that they are failing at a consistent rate when compared to HDDs. SSDs, on the other hand, have only been in use since 2018, therefore it will be several years before Backblaze has more comprehensive statistics.