Backblaze HDD Reliability Report: Insights on Failure Rates and Lifespan

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 As of Q1 2023, Backblaze managed 236,893 HDDs. The report assesses the reliability and failure rates of various models, and since its inception, the company has witnessed 17,155 HDD failures. 

Backblaze, the cloud storage and storage analytics expert, has published a comprehensive report detailing the reliability of hundreds of thousands of hard drives employed in the company's servers. On average, the failed hard drives had an operational lifespan of merely two years and six months, which is less than the minimum three-year warranty mandated by European law. 

Seagate has Highest Failure Rate

The data was compiled from 30 different HDD models, ranging from 4TB to 12TB, with a focus on Annualized Failure Rates (AFR) for products manufactured by HGST (7 models), Seagate (13 models), Toshiba (7 models), and WDC (3 models). Seagate emerged as the leading brand in drive failures, with its 12TB ST12000NM0007 model experiencing 2,023 failures, an AFR of 7.46%, and an average lifespan of just 18 months. In contrast, WDC claimed the lowest average failure rate at 0.31%.

The overall average failure rate for Q1 2023 was 1.54%, a rise from 1.21% in Q4 2022 and 1.22% in Q1 2022. This data aligns closely with a similar analysis conducted by Secure Data Recovery, which found an average HDD lifespan of approximately 2 years and 10 months before failure. To safeguard crucial data, it's essential to have a reliable backup strategy in place, such as utilizing an external storage device.

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