SSDs are more reliable than HDDs, according to Backblaze

SSDs are more reliable than HDDs, according to Backblaze

SSDs are more reliable than HDDs

A new Backblaze report has confirmed the greater reliability of SSD storage units used on backup servers compared to "old" mechanical hard drives. As we have reported in the past, data is collected from thousands of servers in the company's data centers. Backblaze has been analyzing the reliability of its hard drives for years and has a detailed analysis of which models of WDC, Toshiba, Seagate and HGST are the most reliable and which are most prone to failure, but for some time the company has been studying the behavior of SSDs too.

From 2018 to 2012, the average life of SSDs was almost the same as that of HDDs, but the failure rate began to reward SSDs starting from the fourth year of observation, with a value for HDDs that was around 1.8%, while SSDs barely managed to exceed 1%. The real difference, however, began to show in year five, with HDD failure rate climbing up to 3.6%, while SSDs only recorded an average 0.92%.

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Backblaze's report reads:

At this point we can reasonably say that SSDs are more reliable than HDDs, at least when used as a boot drive in our environment. This confirms the assumptions made by our readers over the last year or so. Well done.

SSDs Are More Reliable Than Hard Drives, According to Data from Backblaze

Backblaze's new SSD report for Q2 2022 shows the lifespan of its SSD boot disks powering its backup servers since 2018. Backblaze's latest upgrade proves SSDs' reliability over hard disks.

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

2018-2021 SSD lifespan records are similar to hard drive failure rates. Year 1 had the lowest HDD and SSD failure rates, both around 0.6%. Year two increases HDD and SSD failure rates by 0.85%. Both SSDs and HDDs show comparable failure rate curves in years 3 and 4, while SSDs are lower overall. HDDs linger at 1.8% while SSDs have barely passed 1%. Things diverge.

In year 5, SSDs start to overwhelm. HDD boot drive failure rates grow from 2% to 3.6% within a year. Backblaze's SSDs drop from 1.05% to 0.92%. SSDs are 3x more reliable than HDDs. SSDs have no moving parts, so this isn't surprising. Still, it's excellent to have actual data based on thousands of drives indicating that SSD life expectancy will much outperform traditional drives, especially once storage gets old. Excessive writes or poorly designed firmware and controllers can still cause SSD failure. 

#6050415 Posted on: 09/14/2022 12:45 PMThe big advantage of harddrives is they tend to fail more gradually - even if it's going wrong you can still get most of the data off it. In my experience when an SSD fails it goes from working fine to completely dead instantly. I have had that happen to a crucial M4 128GB back in the day as it happens.

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