Backblaze has a blog post up today that shows how over 27,000 hard drives from Hitachi, Western Digital (WD) and Seagate have done over the past several years in their Storage Pods. Everyone always wants to know what hard drive should they buy, so the data Blackblaze released today is a goldmine for tech enthusiasts as it breaks it down by brand and even models.
Blackblaze measures drive reliability by looking at the annual failure rate, which is the average number of failures you can expect running one drive for a year. A failure is when we have to replace a drive in a pod. The chart has clearly shows that the failure rate of Seagate drives is shockingly high, followed by WD and then Hitachi. It should be noted that the drives all vary by age in years though and there are various sizes, so this might not be that accurate. Blackblaze also didn't show the failures between 5K RPM and 7.2K RPM drives, but they said there was not a strong correlation between RPM and reliability.
Another chart that we love is the chart below that shows the cumulative survival rate for each brand. Month by month, how many of the drives are still alive? Blackblaze found that Hitachi do really well, but remember that less than two years ago the HGST brand was bought out by WD. The runner-up is WD with a substantial failure rate in the first six months, but if the drive makes it past that period, it looks like it will live for years. The Seagate branded drives start good, but it looks like they fail consistently over the years with a large number of deaths occurring near the 20-month mark.
What drive models were failing the most for Seagate? Blackblaze had extremely high failure rates (over 25%) with the Seagate Barracuda Green 1.5TB (ST1500DL003) and Seagate Barracuda 7200 1.5TB (ST31500341AS) drives.
This is one of the best blog posts that I have seen in some time and it is VERY informative.