Backblaze Q2 2020 Hard Drive Analysis Highlights Promising Boost In Overall Reliability

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Backblaze is one of the top-end personal and business data backup companies out there. Providing data backup to a plethora of people is no easy task, and it also a massive amount of hard drives. Quarterly, Backblaze reports on the drives they have in their systems and what they have newly deployed.  This is a roundabout way of seeing what manufacturer needs to improve with regards to reliably, while also informing the consumers about off-the-shelf components that they may be putting inside their own rigs. Without further delay, let’s dive into the stats for their 142,630 spinning hard drives in Q2 2020...
Q2 2020 AFR
Looking at the hard drive failure chart, there are some interesting tidbits to take away. The models on the list have some decent looking Annualized Failure Rates (AFR, lower is better). According to Andy Klein, technical marketer at Backblaze, “The Annualized Failure Rate (AFR) for Q2 2020 was 0.81% versus Q1 2020 which was 1.07%. The Q2 AFR number is the lowest AFR for any quarter since we started keeping track in 2013.” Between Toshiba, Seagate, and Hitachi (HGST), based on the sheer numbers of running drives, this is impressive and good news. Below, I’ve grabbed Backblazes chart showing quarterly failure rates on a manufacturer basis. It appears that HGST is the most steady and consistent as far as having few failures, only being trailed by Seagate and Toshiba, respectively.
Chart Q2 2020 MFR AFR
Overall, this is some interesting data on a copious number of HDDs. As time goes on, manufacturers seem to be making their HDDs both bigger in capacity and more reliable. Hopefully, that trend will continue as both production methods, and data point collection improve. This quarter, HGST gets kudos for doing better than the competition. If you want to see everything in one place, take a look at Backblaze's blog here.