Backblaze confirms that solid state drives are more reliable than mechanical hard drives

Most people may think that solid state drives (SSDs), although faster, are not as long-lived and reliable as mechanical hard drives (HDDs), but a new report finds that may not be the case. Cloud backup and storage provider Backblaze released its SSD report for the second quarter of 2022, reporting that SSDs are more reliable than HDDs, at least for the tens of thousands of hard drives deployed in its data centers, but the company also said, This may change in the future as SSDs age. 

It is reported that Backblaze's SSD and HDD are used as boot disks, not disks for storing data. Backblaze began to switch to SSD in the fourth quarter of 2018, which means that these two sets of hard drives are at different points of their respective life curves, which is The company only compared SSDs with an average age of one year to HDDs with an average age of one year, and so on. The latest year of data shows that the failure rate of SSDs has shown a downward trend.

Backblaze SSD vs HDD Failure Rate Comparison

Andy Klein, the chief cloud storage evangelist at Backblaze, said: "We can now reasonably claim that SSDs are more reliable than HDDs, at least when used as boot drives in our environment. in this way."

He cautioned, however, that there is a "high probability" that SSD failure rates will eventually start to pick up, and it's possible that at some point the SSDs Backblaze uses may be "extremely high," perhaps when they start reaching their flash wear-out limits.

The chart shows that from 2018 to 2021, the first year of the two types of hard drives has the lowest failure rate, with HDDs having a failure rate of less than 0.66%, and SSDs having no failure rate at all. The second year saw almost exactly the same linear rise, with roughly a 0.85% increase in failure rates for HDDs and SSDs. The linear increase in failure rate is also true in the third and fourth years, with both SSD and HDD showing the same failure rate curve, although the overall failure rate for SSD is lower. In the fourth year, HDDs hovered around 1.8%, while SSDs barely exceeded 1%.

Then, things changed. The failure rate for HDDs rose sharply in year 5, jumping from less than 2% to 3.6% in one year. Meanwhile, SSDs went in the opposite direction, dropping from 1.05% to 0.92%, which means that SSDs are 3 times more reliable than HDDs.

There is an opinion that SSDs have no moving parts, so they must be more reliable than mechanical hard drives, and that overwritten or poorly designed firmware and masters can lead to fatal failures of SSDs, an exception that only affects a small number of people .

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