Backblaze’s 2020 Hard Drive Reliability Statistics

Originally published at: Backblaze’s 2020 Hard Drive Reliability Statistics - TidBITS

Backblaze has again released annual hard drive statistics that report on the company’s hard drive reliability stats for 2020. In spite of everything else that happened last year, hard drives became more reliable.

Interesting. I’m pleased to see that Toshiba drives, although not their most commonly used brand, seem to be very reliable. The interesting part, however, is that the 4TB Toshiba drives are “surveillance” models - these have firmware and caches optimized for recording many parallel streams of continuous video data, with a fairly low percentage of read operations. Not something I would ever consider for data center use, although maybe it makes sense for a cloud backup service.

The other Toshiba drives are helium-filled enterprise drives, which makes perfect sense, but is surprising because Backblaze has in the past said that enterprise drives are not significantly more reliable than consumer drives. But perhaps this is simply because there probably aren’t many 14 TB consumer drives to begin with (although Toshiba’s N300 “NAS” drives are available in that capacity).

I am always interested in Backblaze’s reliability surveys given that I am a Backblaze user in Australia. I use a mixture of HDDs and over the years I have found Toshiba drives to be long lasting.