Backblaze Drive Stats for Q2 2023

August 3, 2023 by our News Team

, which monitored 245,757 hard drives and SSDs in their data centers worldwide at the end of Q2 2023, and analyzed the failure rates of the 241,297 data drives under management.


  • Backblaze is managing 241,297 hard drives used for storing data.
  • Six drive models had zero failures in Q2 2023.
  • The complete dataset used in this review is available for download for free.

In Q2 2023, Backblaze monitored 245,757 hard drives and SSDs in their data centers worldwide. Out of this number, 4,460 were boot drives, with 3,144 being SSDs and 1,316 being HDDs. The failure rates for the SSDs are analyzed in the SSD Edition: 2022 Drive Stats review.

The focus of this article is on the 241,297 data drives under management as of the end of Q2 2023. The quarterly and lifetime failure rates of these drives will be reviewed and analyzed. Additionally, new data fields that have been included in the Drive Stats files will be discussed.

At the end of Q2 2023, Backblaze was managing 241,297 hard drives used for storing data. After removing 357 drives used for testing purposes or with insufficient drive models, there were 240,940 hard drives grouped into 31 different models. The table below shows the annualized failure rate (AFR) for these drive models in Q2 2023.

There were six drive models that had zero failures in Q2 2023. These models had a significant number of drive days during the quarter and low lifetime AFRs. The oldest drive model was the 6TB Seagate, with an average age of 98.3 months (8.2 years). The oldest operational data drive was a 4TB Seagate at 105.2 months (8.8 years). However, the oldest operational drive in the fleet was a boot drive, a WDC 500GB drive with 122 months (10.2 years) of continuous service.

The AFR for Q2 2023 increased to 2.28% from 1.54% in Q1 2023. This rise was expected due to the aging of the fleet. Further analysis was conducted on the AFR rates and average age of drives grouped by drive size.

Drives were considered old when they reached five years of age, which is the warranty period of the drives. The analysis excluded drives larger than 10TB. The AFR rates for the older drives, such as the 4TB and 6TB models, have increased slightly over the past year but are still performing well. However, the 8TB and 10TB drives, with an average of five to six years of service, require further attention. The lifetime data will be examined to confirm these findings.

A new drive model, the 22TB WDC drive, has been installed for testing purposes. It is not included in the tables and charts but can be found in the Drive Stats data.

The lifetime AFR for all drives listed above is 1.45%, an increase of 0.05% from the previous quarter. The 8TB and 10TB drives are primarily responsible for this increase. Among the 8TB drives, three models have a significant increase in AFR rates. The Seagate drives (model ST8000DM002) have an average age that is nearly a year older than the other models.

While the increase in drive failure rates is not a major concern for Backblaze, they will continue to monitor their systems and take necessary actions. The complete dataset used in this review is available for download for free.

This article is based on public information provided by Backblaze

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Background Information

About Backblaze: Backblaze is a data storage company that offers online backup and cloud storage solutions for individuals and businesses. Founded in 2007, Backblaze simplifies data protection with an emphasis on affordability and user-friendly solutions. Their services provide reliable options for safeguarding and storing critical data, making them a trusted choice for those seeking secure and accessible storage solutions.

Backblaze website  Backblaze LinkedIn

About Seagate: Seagate Technology, founded in 1978, is a leading data storage solutions provider that specializes in hard drives and storage solutions for consumers, businesses, and data centers. With a reputation for reliability and innovation, Seagate's products address diverse storage needs, from individual data storage to large-scale enterprise environments. The company has played a crucial role in shaping the data storage landscape and continues to be at the forefront of technological advancements.

Seagate website  Seagate LinkedIn

About Western Digital: Western Digital, established in 1970, is a important data storage solutions provider known for its wide range of hard drives and solid-state drives. Catering to various applications, from personal computers to enterprise storage systems, Western Digital emphasizes data management and security. With a reputation for reliability and innovative solutions, the company has been pivotal in shaping the storage industry. Their products are trusted by individuals, businesses, and data centers worldwide

Western Digital website  Western Digital LinkedIn

Technology Explained

AFR: The Annualized Failure Rate (AFR) is a measure used to estimate the likelihood of failure of a piece of hardware, such as hard drives, over a year. It's often expressed as a percentage. AFR is commonly used in the context of data storage devices, particularly hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs), to provide an indication of how reliable these devices are expected to be. For example, if a hard drive has an AFR of 2%, it means that, statistically, around 2 out of every 100 drives of that model are expected to fail within a year under normal operating conditions.

HDD: A Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is a classic data storage device that utilizes spinning disks, or platters, coated with a magnetic material to store and retrieve data. An actuator arm with read/write heads accesses data by moving over the spinning platters. HDDs offer large storage capacities at a comparatively lower cost per gigabyte, making them suitable for applications where massive data storage is required, such as servers and desktop computers. However, HDDs are slower in terms of read and write speeds compared to SSDs due to the mechanical nature of their operation. They are more susceptible to physical shocks and are less energy-efficient due to the need to constantly spin the platters.

SSD: A Solid State Drive (SSD) is a modern data storage device that employs flash memory technology to store data electronically. Unlike traditional hard disk drives (HDDs), SSDs have no moving parts, resulting in significantly faster read and write speeds. This leads to quicker boot times, faster application loading, and smoother overall system performance. SSDs are known for their durability, shock resistance, and energy efficiency, making them ideal for laptops, ultrabooks, and other portable devices. They come in various form factors, including 2.5-inch, M.2, and PCIe cards, and are favored for their reliability, quiet operation, and reduced heat generation

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