Backblaze Drive Stats for Q3 2023

November 15, 2023 by our News Team

in their Q3 2023 Drive Stats review. Backblaze monitored 263,992 hard disk drives and solid state drives in Q3 2023, with 259,533 HDDs used for data storage and 4,459 being boot drives; the quarterly AFR for all drives was 1.47%, and the lifetime AFR for all drives has remained between 1.39% and 1.45% over the past two years.


  • The 6TB Seagate drives had zero failures in Q3 2023 and a lifetime AFR of 0.88%.
  • Four drive models had one failure during Q3, with the WDC 16TB having a 0.15% AFR and the Toshiba 14TB having a 0.63% AFR.
  • The quarterly AFR for all drives in Q3 2023 was 1.47%, down from 2.2% in Q2 and 1.65% a year ago.

In Q3 2023, Backblaze monitored a total of 263,992 hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs) in their data centers worldwide. Out of this number, 4,459 were boot drives, with 3,242 being SSDs and 1,217 being HDDs. The failure rates for the SSDs were analyzed separately in the SSD Edition: 2023 Drive Stats review.

For the purpose of this report, the focus will be on the 259,533 HDDs. Backblaze reviewed the quarterly and lifetime failure rates of these data drives as of the end of Q3 2023. They also provided observations and insights on the data presented, including the drive failure rates broken down by data center.

At the end of Q3 2023, Backblaze managed 259,533 hard drives used for data storage. They removed 449 drives from consideration for testing purposes or because they did not have at least 60 drives of the same model. This left them with 259,084 hard drives grouped into 32 different models.

The table below shows the annualized failure rate (AFR) for each drive model during the Q3 2023 time period.

Some notable observations from the Q3 2023 Drive Stats include:

– The introduction of WDC 22TB drives (model: WUH722222ALE6L4) in a Backblaze Vault of 1,200 drives, which had zero failures so far.

– The 6TB Seagate drives (model: ST6000DX000) with an average of 101 months in operation had zero failures in Q3 2023 and a lifetime AFR of 0.88%.

– Six different drive models had zero drive failures during Q3, but only the 6TB Seagate had over 50,000 drive days, meeting Backblaze’s minimum standard for reliable AFR calculation.

– Four drive models had one failure during Q3, with the WDC 16TB (model: WUH721816ALE6L0) having a 0.15% AFR and the Toshiba 14TB (model: MG07ACA14TEY) having a 0.63% AFR.

The quarterly AFR for all drives in Q3 2023 was 1.47%, down from 2.2% in Q2 and 1.65% a year ago. Backblaze suspected the increase in Q2 was due to the aging of specific drive models, but in Q3, most drive models experienced a decreased AFR or minimal increases.

Backblaze noted that the record-breaking summer of 2023 resulted in increased drive temperature alerts in their monitoring systems. Some drives exceeded their maximum manufacturer temperature, but only two drives failed out of the 354 drives that exceeded their temperature maximum. Backblaze’s data center teams are investigating the root causes of these temperature alerts.

Starting from Q4, Backblaze will create a separate cohort of drives called Hot Drives to track those that exceeded their maximum temperature. This will allow them to compare the failure rates of these drives to those operating within manufacturer specifications.

In Q3 2023, Backblaze added three new data fields to their Drive Stats data: datacenter, cluster_id, and pod_slot_num. These additions provide more information about the location and physical placement of drives within their data centers.

The lifetime analysis of hard drive failure rates showed that the AFR for all drives has remained relatively consistent between 1.39% and 1.45% over the past two years. While individual drive models may have different AFRs, the overall lifetime AFR for all drives may become less interesting as more drives are added to the dataset.

The complete dataset used for this review is available on Backblaze’s Hard Drive Stats Data webpage for free download and use, with the condition of citing Backblaze as the source and not selling the data.

This article is based on public information provided by Backblaze

About Our Team

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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 Toshiba: Toshiba is a technology leader, has a rich history of innovation in the realm of computers. From sleek laptops to powerful workstations, Toshiba's computing solutions combine performance and design to cater to diverse needs. Over the years, Toshiba has demonstrated its dedication to delivering computing solutions that align with the evolving demands of both consumers and professionals. Through innovation and a customer-centric approach, Toshiba continues to leave a mark in the computer industry, fostering a legacy of quality and excellence.

Toshiba website  Toshiba 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.

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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