Backblaze Drive Stats for 2023

February 13, 2024

Backblaze , a cloud storage and backup company, which monitored over 270,000 hard drives in 2023 and analyzed their failure rates and lifetime statistics, providing insights for drive migration strategies and future decision-making.

  • Statistical relevance: The data presented is based on a large sample size of 269,756 data drives, ensuring statistical relevance and accuracy.

In 2023, Backblaze monitored 270,222 hard drives used for data storage. Out of these, 4,400 were boot drives and 270,222 were data drives. This report will focus on the data drives and provide an analysis of hard drive failure rates for 2023, comparing them to previous years. It will also present the lifetime failure statistics for all active hard drive models in the data center as of the end of 2023.

Backblaze analyzed 269,756 data drives covering 35 different models for this report. The table below shows the Annualized Failure Rates (AFRs) for each drive model in 2023.

Notable Observations:
– Only one drive model, the 8TB Seagate (model: ST8000NM000A), had zero failures in 2023. This drive model has had zero failures since its deployment in Q3 2022.
– A total of 4,189 drives failed in 2023, resulting in an average replacement rate of one failed drive every two hours and five minutes.
– Six new drive models were added in 2023, while none were retired. This brings the total number of tracked drive models to 35.
– Some drive models reached significant production numbers by the end of 2023, such as the Toshiba 8TB (model HDWF180) and the Seagate 18TB (model ST18000NM000J), both with 60 drives.

Notable Observations:
– Drive models with larger capacities, such as 10TB, 8TB, and 12TB, experienced increasing AFRs in 2023 compared to previous years.
– The AFR for 4TB drives initially rose but has decreased since its peak in 2022.
– Drive models with capacities of 6TB, 14TB, and 16TB maintained relatively stable AFRs throughout the period.

Lifetime Hard Drive Stats
The lifetime AFR for all drives evaluated from April 2013 to Q4 2023 was 1.46%, up from 1.39% in Q4 2022. The table below summarizes the lifetime drive statistics.

Notable Observations:
– The lifetime AFR increased in 2023 due to the quarterly rise in AFRs.
– To ensure statistical relevance, only drive models with two million drive days or more were included in the analysis. This resulted in a list of 23 drive models.

Drive Failure and Drive Migration
Drive failure rates vary depending on the drive model. However, Backblaze migrates drives based on storage server or Backblaze Vault rather than individual drive models. The decision to migrate is influenced by factors such as server age, size, and failure rates.

In conclusion, the analysis of hard drive failure rates in 2023 revealed varying trends among different drive models and capacities. The data presented provides insights for drive migration strategies and future decision-making.


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.

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