toggle

AAPL Stock: 112.76 ( -0.53 )

Printed from http://www.macnn.com

Backblaze: Median lifespan of consumer-grade hard drive is six years

updated 06:58 pm EST, Wed November 13, 2013

Company has evaluated 25,000 drives for up to five years

Online backup provider Backblaze has begun to evaluate drive failure rates with commercial-grade drives. The company maintains 25,000 drives spinning 24 hours a day -- roughly one quarter of Facebook's capacity -- and has noted that 78 percent of the drives they have purchased have lasted longer than four years.

According to a blog post noting the study, "Backblaze has standardized on 'consumer-grade' hard drives. While hard drive companies say these drives are not designed to work in RAID arrays or the 24--7 workload of a data center environment, Backblaze uses software redundancy to protect data." Future work will be done by Backblaze to see if enterprise-class drives are worth the added expense.

The company notes that for the first 18 months of use, one in 20 drives fails per annum. For a period thereafter, the rate falls somewhat, then starts to rise at the three-year mark.

While the report is unable to say what the lifespan of the average drive is, the company believes that "the number that we will be able to compute soon, and the one that is more likely to be useful, is the median lifespan of a new drive. In other words, at what age have half of the drives failed? We are starting to get an idea what the answer will be."

The company has evidence pointing to lifespan of drives. For the first 1.5 years of a drive's use, the company has seen drives fail at 5.1 percent per year. For the next 1.5 years, drives fail less often at about 1.4 percent per year. After three years, failure rates skyrocket to 11.8 percent per year. So, 80 percent of drives in Backblaze's experience, will last four years, given proper thermal management and no other outside problems interfering, such as power fluctuations or mechanical shock.

The company has mathematically extrapolated its graph, and believes that the median lifespan of a drive running 24 hours a day is six years.




by MacNN Staff

toggle

Comments

  1. Loren

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 03-20-01

    Good reason to shut down your external drives after a session-- double the life. And back up your internals!

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook

toggle

Most Popular

Advertisement

Recent Reviews

Blue Yeti Studio

Despite being very familiar with Blue Microphones' lower-end products -- we've long recommended the company's Snowball line of mics ...

ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector

Home theaters are becoming more and more accessible these days, but maybe you've been a bit wary about buying a home projector. And h ...

MSI Geforce GTX 970 100ME

When Nvidia announced a new line of video cards in September 2014, many people thought things would continue to be business as usual i ...

toggle

Most Commented