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Backblaze lists most reliable hard drives based on its massive cloud study

Lucas Mearian | Jan. 22, 2014
Overall, Western Digital's drives on average lasted the longest; Seagate's came in last

The second highest in reliability was also a Hitachi drive, the Deskstar 5K3000 (HDS5C3030ALA630); it also had a .09% failure rate with an average lifetime of 1.7 years.

The drive model with the highest failure rate was Seagate's 1.5TB Barracuda Green (ST1500DL003). It averaged only a 0.8-year lifespan, which gave it an annual failure rate of 120%.

Drive survival rate over 36 months of use (source: Backblaze)

Not all Seagate drives performed so poorly.

Backblaze said it has been happy with Seagate's Barracuda LP 1.5TB drives.

"We've been running them for a long time - their average age is pushing 4 years. Their overall failure rate [9.9%] isn't great, but it's not terrible either," the company stated. "The bigger Seagate drives have continued the tradition of the 1.5TB drives: they're solid workhorses, but there is a constant attrition as they wear out."

Western Digital, while performing the best on average, also suffered hits on some of specific drives as well.

"The drives that just don't work in our environment are Western Digital Green 3TB drives and Seagate LP (low power) 2TB drives. Both of these drives start accumulating errors as soon as they are put into production. We think this is related to vibration," Backblaze stated.

The company said it will continue to measure the performance of its drives and release data periodically on those metrics.


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