Your new HDD purchases should run longer and faster - for now

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Aleksandr Grechanyuk)

Popular cloud storage company Backblaze, which also tasks itself with monitoring the reliability of its HDDs and SSDs, has announced its Q3 2023 figures, and we’re pleased to see the results.

The analytical data comes from precisely 259,084 HDDs used for storing data, with hundreds more being used in the business for other purposes, including acting as boot drives.

Compared with the three months leading up to Q3, Q3 itself saw a significant drop in the AFR across all hard drives, down to 1.47% from 2.28%. In fact, HDD AFRs are at their lowest all year.

HDDs continue to prove reliable options for the cost-conscious

Hard disk drives are typically a lot cheaper than their SSD counterparts, which promise faster performance and even lower AFRs.

With HDDs spanning four manufacturers – HGST, Seagate, Toshiba, and WDC – the report highlights the high quality of drive regardless of brand, with at least one model from all four companies having zero failures in the most recent three-month period. 

However, of the six models that had no failures, only one met the company’s 50,000-drive-day minimum requirement: the Seagate ST6000DX000 6TB drives, of which Backblaze runs 883.

The company’s newest deployment, the WDC WUH722222ALE6L4 22TB drives, also saw no failures. However, the 1,204 drives were only installed on September 29, leaving them with only a single day of data in the case of this report.

The report also offers a glimpse of hope for data center owners moving forward. After the hottest summer on Earth on record, only two of the 354 drives that exceeded their maximum operating temperature recommendations failed. Both drives were Seagate ST4000DM000 4TB models, with a maximum operating temperature rating of 60°C.

With that in mind, the firm has now committed to separating those drives, marking the birth of a new ‘Hot Drives’ category to monitor those that have exceeded their optimal conditions.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!