How often have you experienced hard drive failures? This is one of those moments when while working, suddenly you start hearing some weird clicking sounds coming from the heart of your work station (whether it is Mac or PC).
Before you realize what is actually happening, one of your hard drives simply stops working, loading any data seems impossible, all the information stored in there is inaccessible, or even worse, it is inevitably damaged and lost. All the precious 4K footage you shot, your hard work gone! It is not a pleasant feeling. Still, you do have a chance to recover some of the information, however it’s not so easy to do it on your own. In general, this process is time-consuming and if you decide to search for some professional help you’ll find out that those kind of technical services aren’t cheap. You feel anger and frustration and the only real option you have is your additional back up drive sitting on your desk. You have one back-up at least, right? Maybe a RAID configuration?
Some hard drives simply fail because of worn out parts, others fail prematurely. Whatever the reason might be, we should be prepared for those sour moments.
Here are some of the results of a recent research made by Cloud Backup vendor Backblaze. According to the company, hard drive failure rates for disks of the same size and age can differ by as much as 20x!
Just reading this number, makes me consider investing in a massive RAID for redundancy protection.
Backblaze produced its first set of drive reliability figures at the end of 2013, when it had 27,134 hard drives plugged in. This new set of data, produced at the end of June 2014, tracks how those original hard drives are doing (some of which are now four years old), and the reliability of some newer drives.
The gray bars show the annual failure rates at the end of 2013. The colored bars show the updated annual failure rates as of June 2014. “Annual failure rate” is a slightly odd statistic, but it’s a good way of measuring a large number of drives that come from different manufacturing batches, different vendors, and are of a different age.
It’s clear that there’s a big variation in hard drive reliability — and it’s also clear that Hitachi’s drives are much, much more reliable than anything else in the consumer hard drive market. Overall, no matter which brand you go for, there’s a very good chance that your hard drive will last longer than four years according to Backblaze.
We can’t make any solid conclusions based only on the above data, though. However, we can conclude that as any other piece of equipment, a certain percent of hard drives of all brands do fail. On the other hand, the Solid State Disk technology is growing faster and the SSDs are more reliable solution due to the lack of moving physical parts inside, but there is still plenty of room for enhancements as well.
Whatever type, model or brand of storage you choose, make sure you always double-check your rescue disks and perform regular back-ups of your data. You can find the full report about the research here.
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