Tuesday January 31, 2017

8TB, HGST Disks Show Top Reliability, Racking Up 45 Years Without Failure

Backblaze is back with its hard drive findings for 2016, and Ars’ analysis points out the impressive performance of certain Toshiba and HGST disks, which made it through a year without failure. One Seagate drive also managed that honor, although it remains to be seen just how reliable it really is, as it was introduced only fairly recently. Analysis of that model should be pretty interesting because it is an enterprise driveآ—the results may show whether hard drives meant for professional settings are truly worth the additional cost.

News Image

The standout finding: three 45-disk pods using 4TB Toshiba disks, and one 45-disk pod using 8TB HGST disks, went a full year without a single spindle failing. These are, respectively, more than 145 and 45 years of aggregate usage without a fault. The Toshiba result makes for a nice comparison against the drive's spec sheet. Toshiba rates that model as having a 1-million-hour mean time to failure (MTTF). Mean time to failure (or mean time between failures, MTBFآ—the two measures are functionally identical for disks, with vendors using both) is an aggregate property: given a large number of disks, Toshiba says that you can expect to see one disk failure for every million hours of aggregated usage. Over 2016, those disks accumulated 1.2 million hours of usage without failing, healthily surpassing their specification.