April 23, 2024

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New data tracks failure rates of 13 SSD models, going back 4 years – Ars Technica

New data tracks failure rates of 13 SSD models, going back 4 years – Ars Technica

Backblaze, a cloud backup storage company based in San Mateo, California, shared data Thursday that gave us unique insight into the reliability of SSDs over up to four years of use. Looking at the 2,906 SSDs in its possession, the company tracked failure rates of mostly SSD-class, which it began using as boot drives at the start of the fourth quarter of 2018.

Backblaze has long shared data about the reliability of hard disk drives (HDDs), but this latest report offers a new perspective on the fastest, most expensive hard drives. As detailed by Backblaze blog postThe company uses solid-state drives (SSDs) to boot storage servers, as well as read, write, and delete log files and temporary files created by said storage servers. Backblaze said all of the SSDs analyzed had “similar” workloads.

Before we get into Backblaze’s first table, which depicts annual failure rates (AFRs) for 13 different SSD models, it’s important to note the limited sample size of 2,906 drives and the different number of drives for each model. Some drives saw more active use than others, with active days ranging from 104 up to 724,240. So while these aren’t apples-to-apples comparisons of SSD models, the table provides an overview of SSD reliability that the average person can’t replicate on their own.

The Backblaze blog provides several tables depicting SSD failure rates, but this one looks at AFRs for the entire time Backblaze has used SSDs. The company started using SSDs in 2018 but has added most of the drives in the table below within the past three years.

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The highest AFR (7.31 percent) comes from the 2TB Seagate drive, but that drive, too, has only been in operation for 4,999 days. When looking at drives with at least 100,000 active days, the highest AFR comes from the only critical drive. But, again, all of these drives have different drive counts and days of use.

The Backblaze blog also highlighted the large schedule confidence intervals resulting from the limited drive days of SSDs.

“As we collect more data, confidence intervals should become more accurate,” the blog said.

Backblaze said it prefers to analyze models with a confidence interval of 1 percent or less, which leaves us with two consumer-grade Seagate drivers, the ZA250CM10003 with a 0.66 percent AFR and the ZA250CM10002 with a 0.96 percent AFR. Dell’s drive data (without failures) also meets Backblaze’s confidence interval criteria, but the company says this is one of the few enterprise drives in its data lineup, and therefore difficult for consumers to get hold of. The Dell VD Enhanced Boot Storage solution is an M.2 PCIe card-mounted drive for server deployments.

As you can see above, the drive with the highest AFR in 2022 was the 250GB Seagate ZA250CM10002 at 1.98 percent. This SSD model had one of the biggest drives of the day, and with 554 drives counting, it’s the second most abundant SSD in Backblaze’s inventory.

Seven SSDs in the table above experienced no failures in 2022. Backblaze notes, though, that six of those had only had 10,000 drive days, so “there isn’t enough data to make reliable predictions about failure rates.” These drive models.”

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Besides Dell, which consumers will struggle to find, Seagate’s BarraCuda 120 SSD ZA250CM10003, BarraCuda SSD ZA250CM10002, and Crucial’s CT250MX500SSD1 are the most useful, since they boast no less than 100,000 active days. Among those drives, the Seagate ZA250CM10003 showed the lowest AFR, 0.73 percent.

And taking a step back, Backblaze also shared 2020, 2021, and 2022 data for its SSDs, including four models Backblaze added last year.

You may notice a higher AFR from the CT250MX500SSD1’s 250GB drive, but note that Backblaze only added the drive in 2021, and it “recovered well in 2022 after experiencing an early failure in 2021,” according to Backblaze, which expects the This trend to complete. The critical early failures of SSDs coincide with the bathtub curve, which predicts hardware failure early in the launch cycle before decreasing to a steady rate and then increasing with product life.

Backblaze also highlighted the different AFRs of the 250GB Seagate ZA250CM10003 and 250GB Seagate ZA250CM10002.

The Seagate drive (Model: ZA250CM10003) has achieved less than 1% AFR over the three years. The Seagate drive (Model: ZA250CM10002) AFR in 2022 has fallen to nearly 2%. The ZA250CM10003 is the latest of two By about a year. There’s little difference otherwise except that the ZA250CM10003 uses less idle power, 116 megawatts versus 185 megawatts for the ZA250CM10002. It’ll be interesting to see how the smaller model fares over the next year, the blog said.

Backblaze previously showed the reliability of SSDs across hard drives over a five-year period, but this more recent data gives us a breakdown of each AFR model of SSD in its arsenal over a slightly longer period of time. The longer Backblaze has owned these SSDs and put them through their paces, the more insight it will provide about SSD reliability.

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The full Backblaze dataset is available in a file Hard disk test data page.