Consumer disks trump enterprise platters in cloudy reliability study

Spinning results about spinning rust's reliability rates


The chaps at Backblaze have cracked open a spreadsheet and fed it some log files again, this time coming up with the assertion that contrary to expectations hard disks designated as destined for “enterprise” use don't always outlast cheaper kit directed towards everyday punters.

A recap for those who aren't familiar with Backblaze: it's a cloud backup outfit that rolls its own arrays and in 2011 roamed Silicon Valley buying consumer-grade external disks and “shucking” them to cope with demand after the Thai floods dried up world disk drive production. The company also recently released a 25,000-drive study on the working life of disk drives in its farms.

The company has now extended the latter analysis by comparing the longevity of enterprise drives to others. Here's the conclusion:

Enterprise Drives Consumer Drives
Drive-Years of Service 368 14719
Number of Failures 17 613
Annual Failure Rate 4.6% 4.2%

Looks bad for enterprise drives, right? Not entirely. Backblaze admits it doesn't have any enterprise-class disks that are more than two years old. On top of the small sample size for enterprise disks – 368 – there's every chance the results include an anomaly or three. The company also admits that its enterprise-class drives may be used more roughly than the consumer-grade drives it puts to work for customers.

The study also admits that it doesn't cover total cost of ownership, noting that enterprise-class drives offer longer warranties. It can therefore be cheaper, the study concludes, to buy consumer drives. Whether it is more cost effective for heavy disk users to do so is left to readers' own spreadsheets to determine. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Zuckerberg sued for alleged role in Cambridge Analytica data-slurp scandal
    I can prove CEO was 'personally involved in Facebook’s failure to protect privacy', DC AG insists

    Cambridge Analytica is back to haunt Mark Zuckerberg: Washington DC's Attorney General filed a lawsuit today directly accusing the Meta CEO of personal involvement in the abuses that led to the data-slurping scandal. 

    DC AG Karl Racine filed [PDF] the civil suit on Monday morning, saying his office's investigations found ample evidence Zuck could be held responsible for that 2018 cluster-fsck. For those who've put it out of mind, UK-based Cambridge Analytica harvested tens of millions of people's info via a third-party Facebook app, revealing a – at best – somewhat slipshod handling of netizens' privacy by the US tech giant.

    That year, Racine sued Facebook, claiming the social network was well aware of the analytics firm's antics yet failed to do anything meaningful until the data harvesting was covered by mainstream media. Facebook repeatedly stymied document production attempts, Racine claimed, and the paperwork it eventually handed over painted a trail he said led directly to Zuck. 

    Continue reading
  • Florida's content-moderation law kept on ice, likely unconstitutional, court says
    So cool you're into free speech because that includes taking down misinformation

    While the US Supreme Court considers an emergency petition to reinstate a preliminary injunction against Texas' social media law HB 20, the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday partially upheld a similar injunction against Florida's social media law, SB 7072.

    Both Florida and Texas last year passed laws that impose content moderation restrictions, editorial disclosure obligations, and user-data access requirements on large online social networks. The Republican governors of both states justified the laws by claiming that social media sites have been trying to censor conservative voices, an allegation that has not been supported by evidence.

    Multiple studies addressing this issue say right-wing folk aren't being censored. They have found that social media sites try to take down or block misinformation, which researchers say is more common from right-leaning sources.

    Continue reading
  • US-APAC trade deal leaves out Taiwan, military defense not ruled out
    All fun and games until the chip factories are in the crosshairs

    US President Joe Biden has heralded an Indo-Pacific trade deal signed by several nations that do not include Taiwan. At the same time, Biden warned China that America would help defend Taiwan from attack; it is home to a critical slice of the global chip industry, after all. 

    The agreement, known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), is still in its infancy, with today's announcement enabling the United States and the other 12 participating countries to begin negotiating "rules of the road that ensure [US businesses] can compete in the Indo-Pacific," the White House said. 

    Along with America, other IPEF signatories are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Combined, the White House said, the 13 countries participating in the IPEF make up 40 percent of the global economy. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022