SSDs are apparently more reliable than HDDs according to latest study from Backblaze
HDDs are still the most popular solution when it comes to backing up large amounts of data due to their unbeatable price per TB ratio. However, the traditional mechanical storage devices are apparently not that reliable anymore, since a new study conducted by backup storage company Backblaze over more than a year is showing surprising improvements for SSD durability.
SSDs have no mechanical moving parts, but the first iterations launched in 2009 still had somewhat high failure rates due to the way NAND flash memory chips were produced. This problem appears to have been solved in the meantime, and the NAND-based SSDs now show better overall reliability compared to HDDs. Granted, the Backblaze study is relatively skewed as it shows an average age of 12.66 months for SSDs compared to 49.63 months for HDDs, plus the SSDs analyzed for this particular study have been used only as boot drives, so their workloads clearly differ from the HDDs that have been used as backup drives. Nevertheless, the study revelas that only 2 SSDs failed (0.58%) from among 1,518 recorded units, while the HDD side recorded a 10.56% failure rate (44 units out of the 1,669 recorded). There is also a lifetime graph where the HDDs are doing a bit better with an average failure rate of 6.04%, but still nowhere near the 0.65% rate for SSDs.
The study also reveals the failure rates among different HDD brands. Surprisingly enough, the largest capacity models (16 TB) are the most reliable. There are 0 failures for the Toshiba and WDC 16 TB drives, and only 1 failure for the Seagate 16 TB models. Other models that recorded 0 failures include the Toshiba 4 TB and the Seagate 6 TB ones. On the other end of the spectrum, we see the 8 TB models from HGST with 1,5% failure rate, while the Seagate 10 and 14 TB models have over 2% failure rates.