Data shows that SSDs may be more reliable than HDDs

The storage service provider BackBlaze often provides reliability reports on some storage products, and the data mainly comes from the storage media purchased for its business needs. Recently, BackBlaze released a new report, which may change the consistent view of some users, that is, SSD has higher reliability and lower failure rate than HDD, at least in the environment where BackBlaze is used.

BackBlaze’s mid-2022 report shows that the failure rate of SSDs used in its data centers has not risen as it enters its fifth year. In contrast to HDD, in the same time period, after entering the fourth year, the failure rate of HDD began to soar greatly. This may be related to the structure of the SSD. Since there are no parts that need to be moved, it is more reliable for long-term use.

Image: Backblaze

BackBlaze said the SSDs and HDDs mentioned in the report are both performing the same functions, including starting storage servers, recording log files, acting as temporary storage for SMART statistics, and more. In other words, SSDs and HDDs perform the same task.

Many would argue that an SSD’s NAND or controller chip is prone to failure, but BackBlaze’s data suggests that concern may be overstated. It is also possible that at some point the SSDs could hit the wall, perhaps when they start to reach their media wearout limits. After a certain period of time, the failure rate has greatly increased, which means that the service life of SSDs will reach the limit, but this situation has not occurred for the time being.

BackBlaze said the results of the investigation confirmed speculation and judgment over the past year. In the future, BackBlaze will continue to observe the performance of SSD, see where the limit of its use is, and try to understand the cause of SSD failure.