New findings from cloud storage and backup company back blaze has shed light on the long-term reliability of SSDs versus HDDswhen implemented as boot disks.
The second edition of the Backblaze Drive stats report (opens in new tab)based on the storage hardware deployed in the company’s data centers, shows that the annual failure rate (AFR) of HDD boot drives is approximately twice that of SSD equivalents.
The longevity of SSDs is especially accentuated after the fifth year of use, when 3.55% of hard drives fail, compared to just 0.92% of SSDs.
SSD vs HDD
While the data collected by Backblaze is representative of performance in only one environment and cannot be used as a marker for the reliability of SSDs and hard drives outside the context of a boot drive, the company believes it is sufficient to draw clear conclusions. over the lifetime of both types of storage devices.
“At this point, we can reasonably claim that SSDs are more reliable than HDDs, at least when used as boot drives in our environment. This backs up our readers’ anecdotal stories and educated guesses over the past year or so,” Backblaze wrote.
However, the company also admits that SSD failure rates are likely to increase dramatically after the fifth year of use, following a similar pattern to hard drives. For context, by age eight, HDD boot drives have an AFR of 6.41%.
“It is very certain that the failure rate of SSDs will eventually increase,” the company said. “It’s also possible that the SSDs will hit the wall at some point, perhaps when they start to reach their media wear limits.”
With this in mind, the company, which first widely implemented SSD boot drives in 2018, will be watching closely for signs of a dip in AFR, which will likely be reflected in next year’s report.
The decreasing cost per capacity of SSDs, coupled with the performance advantage from a speed and reliability perspective, means there are few reasons to opt for a hard drive – especially for use as a boot drive.
For organizations considering making the switch themselves, Backblaze’s new numbers may be just enough to tip the scales.