Feeds

Consumer disks trump enterprise platters in cloudy reliability study

Spinning results about spinning rust's reliability rates

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.