Data from the Backblaze data farm indicates that under the same conditions and taking into account the longevity of both types of storage, their lifetimes are similar.
In the case of SSD-type storage devices, it is often mentioned that its high reliability and longer service life compared to conventional hard disks. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Backblaze, which provides data storage and backup services, issues disassembled in his analysis.
The theory is clear
The undeniable advantage of SSDs, in addition to a significantly higher transfer rate, should be the fact that they are based on NAND flash chips. Therefore, it does not contain any mechanical parts subject to shock or extreme temperature fluctuations. In theory, they should have the upper hand over traditional hard drives in terms of reliability and durability.
Backblaze operates large data farms, and for several years has used more modern SSD storage in its servers alongside traditional mechanical hard drives. Both types of warehouses operate under the same conditions. Therefore, the company has sufficient data from real practice necessary to compile statistics of particular informational value.
As in the case of hard disks, the company also collects data from various SMART tools for some time to monitor errors. However, it is still in this direction initially, so it does not have all the data needed for further research and statistics.
Finally, the article writer adds that all SSDs that failed so far simply stopped working and could no longer boot. Thus, they showed no serious signs of a possible failure beforehand.
What is SMART?
It is the English acronym for Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology. These are mostly applications that monitor critical disk status indicators, such as temperature, boot time, etc., to prevent their complete failure and data loss. However, even with the use of this monitoring system, sometimes the storage failure cannot be predicted at 100% and the service is terminated abruptly.
Age should be taken into account
According to the first statistics, in which the company collected only raw data, it seems that traditional hard drives pulled out to the shorter end, when the annual error rate was as high as 6.41%. For SSDs, it was only 1.05%. However, the table also shows that the average life and operating time of the HDD were much higher than in the case of the SSD, which could skew the results significantly.
When comparing pears to apples, the results usually match.
The study author took historical data from the fourth quarter of 2016 to match the lifetime and total uptime of conventional hard disks with the current lifespan of current SSDs that are valid as of the second quarter of 2021. Thus, the error rate for mechanical disks has decreased to 1.38% reliability, moved Both types of repositories are about the same level.
After taking into account the lifetime and operating time of both types of repositories, the reliability figures are approximately equal.
Another graph with historical data is also interesting, with the x-axis of mechanical disks starting in 2014. The curve shows that the error rate of conventional hard disk drives jumped between 2017 and 2018 and this trend continued until the end of 2020. This only proves that the more The older the drive, the more likely it is to fail.
As discs age, they are more likely to fail.
SSD data has been available since 2018, and by the end of the first half of 2021, the annual error rate for these repositories had only increased slightly. However, we have to wait for the statistics on the effect of additional aging of SSDs on the error rate in the coming years.
The old truth: it must be supported
Sudden failure and loss of valuable data threatens any storage. Therefore, we always recommend backing up all, or at least the most important, to multiple media, such as external drives, USB devices, home NAS or the cloud. You can automatically copy the contents of the volume to another disk on your computer, if your configuration allows it.
Lukáš Koškár comments: This depends on the usage
Reliability, and therefore often the storage life of an SSD, is primarily affected by the type of NAND flash memory chips used in the given model. They are used to store data themselves and their corruption poses the greatest risk.
In an effort to reduce production costs, and therefore SSD sales prices, manufacturers are constantly using new technologies. These are primarily intended to increase the capacity of memory chips, but often at the expense of longevity.
It is true that the bits in each memory cell cannot be overwritten indefinitely. In other words, all memory chips have a certain life span. The more data you replace, the higher the risk of failure.
In addition to the type of memory, it also depends on the manufacturer, the controller used or other SSD components, but especially the way the storage is used. This does not mean that in the case of cheap SSDs for ordinary users, their failure is a big topic in standard home use. I have already installed many SSDs in computers and so far none of them have done the service. At the same time, many people already had something behind them, while the oldest had lasted for six years without any problem.
However, this does not mean that you will not have a problem with a manufacturing error, or there may not be situations such as a hacker attack or, for example, a sudden surge with serious consequences. Therefore, I always recommend backing up the most important data.
On the contrary, the great advantage of SSDs compared to traditional hard drives remains their faster speed, which owners of old computers will immediately feel. a J So, for me, SSD is the #1 choice In situations where I want to turn a computer that appears to be no longer usable into a useful one.
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