The figures were for the first quarter of 2016, though Backblaze has been releasing similar statistics since 2013. The 60,000 drives in its storage facility have now been in use for more than a billion hours.
Looking at failure rates for drives of all sizes, Backblaze statistics showed that drives from Hitachi Global Storage Technologies had a failure rate of 1.03% for the year so far. Figures were also provided for 2015 and 2014. Backblaze currently uses 22,731 drives from this manufacturer.
Second in the reliability index was another Japanese manufacturer, Toshiba. In this case, Backblaze uses relatively few drives from this manufacturer, with 238 in service. The failure rate was 3.06% for the first quarter of 2016.
Backblaze said it had not issued statistics for any manufacturer when the number of disks it was using were below 45. Explaining this, the company said: "Why would we have less than 45 drives given we need 45 drives to fill a Storage pod? Here are few of the reasons:
"We once had 45 or more drives, but some failed and we couldn’t get replacements of that model and now we have less than 45.
"They were sent to us as part of our Drive Farming efforts a few years back and we only got a few of a given model. We needed drives and while we liked using the same model, we utilised what we had."
"We built a few Frankenpods that contained drives that were the same size in terabytes but had different models and manufacturers. We kept all the drives in a RAID array the same model, but there could be different models in each of the 3 RAID arrays in a given Frankenpod."
For hardware nerds, there is a lot of information to mull over in the complete report.