Backblaze releases hard drive reliability data

February 5, 2015 // 12:31 p.m.

Tags: #backblaze #data #hard-drives #reliability #report #smart #storage

Backup giant Backblaze has released complete data for its collection of 41,000 hard drives for the first time, allowing users to draw their own conclusions about the reliability of particular models and brands.

Backblaze has made a name for itself offering high-capacity backup storage in the cloud, and to keep its prices down uses consumer-grade rather than enterprise-targeted hardware. It runs a collection of tens of thousands of hard drives, and has in the past released limited reliability reports from its internal monitoring data. Now, the company is making the complete data set available for the first time - giving users a powerful insight into just how well particular models and brands hold up under heavy usage.

'To the best of our knowledge this is the largest data set on disk drive performance ever to be made available publicly,' wrote Backblaze's Brian Beach in the announcement. 'There are lots of smart people out there who like working with data, and you may be one of them. Now it’s your turn to pore over the data and find hidden treasures of insight. All we ask is that if you find something interesting, that you post it publicly for the benefit of the computing community as a whole.'

The data files released contain statistics from more than 41,000 individual hard drives, collected over 2013 and 2014. Data collected includes the serial number, model and capacity of the drive, an indication of whether the drive died the following day, and 80 columns of Self-Monitoring And Reporting Technology (SMART) data from each drive. The data is freely downloadable, under a licence which requires Backblaze to be credited as the source and prevents reselling.

The data files can be downloaded from the company's official website, which also contains advice on how to read the data and how to reproduce its 2014 drive survey report.
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