The most reliable hard drives in the world

Cloud backup provider Backblaze has released its hard drive reliability statistics for 2020.

The company compiled the report from data on the active hard drives used in its daily operations – including Seagate, Toshiba, and HGST.

Reliability was measured as an annualised failure rate, calculated using the number of drive failures relative to the number of active drive days for each disk.

Backblaze recorded the number of failures for each hard drive from 1 January to 31 December 2020, extrapolating an annualised failure rate based on the number of days each drive was active.

The company tested a total of 162,299 hard throughout 2020, equating to a total of 51,267,791 days worth of hard drive operation across all products.

Backblaze noted that the annualised failure rate for drives with less than 250,000 drive days is not reflective of their performance due to the lack of data.

These drives are included in its report for completeless only.

“The Annualised Failure Rate (AFR) for 2020 dropped below 1% down to 0.93%,” Backblaze said.

“In 2019, it stood at 1.89%. That’s over a 50% drop year over year.”

The company attributed this improvement to the better performance of older drives and the addition of over 30,000 larger drives with better reliability in its environment.

“In other words, whether a drive was old or new, or big or small, they performed well in our environment in 2020,” Backblaze said.

2020 hard drive failure rates

The most reliable hard drives for 2020 are listed below, along with their annualised failure rates calculated from their performance during the quarter.

Model Drives Drive Days Failures Failure Rate
4TB Hard Drives
Toshiba MD04ABA400V 99 36,234 0 0.00%
HGST HMS5C4040ALE640 3,100 1,083,774 8 0.27%
HGST HMS5C4040BLE640 12,744 4,663,049 34 0.27%
Seagate ST4000DM000 18,939 6,983,470 269 1.41%
6TB Hard Drives
Seagate ST6000DX000 886 324,275 2 0.23%
8TB Hard Drives
HGST HUH728080ALE600 1,075 372,000 3 0.29%
Seagate ST8000DM002 9,772 3,584,788 91 0.93%
Seagate ST8000NM0055 14,406 5,286,790 177 1.22%
10TB Hard Drives
Seagate ST10000NM0086 1,201 439,247 16 1.33%
12TB Hard Drives
HGST HUH721212ALE600 2,600 820,272 7 0.31%
HGST HUH721212ALN604 10,830 3,968,475 50 0.46%
Seagate ST12000NM001G 7,130 1,296,149 30 0.84%
Seagate ST12000NM0008 19,287 5,329,149 148 1.01%
Seagate ST12000NM0007 23,036 11,947,303 339 1.04%
HGST HUH721212ALE604 2,506 275,779 9 1.19%
14TB Hard Drives
Seagate ST14000NM0138 360 5,784 0 0.00%
Toshiba MG07ACA14TEY 160 2,562 0 0.00%
WDC WUH721414ALE6L4 6,002 229,861 1 0.16%
Toshiba MG07ACA14TA 21,046 4,103,823 102 0.91%
Seagate ST14000NM001G 5,987 454,090 13 1.04%
16TB Hard Drives
Toshiba MG08ACA16TEY 1,014 33,774 0 0.00%
Seagate ST16000NM001G 59 21,323 1 1.71%
18TB Hard Drives
Seagate ST18000NM000J 60 5,820 2 12.54%

Lifetime failure rates

The table below shows the reliability of hard drive models Backblaze had in service as of 31 December 2020.

The reporting period is from 1 April 2013 through 31 December 2020.

Model Drives Annualized Failure Rate
4TB Hard Drives
HGST HMS5C4040BLE640 12,744 0.42%
HGST HMS5C4040ALE640 3,100 0.49%
Toshiba MD04ABA400V 99 0.67%
Seagate ST4000DM000 18,939 2.52%
6TB Hard Drives
Seagate ST6000DX000 886 0.97%
8TB Hard Drives
HGST HUH728080ALE600 1,075 0.63%
Seagate ST8000DM002 9,772 1.54%
Seagate ST8000NM0055 14,406 1.22%
10TB Hard Drives
Seagate ST10000NM0086 1,201 0.88%
12TB Hard Drives
HGST HUH721212ALE600 2,600 0.38%
HGST HUH721212ALN604 10,830 0.43%
Seagate ST12000NM001G 7,130 0.84%
Seagate ST12000NM0008 19,287 1.02%
HGST HUH721212ALE604 2,506 1.19%
Seagate ST12000NM0007 23,036 2.01%
14TB Hard Drives
Seagate ST14000NM0138 360 0.00%
Toshiba MG07ACA14TEY 160 0.00%
WDC WUH721414ALE6L4 6,002 0.16%
Toshiba MG07ACA14TA 21,046 0.90%
Seagate ST14000NM001G 5,987 1.04%
16TB Hard Drives
Seagate ST16000NM001G 59 1.71%
18TB Hard Drives
Seagate ST18000NM000J 60 12.54%

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The most reliable hard drives in the world