Backblaze conducted an extensive study on the reliability of SSDs and HDDs over a period of five years.

HDD used to be the only option when it came to internal storage for PCs and laptops. This changed with the introduction of solid-state drives. While SSDs are a faster storage technology, they still need to be tested.

Backblaze, a cloud storage and backup company, conducted a study to compare traditional hard drives with newer solid-state storage drives within their datacenters. The company has collected data from their datacenter SSDs since 2018 and recently compared the data to HDDs to review the reliability.

Backblaze’s study

Backblaze collected data from over 10,000 storage and boot drives across major organizations and manufacturers. They created comprehensive reports on the rate of failure of each type of device. The results were surprising.

In the first four years of operations, SSDs were more reliable than HDDs. That being said, the failure rate is similar for HDDs and SSDs. The graph shows a small number of failures in the first year, a slight increase in the second year, a decline in failures in the third year, and another spike in the fourth year.

The results change drastically when we reach year five. Year five saw a massive spike in HDD failures increasing from 1.83 percent to 3.55 percent. On the other hand, SSDs saw a steady failure rate of 1 percent.

Unsurprisingly, SSDs consistently outperformed HDDs in terms of speed and reliability. That said, organizations worldwide still use HDDs for specific devices because of their price point. However, with such clear results, it won’t be long until HDDs are deemed obsolete, and SSDs become the main storage option available.