Contrary to conventional wisdom, you shouldn’t rely on your solid-state drives more than you do with hard-disk drives. A new report by cloud storage company Backblaze shows that SSDs and their flash-based memory are just as likely to fail as mechanical HDDs.
HDDs, what with their moving parts, are typically deemed more prone to failures. But Backblaze, which began switching to SSDs in 2018 to test how they would fare against their traditional HDD setup, found that the annualized failure rate of SSDs, at 1.05 percent, isn’t significantly better than HDDs with its 1.38-percent AFR. These rates were obtained after taking the average age of the drives into account.
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In terms of actual incidences of failures, Backblaze experienced 17 drive failures out of the 1,666 solid-state drives they have deployed as of Q2 2021. In comparison, they suffered 25 HDD failures out of the 1,297 they had as of Q4 2016.
Based on these numbers, failure rate shouldn’t be a factor when considering SSD over HDD. But if speed and size are what matters to you most, then SSD wins without a doubt.