As if you need more reasons to backup the data on your business computer system. We actually recommend at least 2 backup methods because based on the following statistics, the failure rates of hard drives is more then you would imagine. Don’t just trust that one external hard drive or USB stick to backup your business PC, allow us to implement a real backup solution for your business.

Popular cloud based backup provider, Backblaze, recently performed a study, using a large amount of raw information captured from consumer grade hard disks they utilise for backup storage in Backblaze datacentres. Hard drive performance and failure data was captured from over 50’000 drives between Q2 of 2013 and Q4 of 2015.

Usually, large cloud based enterprises would be making use of enterprise grade gear, which is rated for thousands of hours on time, and many more read and write operations than a drive in someones home PC is expected to do… But not Backblaze! They firmly believe that there isn’t much of a difference between enterprise grade and consumer grade drives, so their datacentres are decked out in mostly consumer level drives of various capacities and vendors. Analyzing the data Backblaze generated, they came to a conclusion:

Western Digital disks are much more likely to fail than other hard drive manufacturers, at 7% failure rate in their testing body/pool.

This was followed by Seagate, at below 4%, Toshiba at 3.5% roughly, and HGST at just above 1%

To the right is a graphic created by Backblaze, showing the amount of each drive from each manufacturer in their datacentre, which they took measurements from over the time period, as well as a percentage failure rate.

This situation is unique in that it shows solid data for consumer level drives (which is mostly like what is present in YOUR home PC) that wouldn’t be available for collection outside an enterprise scenario. Roughly, it translates to this: 7% of consumer level Western Digital drives (one of the most popular HDD vendors) will fail within 2 and a half years. 7% is a non zero chance that one of the people who has their drive fail, will be you. This also means that 7% of people who specifically use a Western Digital┬ádrive, and don’t run a backup solution, will potentially loose priceless data. Even if you use a different branded drive, there’s still a chance you’ll be unlucky. Is that chance worth taking? We can’t stress enough how important a backup system is.

At Realised Technologies, we utilise StorageCraft and their backup and disaster recovery solution, ShadowProtect, for our clients and their backup needs.

While the difference between consumer and enterprise level drives is a hot topic, at Realised we don’t recommend using anything consumer grade in an enterprise situation. The difference in warranty length, manufacturing quality control, and enterprise level support, is very clear.

For the full breakdown of the data Backblaze found, read here.