BackBlaze crowdsources HDD performance work

Storage provider puts 41,000 HDDs' performance stats online for you

6 February 2015 by Nick Booth -  -

BackBlaze crowdsources HDD performance work
A BackBlaze pod

Cloud data backup provider Backblaze has put its infrastructure up for open scrutiny in a bid to outsource a study on its performance.

BackBlaze offers online backup services from a data center where racks of its own custom-built storage "pods" are crammed with 41,000 consumer-grade hard drives. It says the set up is more cost-effective than enterprise grade storage hardware, and now it is is publishing three years of raw data about the reliability of its hard disk drives (HDDs), for analysis, by anyone. The logic is that patterns in the information- which relates to everything from failure rates to lifespans – will help the company to make more informed decisions in its future hardware strategy.

It's yours to examine
"You may download and use this data for free for your own purpose,” says an explanatory note on BackBlaze’s web site. “We ask three things. Cite Backblaze as the source if you use the data, accept that you are solely responsible for how you use the data and do not sell this data to anyone.”

Information on drive statistics is contained in two files, one containing the 2013 data and one containing the 2014 data. The company plans to release 2015 results when they're available.

The service provider uses consumer-class HDDs to keep costs down but needs better information about reliability in order to maximize the advantage over using more expensive enterprise-class drives.