Hard Drives and Digital Photography Workflow
Hard Drives and Digital Photography Workflow go hand in hand. Over a year ago I became aware of a company called BackBlaze which is a cloud based backup service I’ve been using ever since. The most amazing thing about this company is how inexpensive it is. I’m getting to the Drive story but a little history is needed for perspective.
BackBlaze will back up an entire computer AND any attached hard drives for as little as $5 a month. In my case, the attached hard drives include a monster 8 Bay Drobo that has over 24TB of data on it. The one major downside to backing up this much data is the Internet speed you may or may not have. My backups took well over a year but it backs it up in the background, so you never even know it’s even taking place. The service itself is impressive, especially for the price. Having an offsite backup of my precious photos is even more impressive.
Ok, so that’s the service that leads me to the information BackBlaze recently shared with their users regarding which hard drives are most likely to fail. I’ve always been a big fan of Seagate drives for no other reason than I’ve had mostly positive experiences with them. I’ve used a few Western Digital drives and I must admit I’ve had fewer issues with WD, but then I haven’t used as many of their drives. So overall, I’ve always thought Seagate was the way to go. Until I saw this report from BackBlaze.
BackBlaze recently updated their Hard Drive Reliability Report for 2014. The following is exact text taken from the BlackBlaze Blog report:
Hard Drive Reliability Update – Sept 2014
Brian Beach September 23, 2014
At Backblaze we now have 34,881 drives and store over 100 petabytes of data. We continually track how our disk drives are doing, which ones are reliable, and which ones need to be replaced.
I did a blog post back in January, called “What Hard Drive Should I Buy?” It covered the reliability of each of the drive models that we use. This month I’m updating those numbers and sharing some surprising new findings.
They are using nearly 35,000 hard drives! That is a huge number and a spectacular way to find out which ones are good and which are not so great. The graph below spells it out pretty well. Seagates are bad, Western Digital’s are much better and Hitachi are without a doubt THE BEST.
Pretty simple, straightforward information. From now on I’m buying Hitachi drives for my Drobos. I’m just hopeful that Western Digital, the fairly new owners of Hitachi, don’t take the Hitachi drives the way of their own Western Digital drives. Admittedly, the numbers between Hitachi and Western Digital are not nearly as negative as Hitachi and Seagate, but when it comes to protecting my life’s photographic work, I simply want the best I can get.