Heat and hard drives: does temperature matter for storage?
Is heat really that bad for hard drives? Storage firm Backblaze says it isn’t.
The cloud storage firm has released another tranche of data about its collection of 34,000 hard drives, previously examining how long hard drives last and whether you should buy enterprise or consumer models.
This time, it’s looked to find out whether the temperature of hard drives matter, as it’s generally assumed heat boosts failure rates.
“Disk drive manufacturers tell Backblaze that in general, it’s a good idea to keep disks cooler so they will last longer,” engineer Brian Beach said in a blog post.
He looked at data across the storage firm’s drives, saying it showed no correlation between temperature and data.
“It turns out that different drive models run at different temperatures, and this can throw off the stats when looking at the entire population,” Beach said. “If in a given ambient air temperature, drive model A runs warmer than drive B, and drive A fails more, that will make it look like there is a correlation when there isn’t.”
Of the 17 models used by BackBlaze, only one showed a statistically significant correlation between temperature and failure rate, a Seagate Barracuda LP 1.5TB model.
Most of the drives had a chart that looked more like this one:
However, temperature still matters – just not as much as many people would assume. “As long as you run drives well within their allowed range of operating temperatures, keeping them cooler doesn’t matter,” Beach said.