Dispelling Backblaze's HDD Reliability Myth - The Real Story Covered - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

What? I am talking about scientific theory in general. I don't think that you really grasp it to be honest which shows in many of your posts, this one included, which really leads to a lot of misinformation.

Perhaps you are right because I don't see how "scientific theory" plays a role in this thread. Unless you can apply it appropriately and discuss then realistically it's just a facade. That's what I am calling BS on. Go ahead and post a post based on scientific theory, I have not seen you do it yet. So why are we talking about this ? or conduct your own study with a strong control group and follow the scientific method and see what happens and then we can give credit to where credit is due. Until then I don't understand where that plays a role with what we are talking about.

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post #62 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

I was just curious if I should reply and delete and reply and delete and reply and delete every time I respond to you.

You know how I know Mfusick just replied in a thread? 3 rapid-fire emial notifications. It's like clockwork.

+1

+1

+1

^ Rapid fire. Same here. He's heavy on the edit button too so his posts change.


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post #63 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 02:09 PM
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Sorry assassin, I was actually going to leave that post up, but since he deleted the one I was responding to, I figured there wasn't a point in leaving it up.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #64 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Perhaps you are right because I don't see how "scientific theory" plays a role in this thread. Unless you can apply it appropriately and discuss then realistically it's just a facade. That's what I am calling BS on. Go ahead and post a post based on scientific theory, I have not seen you do it yet. So why are we talking about this ? or conduct your own study with a strong control group and follow the scientific method and see what happens and then we can give credit to where credit is due. Until then I don't understand where that plays a role with what we are talking about.

What? You need to go back and read your debunking, then validating, then re-debunking, then re-validating, then re-re-debunking of the BackBlaze article. The whole thing seems to just depend on what point you are trying to make at that particular hour.
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post #65 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry assassin, I was actually going to leave that post up, but since he deleted the one I was responding to, I figured there wasn't a point in leaving it up.

I saw you deleted yours so I deleted mine tongue.gif
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

I was just curious if I should reply and delete and reply and delete and reply and delete every time I respond to you.

You know how I know Mfusick just replied in a thread? 3 rapid-fire emial notifications. It's like clockwork.

Lol. You mean like I just did ? Haha. No I do not get the email notifications. I can't seem to make them work and I think I hang out here too much so my inbox would be a huge mess.

I'd suggest turning that feature off. I think it turns off automatically once you hit 10,000 posts (it did for me a while ago)

I do get that little pop up (1 new post message) warning though. But no emails. If I reply then you reply I like to crush my replies into one sometimes (delete and copy paste edit) no need for me to post twice in a row.

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post #66 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Lol. You mean like I just did ? Haha. No I do not get the email notifications. I can't seem to make them work and I think I hang out here too much so my inbox would be a huge mess.

Well, I do.
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I'd suggest turning that feature off. I think it turns off automatically once you hit 10,000 posts (it did for me a while ago)

And I quite like the feature when people reply in a reasonable fashion.
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I do get that little pop up (1 new post message) warning though. But no emails. If I reply then you reply I like to crush my replies into one sometimes (delete and copy paste edit) no need for me to post twice in a row.

That's weird because I like to consolidate posts too, but somehow I manage to do it without deleting my post multiple times. Strange.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #67 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

What? You need to go back and read your debunking, then validating, then re-debunking, then re-validating, then re-re-debunking of the BackBlaze article. The whole thing seems to just depend on what point you are trying to make at that particular hour.

I'm not trying to make any points.

When I replied to Andy Steb I agreed with him that it was not enough to influence my purchase decisions, nor should it be. (specifically to make me stop buying the Seagate HDD's I meant)

But I have also expressed that it has renewed a long time preference for Hitachi too. I have always favored Hitachi and said many times for many years here some of my best and favorite hard drives were Hitachi but I wish they were cheaper most of the time. It's not because of the backblaze article, but certainly that helped renew and reinforce what I already had about them.

I still don't understand what consequence this is to you. What do you care if I like both Seagate and Hitachi ? Is there some universal truth I need to follow about this ?

I must say I chuckled when not once, not twice, but three times you tried to suggest that the WD if charted out long term might be as reliable as Hitachi. That's hilarious to me because it's like you completely just ignore the possibility of burst deaths at say 15 months or 30 months. In your mind that's impossible in a WD product right ? Clearly shows your favoritism of them. Nothing wrong with that really, I just think if you are transparent about it then it actually gives you more validity. Ironically when I see through and your real motivation and personal bias I give it less validity than if you just voiced a personal opinion they are good and you like them.
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Well, I do.

Mine does not work. Trust me. I just doesn't. I'll post up screen shot of my user control panel and I would love to make it work but it's been broken for a long time. I've messed with the settings a bunch of times. I think if you post over a certain amount it disables or something. I'm not sure other than mine does not work.

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post #68 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

I'm not trying to make any points.

When I replied to Andy Steb I agreed with him that it was not enough to influence my purchase decisions, nor should it be. (specifically to make me stop buying the Seagate HDD's I meant)

But I have also expressed that it has renewed a long time preference for Hitachi too. I have always favored Hitachi and said many times for many years here some of my best and favorite hard drives were Hitachi but I wish they were cheaper most of the time. It's not because of the backblaze article, but certainly that helped renew and reinforce what I already had about them.

I still don't understand what consequence this is to you. What do you care if I like both Seagate and Hitachi ? Is there some universal truth I need to follow about this ?

I must say I chuckled when not once, not twice, but three times you tried to suggest that the WD if charted out long term might be as reliable as Hitachi. That's hilarious to me because it's like you completely just ignore the possibility of burst deaths at say 15 months or 30 months. In your mind that's impossible in a WD product right ? Clearly shows your favoritism of them. Nothing wrong with that really, I just think if you are transparent about it then it actually gives you more validity. Ironically when I see through it I give it less validity.

You realize the fallacy of that statement, correct? The fallacy is that the very same thing could happen to the Hitachi or any of them for that matter.

I have no favorites. I don't care. I have used all the drives listed. I simply like accurate statements based on facts.


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post #69 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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You realize the fallacy of that statement, correct? The fallacy is that the very same thing could happen to the Hitachi or any of them for that matter.

I have no favorites. I don't care. I have used all the drives listed. I simply like accurate statements based on facts.

Well backblaze did actually test 12,000+ Hitachi drives and all the models they tested had under 2% failure rate with average age of them as long as 2 years.

Suggesting that from only 346 WD RED tested so far with double the failure rate of the Hitachi might actually end up as good because the WD RED would simply stop failing after the initial die off they have is clearly wishful thinking. The average age was only .5 years.

I'm not saying this might be possible or even probable, but your quick reach for it just shows where your thinking is about the WD. In one side of your mouth you are quick to smear Seagate and from the other side your mouth you are quick to paint the WD in the most positive light possible. It's ok... I understand. I'd probably do the same thing (but opposite) just be transparent about it and why. I think if you stand up with sincerity and said something like:

"I like the WD 5400RPM drives because I have used a lot of them and had great luck; they are plenty fast for most basic HTPC applications and they run cool and quiet and don't use too much energy either"

That ^ just has ten times the amount of weight behind it IMO ^

You know I don't agree with that statement in quotes personally, (opposite in fact) but that still would not stop me from respecting you if you stood up and said that with sincerity. It's more effective than trying to play pretend with the scientific method, or make some crazy claim that the WD RED would catch the Hitachi in the reliability percent. If that happens great. Until then no reason to suggest it just because you want it to be true. The Seagate suffered from burst deaths, so why would the WD not ? You need the data to make that claim is my point. Otherwise just be honest about your personal opinion and don't misrepresent it.

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post #70 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 02:42 PM
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I believe that is precisely what I did. I even offered the caveat IF they followed it out a few more years I wonder what the trend would be.

You're really grasping here.


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post #71 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 02:51 PM
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Well backblaze did actually test 12,000+ Hitachi drives and all 4 of the models they tested had under 2% failure rate with average age of them as long as 2 years.

All 4 of the Hitachi models tested.

2 of those models were 5400rpm drives. Safe to assume you have no interest in the results of those drives, especially when making purchasing recommendations? I mean, I don't want to put words in your mouth, but you've been quite clear on your feelings about those drives.

That leaves us with 4716x 2TB previous gen, drives that were 2.9 years old and did pretty well in the testing. (1.1% AFR)
and 1027x 3TB previous gen drives that were 2.1 years old and also did pretty well in the testing. (0.9% AFR)

Just wanted to be clear about what drives we're talking about.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #72 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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All 4 of the Hitachi models tested.

2 of those models were 5400rpm drives. Safe to assume you have no interest in the results of those drives, especially when making purchasing recommendations? I mean, I don't want to put words in your mouth, but you've been quite clear on your feelings about those drives.

That leaves us with 4716x 2TB previous gen, drives that were 2.9 years old and did pretty well in the testing. (1.1% AFR)
and 1027x 3TB previous gen drives that were 2.1 years old and also did pretty well in the testing. (0.9% AFR)

Just wanted to be clear about what drives we're talking about.

We agree on this. My preference for faster than 5400rpm drives does not over rule Hitachi's durability here. Both 5400rpm and 7200rpm were exceptional.

IF I was to decide I wanted a 5400rpm I would think these would be on the list above many others.

The fact Hitachi was great at both was the consistency I was expressing. (a good thing)
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post #73 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 03:14 PM
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You're like the poster child for confirmation bias.
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RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #74 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

We agree on this. My preference for faster than 5400rpm drives does not over rule Hitachi's durability here. Both 5400rpm and 7200rpm were exceptional.

IF I was to decide I wanted a 5400rpm I would think these would be on the list above many others.

The fact Hitachi was great at both was the consistency I was expressing. (a good thing)

So wait. Now all 5400rpm drives DON'T all suck based a study that you don't like (or do you like it? I am confused) *and* all of sudden "older" drives are also in your "like" list whereas before you hated anything that wasn't "modern" with the right amount of platters, current tech, etc?

Color me confused.


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post #75 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 03:29 PM
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The only thing I said that you seem to understand well is that I dislike WD 5400rpm drives. The rest of this stuff I think you get confused and you hang on every word looking for an area of contention. Like I expressed earlier (I think I deleted it actually) I don't understand why you care so much. I'm really just some idiot on the internet giving opinion on a hard drive. Doesn't this seem kind of stupid to you that you get so personally invested in this ? You must really love WD RED and GREEN drives if you worry about me influencing other peoples opinions on them so much. I can't for the life of me understand any other reason why your personal motivation on these issues is so high. 99% of the people would have just ignored me and moved on if they don't agree. I think you actually have a stronger brand preference for WD RED and GREEN than I do a dislike for them. That must mean you really, really like them. It's the only reasonable explanation I can come up with that we have the same battle over and over again.

I know I shouldn't wade into this but I can't help wondering: as you're writing all this how does it not occur to you to ask yourself the same question, why do you care so much? Look, I'm going to take on faith that you know a lot more about hard drives than I do. I'm just a junior member here and not very techy at that. And like a lot of junior members and lurkers here, I find this forum incredibly valuable. Indeed, getting into the HTPC game and building my own server is something that would have never even occured to me without it. So I rely on this forum for good information just like I know a lot of others here do too. And with that in mind, I'd like to say this about your opinion of WD Reds and Greens. You know the line in Amadeus when the emporer tells Mozart, "you are passionate, but you do not persuade"? You do not persuade, sir. All I get from your posts on this subject is that you decided some time ago that these particular WD drives "suck" and that from there you will twist and promote every piece of information and non-information available as validation of that bias, with the inevitable fallback when all else fails that it's just your opinion. Sorry if that loses some of the nuance but that really is it in a nutshell. And I don't see others here who challenge you on that being particularly personal about it. Sure they can be quite blunt when they think your arguments are inconsistent, illogical, or just plain wrong. But it's a public forum. If you're going to be passionate enough to state your opinion on this topic over and over and over again then why would you expect that someone who disagrees with you and thinks you are giving out bad information should just give up and give you a pass on it?

Seems to me that you're the one in control here. This is your thread and from what I've seen you're the one who usually brings this topic up again once the previous thread has petered out. So if you feel you're being set upon then who do you keep doing it? Honestly I don't think I could make myself care this much about running down WD's products if their CEO came over to my house and shat in my living room.
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post #76 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 04:06 PM
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I know I shouldn't wade into this but I can't help wondering: as you're writing all this how does it not occur to you to ask yourself the same question, why do you care so much? Look, I'm going to take on faith that you know a lot more about hard drives than I do. I'm just a junior member here and not very techy at that. And like a lot of junior members and lurkers here, I find this forum incredibly valuable. Indeed, getting into the HTPC game and building my own server is something that would have never even occured to me without it. So I rely on this forum for good information just like I know a lot of others here do too. And with that in mind, I'd like to say this about your opinion of WD Reds and Greens. You know the line in Amadeus when the emporer tells Mozart, "you are passionate, but you do not persuade"? You do not persuade, sir. All I get from your posts on this subject is that you decided some time ago that these particular WD drives "suck" and that from there you will twist and promote every piece of information and non-information available as validation of that bias, with the inevitable fallback when all else fails that it's just your opinion. Sorry if that loses some of the nuance but that really is it in a nutshell. And I don't see others here who challenge you on that being particularly personal about it. Sure they can be quite blunt when they think your arguments are inconsistent, illogical, or just plain wrong. But it's a public forum. If you're going to be passionate enough to state your opinion on this topic over and over and over again then why would you expect that someone who disagrees with you and thinks you are giving out bad information should just give up and give you a pass on it?

Seems to me that you're the one in control here. This is your thread and from what I've seen you're the one who usually brings this topic up again once the previous thread has petered out. So if you feel you're being set upon then who do you keep doing it? Honestly I don't think I could make myself care this much about running down WD's products if their CEO came over to my house and shat in my living room.

I expressed roughly the same sentiments to Mike earlier, privately. I guess he thought I was alone in my views. Now, I'm clearly not.
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post #77 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 04:15 PM
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You're like the poster child for confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias scoffirmation bias. tongue.gif

Personally, I've always wanted to see the poster child for post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. We need a forum poster to post a poster of post hoc poster children. wink.gif
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post #78 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 05:16 PM
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Confirmation bias scoffirmation bias. tongue.gif

Personally, I've always wanted to see the poster child for post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. We need a forum poster to post a poster of post hoc poster children. wink.gif

I really want to post the "Trace buster buster" clip from The Big Hit right now, but unfortunately it contains entirely too much NSFW language. Google it for a laugh if you're so inclined.

That being said, my favorite fallacy I've encountered was the opposite of a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy (propter hoc ergo post hoc?) Where some "study" noticed a correlation between children who received corporal punishment, and children with behavior problems. And naturally they came to the conclusion, that spanking your kid makes him behave badly. lolwut?

Sadly, I'm unable to post a poster of any of the posters here that are poster children for post hoc ergo porpter hoc fallacy. All I can give you is this:




/credit to farker idsfa
//slashies!
///click image for more fallacy goodness
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post #79 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 07:24 PM
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I really want to post the "Trace buster buster" clip from The Big Hit right now, but unfortunately it contains entirely too much NSFW language. Google it for a laugh if you're so inclined.

That being said, my favorite fallacy I've encountered was the opposite of a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy (propter hoc ergo post hoc?) Where some "study" noticed a correlation between children who received corporal punishment, and children with behavior problems. And naturally they came to the conclusion, that spanking your kid makes him behave badly. lolwut?

Sadly, I'm unable to post a poster of any of the posters here that are poster children for post hoc ergo porpter hoc fallacy. All I can give you is this:




/credit to farker idsfa
//slashies!
///click image for more fallacy goodness

Hadn't seen that clip before. Entertaining.


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post #80 of 129 Old 02-06-2014, 08:14 PM
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No doubt the Hitachi are impressive. Very impressive. The results of this study would lead my to purchase one of those models if they were available for a reasonable price
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It's interesting to see the data and results but it's not very reliable or applicable in a purchase decision. I like to look at the data, but I don't take it too seriously.

How can people believe any of your advice?
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post #81 of 129 Old 02-07-2014, 03:01 AM
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Honestly I don't think I could make myself care this much about running down WD's products if their CEO came over to my house and shat in my living room.

Good point. And nice visual.


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post #82 of 129 Old 02-08-2014, 10:52 AM
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I've spent roughly the last hour reading more on these studies (there are a ton of articles out there that reference the original for those interested). I thought this was extremely interesting which counters Tweaktown's critcism of the original article.

http://www.zdnet.com/trust-backblazes-drive-reliability-data-7000025575/

bbafragedata-620x444.png?hash=AwWwZmOuAT&upscale=1

Their summary:
Quote:
The Storage Bits take

I understand a test engineer's desire for controlled environments and workloads for testing. But that isn't the real world: some drives are busier; some have higher ambient temps; some come from a bad run; or get banged around in shipment.

But rather than bash Backblaze for giving consumers the benefit of their experience, TweakTown should be asking, as I do, for other major drive users to come clean. I'm looking at you, Google, Amazon and Microsoft.

Google says they want to organize the world's information, but when it comes to something they have unique expertise in, they clam up. Amazon sells disks, but do you see reviews from their maintenance team?

I'd much rather have the results of millions of drive years over many more models. But we don't because the folks who know won't talk.

So yes, as a consumer, I would look at Backblaze's results. If I were upgrading my arrays tomorrow, I'd make an extra effort to buy Hitachi per the Backblaze experience. What they found squares with what I've heard from insiders over the last 10 years.

TweakTown repeatedly objected to the media attention this post got. If other players had already spoken it wouldn't be an issue, would it? I'll take Backblaze's info over nothing any day.
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post #83 of 129 Old 02-08-2014, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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So you are thinking that the data is valid and you should use it to make a purchase decision ?

IE not buy Seagate and buy Hitachi (that is what the data from study suggested right ?)

That is what you posting that ^ is suggesting. Is that truly what you believe ?

Also, since Hitachi appears to be twice as reliable as WD do you think the same on that ? (Hitachi > WD?) Or do you make exception with WD because they are "good enough" ? Do you make a personal decision that WD is less reliable than Hitachi but they are reliable enough, but Seagate is not ? Is there a such thing as "too reliable" ? These things get pretty messy when you start picking them apart IMO.

A hard drive is a hard drive. Buy the cheaper one. If they are the same price buy the faster/better one depending on what you appreciate most. It's hard to justify spending extra on just an idea or guess about reliability unless you are getting something very tangible (like a much longer warranty).

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post #84 of 129 Old 02-08-2014, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

So you are thinking that the data is valid and you should use it to make a purchase decision ?

IE not buy Seagate and buy Hitachi (that is what the data from study suggested right ?)

That is what you posting that ^ is suggesting. Is that truly what you believe ?

It doesn't matter what I believe. The info is there for everyone to make their own decision.


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post #85 of 129 Old 02-08-2014, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by assassin View Post

It doesn't matter what I believe. The info is there for everyone to make their own decision.

It matters to me. I am curious what you think.

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post #86 of 129 Old 02-08-2014, 12:29 PM
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I think HDD reliability studies are interesting from an academic standpoint, but aren't particularly useful for making purchasing decisions.

While you can make some generalizations about various brands it doesn't men a particular model you're going to buy is actually going to be any more or less reliable because a brand fared well in a reliability study. Okay... so what if the exact model was included in the study, you might be asking. Then you run into the "certainty" paradox. By the time a particular model has been tested long enough to draw any reasonable conclusions, that also means it's been on the market long enough that the drive is nearing obsolescence due to newer bigger better faster, cheaper drives being introduced.

So studies like this are great for Monday Morning Quarterbacking ("See! I told you those Seagate drives were crap!") but they have very limited use for influencing purchasing decisions for me. To wit, I'm not interested in purchasing any of the drives in that study that have been been used long enough upon which to draw a conclusion. Those that I might be interested in purchasing down the road, haven't been studied long enough to draw any conclusions.

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #87 of 129 Old 02-08-2014, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

I think HDD reliability studies are interesting from an academic standpoint, but aren't particularly useful for making purchasing decisions.

While you can make some generalizations about various brands it doesn't men a particular model you're going to buy is actually going to be any more or less reliable because a brand fared well in a reliability study. Okay... so what if the exact model was included in the study, you might be asking. Then you run into the "certainty" paradox. By the time a particular model has been tested long enough to draw any reasonable conclusions, that also means it's been on the market long enough that the drive is nearing obsolescence due to newer bigger better faster, cheaper drives being introduced.

So studies like this are great for Monday Morning Quarterbacking ("See! I told you those Seagate drives were crap!") but they have very limited use for influencing purchasing decisions for me. To wit, I'm not interested in purchasing any of the drives in that study that have been been used long enough upon which to draw a conclusion. Those that I might be interested in purchasing down the road, haven't been studied long enough to draw any conclusions.

I was asking Assassin but I appreciate your reply.

I have expressed basically the exact same thing as you many times here on AVS before and I could not agree more with this post.

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post #88 of 129 Old 02-08-2014, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

While you can make some generalizations about various brands it doesn't men a particular model you're going to buy is actually going to be any more or less reliable because a brand fared well in a reliability study.

This is not a murder trial. We do not need to be certain, beyond a reasonable doubt, that someone is guilty.

It is more like a hand of poker. On this particular hand, we look at all the information we have available to us, and make the best decision we can based on available information.

The information we have is that, historically, Seagate HDDs have had higher AFRs in Backblaze's data centers, as compared to Hitachi HDDs.

Is it possible that a new Seagate model may have a low AFR? Is it possible that Backblaze's usage is sufficiently different than mine that the AFR of Seagate HDDs will be much lower for me? Sure, it is possible. But I would not bet on it.
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post #89 of 129 Old 02-08-2014, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim2100 View Post

This is not a murder trial. We do not need to be certain, beyond a reasonable doubt, that someone is guilty.

It is more like a hand of poker. On this particular hand, we look at all the information we have available to us, and make the best decision we can based on available information.

The information we have is that, historically, Seagate HDDs have had higher AFRs in Backblaze's data centers, as compared to Hitachi HDDs.

Is it possible that a new Seagate model may have a low AFR? Is it possible that Backblaze's usage is sufficiently different than mine that the AFR of Seagate HDDs will be much lower for me? Sure, it is possible. But I would not bet on it.

All things being equal, I see no harm in using something like this as a tie breaker in a purchasing decision, but rarely if ever is everything else equal. And since we're going with the gambling analogies, these hard drive studies are a lot like the "ticker" they put up at the roulette wheel so people can see whatever patterns they want. It lures them in with a false sense of relevance.

"Black just hit 5 times in a row! Next on'es gotta be black too!"
"Hitachi has made a lot of reliable drives!. I bet the drive I wanna buy is reliable too!"

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #90 of 129 Old 02-08-2014, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajhieb View Post

And since we're going with the gambling analogies, these hard drive studies are a lot like the "ticker" they put up at the roulette wheel so people can see whatever patterns they want. It lures them in with a false sense of relevance.

"Black just hit 5 times in a row! Next on'es gotta be black too!"
"Hitachi has made a lot of reliable drives!. I bet the drive I wanna buy is reliable too!"

That is a terrible analogy of the situation we are discussing. It is nearly the opposite of what is actually the case. I despair of the probability and statistics education that some people are receiving (or not receiving) these days.

If a roulette wheel is unbiased, then the outcomes will be random, and any patterns in the outcome will be random. If the roulette wheel is biased, then a careful statistical analysis (along with data from a sufficiently large sample) will reveal the bias, i.e., show that the outcomes of the roulette wheel are not random, and that some results are more likely than others.

In the Backblaze study (and in any similar statistical study), the goal is to test a statistical hypothesis, such as "the AFR of brand X is higher than the AFR of brand Y". If the methodology is reasonable and data from a sufficiently large sample is available, then the hypothesis may be accepted or rejected on a statistical basis. If the AFRs of the various brands were random like an unbiased roulette wheel, then the study would conclude that there is no statistically significant difference in the AFRs of brand X and brand Y. But that is not what the Backblaze study found when comparing Seagate and Hitachi. There is a statistically significant difference in the AFRs -- Seagate HDDs have higher AFRs than Hitachi HDDs in Backblaze's data centers. This is not random chance -- it is a statistically meaningful distinction.
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