Video Surveillance Hard Drive Failure Statistics 2016

By: John Honovich, Published on Jul 22, 2016

Hard drive failures are decreasing and lifespans are getting longer, according to new IPVM statistics.

Failing hard drives have historically been one of the biggest maintenance problems

In this report, we share our findings from surveying integrators, providing new data on hard drive failure statistics in security applications, and what integrators say most often causes drive failures.

**** ***** ******** *** decreasing *** ********* *** getting ******, ********* ** new **** **********.

******* **** ****** **** historically **** *** ** the ******* *********** ********

** **** ******, ** share *** ******** **** surveying ***********, ********* *** **** on **** ***** ******* statistics ** ******** ************, and **** *********** *** most ***** ****** ***** failures.

[***************]

*******

  • **% **** ****** ****** * ***** ** longer.
  • **** ** **** **** double (**%) *** **** drives **** *+ ******* ****
  • ****/**** *********** *** *** top ****** ** ******
  • ***** ******** *** ****** were **** ********** ** high ******* *****

Hard ***** ********* ** ********

*** ********* ***** ***** the ************ ** ******* to *** ******** "** your ********** **** ***** surveillance *********, *** **** years ***** * **** ***** fails? **** ******* *** drive ******* ** *** see **** *****?"

*** ******* *** ****** evenly ***** ******* *-* years, *** *-*+ ***** (signified ** *** ****** red ****).

Hard ***** ********* **

***** ********** **** * notable ******** ** ******** lifespans **** ******* **********. ***** *********** *** not ***** ******** ******* about *** ******, ** suspect **** ***** ******* has ******** ** *** past ~* *****. *** example, ***** *** *** more ************ ******** ****** being ******* *** **** than ***** **** ** the ********* ** *** decade.

Heat - ******* ***** ** *******

******* **** **** ******** a ****** *** ***** failures ********* ****, ** factors **** **** ** heat *******, ** *** most ****** ****** *** drive *******.

  • "** *** ***** ******/***** supply *** ********* **** as ** **** **** temperature ** *** ******* enemy. **** *** ****** cool *** ******** *** far ****."
  • "* *** ****** ** the *********** **** *** kept **. **** **** cheap ****** ** ********** environments **** ****** **** expensive **** **** ****** in * *** *** dusty ********."
  • "** ********** **** ** have **** ****** ** good ***** **** ********** were ***** *** *********** are ******** **********."
  • "******* **** ** ************ in *** ***** **** is *** ******* ***** of ********."
  • "#* ****** - ****."
  • "*** *********** *** *** sure ** ****** *** is **** ****** ****** for ***** ****."
  • "** *** **** ***** failures **** *** *********** is **** ** *** ************ ** the ****** ** *****(****)."
  • "** *********** ****** ******* is ***** *** *********** controlled(i.e. ** ****** *****); the ******* **** ***** life ** **** ****** 6 ** * ***** and ** ******* **** is ****** ****** ****** or ***** **** ***** of ******/********* ****** **** the **** ***** **** reduces ** * ** 6 ***** ** *******."
  • "*** **** ****** ******* for ******* **** *'** seen *** *************. ****** don't ******** ********* ** keep *** *******/******* ***** clean *** **** **** dust/dirt."
  • "**** ******* ********** ********* leads ** *** *******"
  • "** **** **** ****** fail **** ***** **** the ******** ** ** a *** *********** ** not ** * ****** air *********** ****** ****."
  • "**** ** ****** ******* is *** ******* ******."
  • "********* ** ***** ** early ******* ** ** due ** ****."
  • "* ******* *** **** common ****** *** ******* is ****/****. ***** ************ clog ** **** *** vents ** ******* ***** leads ** ** ***** up ***** ** **** cooks *** ******."

Power - ****** ******* *****

******** ******* ** ***** issues **** **** ******. Lack ** * *** was ********* ** ************ to ***** ********, *** *** ***** ******** **** ** *** to ****** *** ***** UPS *** * ******.

  • "*** **** *** **** but ****** ********** ** generally ****** ********* ********** supply. ** ***** ***** they **** ******** *** UPS **** *** ********** quoted *** **** *** not ******** **** *********."
  • "#* - ******** ***** failures / ***** ******"
  • "*** *** ******* **** or ************ **** (*******) or **** (**) ******* electrical ******** ****** **** them ******* **** ****."
  • "******* **** ***'* **** a *** (******* ******) seem ** **** *** most ******** - ******** still **** ***. ** have * *** ***** outages- **** ******* ** recommend ***, **** ******* choose *** ** *** them."
  • "** **** **** *** Write ****** ** * continuous ***** ** *** issue *** ***** * lot ** *** ******* don't **** ** *** for ****** ***** ** UPS ** ***** ******* also ***** *** ****"
  • "*** **** *** ** drives ****, *** **** the ******** **** *** UPS ******* ** ** installed ** **** * notice **** ********... ******* power ******* *** ********** shut ***** *** *** culprit."
  • "*** ******** *'** *** with **** *** *** to ***** ******"

Wear *** **** ********

***** ********* ***** ******* wear *** **** ** causes ** ***** ********

  • "**** * *** ****** fail ******* **'* ********* a ***** ***** *** optimized *** ******** ***."
  • "***** *** ****** **** were ********* ** **********/***-*********** servers **** * **** higher **** **** *********, and ** ** *** that * *** ** takeover ****"
  • "*-** ******* *** *******"
  • "**** ****** **'** **** fail **** *** **** bad *******, *** **** of *** *****. **** should *** **** **** a ****** *** *** drives **** **'** **** fail."
  • "**** ****** ******* ** clicking ** *** ****. This ** ******* *** to *** **** ******* out *** ** ****** able ** **** *** position ** *** *******."
  • "**** ********* *** *** hot *** ** ******* video ** ********** ******** the **** ***** ** I ***** **** ** the ******"
  • "*** *******, **** ******. Drive ***** ** **********."
  • "*** **** ****** ******* seams ** ** *** ********* **** fail."
  • "*** **** ****** ******* is *** ****** *******"
  • "******** ******* (****** *******)"

Best ********* ** ******** ******** *** **** ****

****** ** ** ****** not ******** ** ****** wear *** **** ** the *****, *** *********** the ***** ** ***** to ******* ** *** be ************.  **** *************** that *** ****** **** drive ********* *******:

  • ****** ******** ******* *** cooling, **** ** *** unit ** *** ** a *******-********** ****, ****** sure **** *** *** blocked *** **** **** cooling.
  • *** * *** *** power **********
  • *** "************ *****" ** "datacenter *****" ******, ***** are ********** *** ****** lifespans
  • *********** ********* *** ****** ***** if *** *********** ** dusty/dirty 
  • *** ********** ********, ***** possible, ** *** ****** of ****** ******* **** or ******** ******

************, ** *** ** beneficial ** ******** ***** replacements **** *********, *********** as **** ** * larger ******* ******** ***** may **** ******* ****** cleaning ** **** ******* or ***** ************ ***********.  *** ********** commented ** **** ******:

"** ** ****** *** hard ****** ** **** five ***** *** ******, but ** ******** ********* that *** ****** *** be **** ** ******* that ****. ** ********* replace ****** ** *** entire ******* ***** * to * *****."

Comments (14)

In some ways a little on the obvious side for many of these notes: keep your computers clean, your drives cool, and some surge protection and battery backup is better than none. But we need these reminders every now and then.

You know, IPVM could invest in a long term study by setting up systems with cheap and purpose built premium drives and see how many of which fail over the years, but by the time you were able to draw conclusions, all the drives would be obsolete. :)

Keep your fans at 100%. However, people will complain about the noise.

And your fans will wear out faster too, which if not caught in time, will cook your drives.

Many of the cloud data backup providers such as Blazeback publish extensive reports on hard drive performance with respect to failures. They go though 1000's of drives of different sizes and manufacturers and are a much larger sampling than any economically feasible long term test. Their service usages is not exactly the same as with video, but does represent heavy continuous loading.

Here is a public link to Blazeback's data. BTW, Blazeback is an excellent service.

The dust filters are an interesting point. In the past we've seen a good number of cases where end users without a well defined maintenance plan have let their filters get fully clogged, dramatically reducing airflow. It felt like that end result was worse than the accumulation of dust buildup on the internal components.

I haven't seen porous dust filters commonly used in any builds in a long time; PC, embedded or server chassis.

Since hard drives are sealed and dust/dirt cannot enter the drive (unless the seal is broken, of course), the real issue with dirt is usually:

  • Dirt covering filters, reducing airflow
  • Dirt covering fan blades, throwing off balance, wearing out bushings/bearings
  • Dirt covering heatsink fins, reducing airflow

It seems simple, but semi-yearly cleaning of the interior of your servers/PCs would extend the lives of ALL computer components. Canned air is much cheaper than replacing dead components. PM is the key.

Great article Brian. Another contributing factor to how long hard drives last is in the way the VMS uses them. Most VMSes are architected to constantly write data, wearing hard drives out faster. VMSes designed like this are also required to use expensive SAS HDs to assure data throughput.

VMS manufacturers that utilize buffering in their recording engines write to the drives less often, increasing usable life of the drives. And, significantly less expensive SATA drives can be used because throughput demands are lessened.

As a manufacturer of surveillance storage systems, I would like to respond to the statement in the article that says "Though it is likely not possible to reduce wear and tear on the drive . . . ", because it is entirely possible to reduce the wear and tear on the drive.

Veracity's COLDSTORE system was specifically designed to make disk drives more reliable, by reducing operating temperature, by almost completely eliminating vibration and by dramatically reducing wear and tear on the drive. This is not the forum to go into detail on this system, but suffice to say that in the 6+ years that COLDSTORE has been on the market and installed in major system, we have seen a reduction in drive failures by a factor of 10 or more, compared to conventional RAID5/6 systems.

So my point is that, by designing a system specifically for real-time recording applications (such as video, audio, data logging, etc.) we have improved disk reliability by a very large factor. Both Seagate and Western Digital have given us great support and encouragement with COLDSTORE development & deployment over the years.

In summary, for users of our COLDSTORE systems, disk reliability is no longer an issue, even with standard desktop drives. It allows end users to store higher quality video for longer, as the total cost of ownership per TB is considerably reduced.

I apologise for the specific product mention in this forum but it is directly relevant to the discussion and solutions do exist.

Alastair - COLDSTORE may represent an ability to reduce drive wear and tear, but from a practical standpoint it has very few integrations.

You cannot just hook a COLDSTORE system up to any VMS, as it requires specific integration, which your website oddly seems to omit or bury (supported VMS platforms are not listed on the datasheets).

COLDSTORE also would be impractical for NVR's, or any recording system with less than 3 drives, which is a significant portion of the market.

I would like to know about the experiences, or better, tests, with WD and Seagate and other brands that are designed for VideoSurveillance, e.g. is WD Purple better than Seagate?

We have an upcoming report on favorite brands of HDD's for surveillance.

Brian: On the contrary, we have quite a number of integrations, with many more coming through all the time. I would agree, however that this is perhaps one of the industry's best-kept secrets - but it is shortly going to be promoted much more heavily. The integrations include Genetec, Milestone XPCO, Exacq, Video Insight, Network Optix (including DW Spectrum), plus a number of less well-known brands in the UK, South America or Asia (e.g. VMS Titan Vision, Digifort and Instek Digital respectively).

You are 100% correct that COLDSTORE is not designed for NVRs with 3 drives - but then neither is any kind of external storage array. COLDSTORE is aimed at larger capacity storage requirements and especially long retention times.

Undisclosed 3 Distributor: We have tested (and deployed) most of the WD and Seagate desktop drives, plus the surveillance-level drives (i.e. WD Purple and Seagate SV drives) and indeed many other types, including a massive number of WD Green drives and Seagate standard desktop drives.

Whilst the surveillance drives are optimised for sequential writing (and that is in fact exactly what we do inside COLDSTORE with our own SFS (Sequential disk Filing System) and are ideal for the purpose, we have not seen any statistically significant difference in reliability between these and standard desktop drives with COLDSTORE. Having said that, this is because our disk failure rate is so low anyway and so we cannot really measure the differences, despite delivering thousands and thousands of drives over the 6+ years since COLDSTORE was launched and used in video surveillance storage installations.

I would point out, however, that this is no guide for conventional disk filing systems and storage arrays. For a JBOD system inside an NVR for example, the WD Purple and Seagate Surveillance drives are undoubtedly much better, although I would acknowledge that we have very little of our own data to go on. My statement regarding these is based on feedback from integrators using other systems, from reading reports on hard disk reliability and from direct face-to-face discussion with WD and Seagate engineers and R&D staff.

Do you know which version of NX/DW Spectrum supports COLDSTORE? We had tried for a long time to get Veracity and NX Optix to work on this integration, but hit a wall at one point. Neither side wanted to put in the time.

https://ipvm.com/forums/video-surveillance/topics/nx-witness-dw-spectrum-integration-with-veracity-coldstore

John, the current version supports COLDSTORE, with a plugin developed by ourselves in co-operation with Network Optix. It also supports a few versions back too, but always best to use the latest version.

I looked at the reference you gave and hadn't seen it before. I have no idea where the statement that no integration was planned came from. This was never true. It was long-delayed in completion though, but has been done for a while now. However, we are in danger of going off-topic here - I am happy to take up this conversation further with you offline if you wish.

Our contact details are on our website. If you use the info@ mail address for the UK side of the company, that will get to me.

Thanks.

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