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I am that colleague. While it great that Backblaze releases this information, there are many factors that you need to keep in mind when looking at this data.

With respect to vibration: we found vibration caused by adjacent drives in some of our earlier drive chassis could cause off-track writes. This will cause future reads to the data to return uncorrectable read errors. Based on Backblaze's methodology they will likely call out these drives as failed based on SMART or RAID/ReedSolomon sync errors.

Does Google use off the shelf drives like these guys?

I don't think I can comment on that! Sorry. Someone who is working on storage at Google today would have a better idea of what's public vs not.

HN is amazing.

Threads like this are what it's all about :)

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