You read that correctly. A hard drive fails or is taken offline worldwide at a rate of 3.7 per second.
The reality and pain of data lost is only familiar to those who have suffered from it. For the rest of us, we prefer to not think about it. But numbers like this serve as a sobering reminder that our data is stored on sensitive machinery, and basic physics tells us those machines will fail.
We came to that number by combining worldwide production totals of major vendors, minus average service life. In many cases hard drives are removed before they totally fail. However if they weren’t retired at the end of their service life, the actual failure rate would eventually catch up.
The solution is distributed redundancy, thanks to technology like RAID. In this way we anticipate a certain loss and engineer the ability to compensate for it. That’s the beauty of backup.
By the way, the actual number we came up with is: 3.69727
(Photo Credit SebastianDooris)