A SMALL computer network outfit says that it can make a huge Petabyte sized data storage machine for just $117,000.
Backblaze said that the outrageous prices charged by the big companies for data storage are just money for old rope and it can provide its customers with unlimited cloud storage for only $5 per month.
According to the company's blog it decided to build its own custom Backblaze Storage Pods, which are 67 terabyte 4U servers, for $7,867 each.
It is showing punters how to build its gear and it does look like massive data storage capacity can be had for a few thousand dollars.
Backblaze worked out that most of the technology used in storage servers is the same and that people were paying more than ten times the cost of the hardware for just a badge on the box.
It quotes five major systems vendors' prices for Petabyte storage configurations, ranging from Dell at $826,000 to EMC at $2,860,000. Apparently there are huge margins to had in flogging large storage kit.
Each of the Backblaze Storage Pods is a self-contained unit. It's a 4U custom metal rackmount case with an Intel motherboard and four SATA cards in it. Nine SATA cables run from the cards to nine port-multiplier backplanes that each have five hard drives plugged directly into them. This provides 45 hard drives in total. Three groups of 15 hard drives are each combined into a single RAID6 volume with two parity drives.
There are two power supplies in the box because 45 drives draw a lot of 5V power, yet high wattage ATX PSUs provide most of their power on the 12V rail. PSU1 powers the front three fans and port multiplier backplanes 1,2,3,4, and 7. PSU2 powers everything else. When running, the entire storage unit draws approximately 4.8 amps idle and up to 5.6 amps under heavy load.
The Storage Pods run a 64-bit Debian 4 Linux and use the JFS file system. They are self-contained appliances, where all access to the units is through HTTPS. It all apparently works and does not need iSCSI, NFS, SQL, SAN, NAS, Fibre Channel or anything else terribly fancy.
Turns out that monstrous data storage capacity can be built on the cheap. µ
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