[SATLUG] Re: Off topic - hard drives

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Wed Oct 12 18:35:23 CDT 2011

On Oct 12, 2011, at 4:56 PM, Jeremy Z wrote:

> And related to buying tons of quality drives, these guys make their own
> 135TB storage units for about $7,500:
> http://blog.backblaze.com/2011/07/20/petabytes-on-a-budget-v2-0revealing-more-secrets/
> And of course they're powered by linux (Debian actually). See their blog for
> more details http://blog.backblaze.com/.

I've been keeping up with the Backblaze guys for a while.  They don't buy quality drives.  They buy the cheapest possible drives that they can get their hands on, because their system is designed to store multiple copies of each object.  Much like Google does, where they keep at least three copies of everything put into storage.

Their design for the Backblaze storage "pod" clearly shows this methodology with all the imbalances and single-points-of-failure throughout.  They can live with all that because they make each pod as dirt cheap as they possibly can, and then the build in the redundancy and reliability at the layer above.  Oh, and they use an HTTP-based method of storing all the objects.

Alternative designs in this space to consider would be Rackspace Cloud Files and Amazon S3.  Only thing is that I haven't been able to find out much details behind how Rackspace and Amazon design their storage pods.  The Facebook "Open Compute Project" has details available on how they build their compute nodes, but the details on how they build their storage nodes has not yet been published.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>

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