[SATLUG] 67 TB for less than $8K

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Tue Oct 9 17:54:04 CDT 2012

On Oct 9, 2012, at 2:42 PM, Bruce Dubbs <bruce.dubbs at gmail.com> wrote:

> A little dated as 3TB drives are now available.  This is more recent:
> http://blog.backblaze.com/2011/07/20/petabytes-on-a-budget-v2-0revealing-more-secrets/

I've been following these guys for years.  Their architecture leaves a great deal to be desired.  No redundancy anywhere, and serious imbalances in the strings of SATA chains.  This unit is designed to be a single larger aggregate storage device in a much larger storage pool, and where the only interface into and out of the system is via their proprietary filesystem-replacement-over-HTTP.

Once you start trying to fix all the major problems they introduce with their architecture into something that could work okay with a single unit of this size, what you end up with ends up looking a lot like a Sun Fire X4500 "Thumper", but more expensive -- and probably not as well engineered.

If you want to build something on commodity hardware to handle large amounts of storage, the Internet Archive recently posted some updated information about their latest hardware acquisitions, including cost, etc....  For a single rack of 31 machines plus a switch, their cost was less than $40k, each machine handling 8 drives, which could give you up to 744TB raw storage.  See <http://archive.org/web/hardware.php> for more information.

In contrast, Backblaze would spend over $56k per rack although you would get a larger amount of storage in a single rack.

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

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