April 26, 2016
Other than offering some of the best prices on the cloud storage market, Backblaze is widely known for being an innovative company in that field. They launch new features all the time, such as the option to ship hard drives to their customers so that they can recover their data, and they also upgrade their services quite often.
Now, what makes the news is their new Storage Pod 6.0, the sixth version of their design. The 4U chassis now features 60 off-the-shelf hard drives, 15 more than the previous version, which lowers the cost per GB by 22 percent, from $0.044/GB to $0.036/GB.
The sixth iteration of Backblaze’s Storage Pod uses 4TB disks, increasing the amount of storage in a standard 4U rack from 1.8 to 2.4 Petabytes (which can be easily doubled by using 8TB disks), since it features 60 hard drives – 33 percent more than the 5.0 version in the exact same rack space, as it can be seen in the chart below:
By making the hardware plans for the Storage Pod 6.0 open source – which includes the blueprints, STEP files, wiring diagrams, build instructions and a parts list – anyone can build a Storage Pod, even though the cost will be slightly bigger. Still, it is possible for anyone to build a 4U server with 480TB of data storage for less than$0.05 per gigabyte.
Backblaze’s smaller cost-per-gigabyte is simple to understand: Backblaze buys its hard drives in bulk, so they get a 20 percent discount in the 4TB Seagate disks they use. This brings the price tag of the Storage Pod 6.0 to $8,734, while buying those disks at retail price raises the total cost to $10,364.
In terms of other hardware, the 6.0 version of the Storage Pod uses the same processor (Ivy Bridge Xeon) and the same amount of RAM (32GB) of the version 5.0, but adds extra controllers and port multipliers to handle the extra 15 disks.
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