Backblaze revises their Storage Pod to version 4.5

I won’t bore everyone with words here, but thought this was an interesting post on the Backblaze blog:

Storage Pod 4.5 – Tweaking a Proven Design

The full article is a decent read but most interesting to me is that they switched from their direct-wire design (pictured below) to a backplane design again.  They had boasted in this blog entry how much better the direct-wire implementation was.  They claimed the issue was backplane supply and the phasing out of a product they were using which is fine, but honestly direct-wire method had the advantage of only losing one drive at a time due to faulty wiring.  Now, they’re back to losing 5-drives should a backplane decide to peace out.

Direct-wire (no backplanes)

Direct-wire (no backplanes)

Other than that, some minor changes to the systems have changed.  They’re recommending a different Core i3 CPU (due to EOL of the one they used formerly), and have some new SATA cards involved.  Overall, not too much change.

The coolest thing in my opinion is that Backblaze are now about to provide 270TB of raw storage in one chassis for the same price (actually cheaper!) as they could provide 180TB for in the Storage Pod version 4.0 – impressive!  The reduced price for the 270TB is heavily based on the availability and affordability of 6TB disks more than it is the reduced cost of the Backblaze chassis.  Below is a chart showing the price structure per gigabyte of storage for generations of the device:

blog-storage-pod-cost-chart1

All in all, Backblaze still provides a ton of storage for a not-so-crazy price.  The only issue I have with it is the support seems to be a little lacking which I suppose is not very surprising considering the semi DIY aspect of the device.  That, and they don’t really deliver a turn-key solution as much as a good base for a home-brew storage system.  This won’t be making NetApp, EMC, or any of the other main players in big data storage shake in their boots…   but it’s still pretty cool!

Author: Jon

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