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By Ezra Brook
Here we go again! Backblaze has released their latest generation of Storage Pod, Version 3.0.
The table below compares the total cost of different Backblaze Storage Pod configurations.
* Labour cost is not included
Backblaze has made their storage pod blueprint available for the public. So, if you you are interested in building such a storage pod, you can, just follow their instructions.
Did you notice, from the table above, how the hard drives are getting cheaper? Version 1 was completed in September 2009, and at the time a 1.5TB hard drive did cost $120, and in July 2011, $120 would buy you a 3TB hard drive.
Below is Backblaze’s blog post (except the Appendix):
180TB of Good Vibrations – Storage Pod 3.0
By Andy February 20, 2013
Here are the highlights:
You can download the 3D design files (24 MB zip) for the design drawings.
The Uses and Users of a Storage Pod
All are important. Our Backblaze Storage Pods were designed, built and implemented to economically hold large amounts of data yet provide access to that data in seconds to minutes, thus they are purpose-built for bulk storage. The economics of using a Backblaze Storage Pod for storage have driven many organizations and people to build and utilize Storage Pods inspired by Backblaze. This community has also built upon the Backblaze design and specifications to build Storage Pods for all types of storage needs. Here are a few examples:
Storage Pod Economics
4 TB drives
3 TB drives
Another thing we expected to happen was wide availability of 4 TB drives with the subsequent price drop. Only recently have we been able to get a reliable supply of 4 TB drives and prices are starting to drop. While we have built and deployed 180 TB Storage Pods (forty-five 4 TB drives) and we expect to move to exclusively building 180 TB Storage Pods in the near future, the cost per TB for 3 TB systems versus is 4 TB systems is nearly the same.
While it looks like the cost of a 4TB drive system is more expensive, when you factor in rack space, electricity, installation labor, etc. the long term cost for Backblaze leans towards using 4 TB drives. Our monthly cost for a full rack of Storage Pods with 3 TB drives is $0.63 per TB, while a full rack of Storage Pods with 4 TB drives is $0.47 per TB. When you factor all the costs together, it takes about 5 months for us to recover the extra cost encountered when building 4 TB based Storage Pods.
Building Your Own Storage Pod
One thing to know is since we don’t sell the Storage Pods and don’t make money off any ancillary services, we don’t provide support or a warranty for people who build their own. To all of those builders who take up the challenge, we’d love to hear from you and welcome any insights you provide about the experience.
Buying a Storage Pod
As noted earlier Protocase continues to use screws versus rivets in the assembly process of their Storage Pods. From a functional point-of-view you will notice no difference in the finished product.
Another thing to know about Protocase is that they do not include hard drives with their Storage Pods. Protocase does test each Storage Pod they build with drives before they ship the unit to you, but it’s up to you to buy and install the hard drives. This is pretty easy to do, but be forewarned; sometimes buying 45 hard drives at Costco can be an issue.
Thanks for All the Fish
If you want to see the Appendix, click here.
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