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7 entries from September 2009

Backblaze’s storage infrastructure

Yesterday Backblaze posted a blog entry on their custom-designed storage solution, necessary to store petabytes of customer data while charging just $5 per month per customer:

At Backblaze, we provide unlimited storage to our customers for only $5 per month, so we had to figure out how to store hundreds of petabytes of customer data in a reliable, scalable way—and keep our costs low. After looking at several overpriced commercial solutions, we decided to build our own custom Backblaze Storage Pods: 67-terabyte 4U servers for $7,867.

In this post, we’ll share how to make one of these storage pods, and you’re welcome to use this design. Our hope is that by sharing, others can benefit and, ultimately, refine this concept and send improvements back to us. Evolving and lowering costs is critical to our continuing success at Backblaze.

Backblaze saved my ass just within the last few months, when I stupidly securely erased my main media drive. 110 GB of music, movie, and photo files blasted into magnetic oblivion because I chose the wrong drive in Disk Utility and initiated a secure wipe, then didn’t look at it again until the next morning. This happened on a weekend, so when I requested a hard-drive restore, they shipped my data backup overnight on the next business day, and I was back to normal a mere four days after my goofed clicking of the Erase button.

Fascinated to see how they’ve balanced their storage needs with the scalability required to support a growing customer base and their existing customers’ growing backup requirements.

Check ’em out, for a modestly priced service you get priceless peace of mind.