[Beowulf] petabyte for $117k

Bill Broadley bill at cse.ucdavis.edu
Wed Sep 2 13:28:18 PDT 2009

Greg Lindahl wrote:
> As for people's vibrations comments: they own a bunch of them and they
> work...

For now, I've seen similar setups last 6-12 months before a drive drops, then
a rebuild triggers drop #2.

> but that is only a single point of evidence and not a history
> of working with a variety of disks models over time. The guy said he
> could write a whole post about vibration; I think it would be very
> interesting.

Indeed, very.  If they were significantly cheaper than a better design I could
see the justification.  But for $0.11 vs $0.13 per GB I don't see it.
Certainly as a potential customer for N copies of my data I'd certainly rather
pay $0.13 + overhead for reliable (ecc + raid edition drives) storage then
$0.11 + overhead for unreliable storage (no ecc and consumer drives) for my
precious bits.

It's especially scary since they don't seem to have any replication, or at
least that replication is incompatible with their statement "In rough terms,
every time one of our customers buys a hard drive, Backblaze needs another
hard drive."

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