[Beowulf] PetaBytes on a budget, take 2

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Sat Jul 23 08:12:29 PDT 2011

From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org [beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of Bob Drzyzgula [bob at drzyzgula.org]

I do think that this is an interesting exercise in finding
exactly how little hardware you can wrap around some hard
drives and still have a functional storage system. And
as Backblaze seems to have built a going concern on top of
the design it does seem to have its applications. However,
I think one has to recognize its limitations and be very
careful to not try to push it into applications where the
lack of redundancy and manageability are going to come up
and bite you on the behind.


Yes... Designing and using a giant system with perfectly reliable hardware (or something that simulates perfectly reliable hardware at some abstraction level) is a straightforward process.

Designing something where you explicitly acknowledge failures and it still works, while not resorting to the software equivalent of Triple Modular Redundancy and similar schemes) and which has good performance, is a much, much more interesting problems.

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