updated 08:11 am EDT, Wed March 19, 2014
New array boasts higher speeds, lower per-GB cost
Data backup specialist BackBlaze has updated its DIY multi-drive Storage Pod design again. According to the company, the newest 4.0 revision "performs four times faster, is simpler and more reliable, and is even less expensive to build." As with its predecessors, the Storage Pod 4.0 is an open-source build, with plans and part lists available from the company itself for free.
The original design eschews port multiplier backplanes in favor of individual direct-wire SATA and power connectors. Three four-port SATA cards were replaced in favor of two 40-port HighPoint Rocket 750 cards with SAS connectors, with cables fanning out to four drives per SAS port, each with SATA 3 speeds.
The new version of the hardware gives a "four to five times performance improvement" over the previous iteration of the product. Additionally, switching to the new methodology provided an added bonus -- with the direct wire connection, if a connector fails, only one drive drops off the RAID, not all of them.
The company claims that each build costs it $9,305 for 180TB of storage, as the company gets a bulk price discount on parts and drives. A user choosing to build their own would spend approximately $10,587. The current build is the lowest price per terabyte online to date for the company, even given the effect the Thailand flooding continues to have on hard drive pricing. For comparison, arrays such as the BackBlaze solution populated with drives for enterprise routinely run well over $100,000.