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Need a few petabytes of Mac storage? Build your own BackBlaze Storage Pod

One of the largest personal iTunes libraries I've ever seen belongs to a client of mine. This client, who was a DJ in the 50's and 60's, has a huge collection of vinyl albums and singles that he painstakingly digitized, cleaned up, and catalogued in iTunes. Needless to say, opening iTunes on his Mac Pro is an exercise in patience.

Thinking about his music storage needs, and the huge amount of digital photos and video that my wife are accumulating, got me musing about other ways to do mass storage inexpensively. At this point, I'm probably OK with a DroboPro, but what if I needed petabytes (1 petabyte = 1,024 terabytes = 1,048,576 gigabytes) of storage? Most solutions at this point in time are quite expensive.

As of 6 AM PDT this morning, off-site backup vendor BackBlaze has put their solution to mass storage needs, the BackBlaze Storage Pod, out to the world as an open source project. Their solution is a relatively inexpensive box (US$7,867 for 67 TB of storage) made up of off-the-shelf components that can be reproduced and/or improved upon by others who also need huge amounts of cheap storage. See those red boxes in the picture to the right? Each one of those contains 67 TB of RAID 6 storage in a 4U box. For a petabyte of storage, you're going to need to spend about $117,000 on about fifteen of the boxes.


BackBlaze invented the Storage Pod for their cloud storage requirements, off-site backups for Mac users like you and me. To keep the cost of their off-site Mac and PC backups incredibly low -- $5 / month for unlimited storage -- they developed their own solution, but realized that to keep improving the design and reducing the cost, making the BackBlaze Storage Pod design open source would streamline the process.

If you have $7,867 burning a hole in your pocket or would like to create your own cloud storage project, be sure to download the design. Any TUAW reader who builds one and connects it to his/her Mac should send us photos for publication.

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