Archive for the 'Data Center' Category

How to build cheap storage

 Patrick sent me this and I thought it was interesting:

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.

Petabytes on a budget: How to build cheap cloud storage | Backblaze Blog

It’s all in the Clouds…

Recently I attended the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas.  One of the big pushes that is on the minds of everyone these days, is the Cloud Computing concept.  As a Systems Engineer, the thought is that I should be afraid of this push, because it moves the processing out of the datacenter and into a hosted environment.  During the conference this was addressed in part by saying, you can have it both ways…  You can have the Cloud available in a “Capacity on Demand” kind of way, but also use the same technologies to manage your Private Cloud.

I came accross an interesting article that addresses some of this concern with the suggestion that IT needs to learn how to build and manage the Private Cloud:

One of the biggest strategic challenges facing IT organizations today is remaining competitive in a world full of cloud services that essentially outsource the IT function.

How to Build Private Clouds – IT Management

Raise Your Data Center Temperature

After following a link to a story about Google’s abilities to “route around outages” that Patrick had on his Blog, I saw a link to another story about Google’s Data Center practices.  Apparently you don’t have to keep the Data Center frigid these days… 

Most data centers operate in a temperature range between 68 and 72 degrees, and some are as cold as 55 degrees. Raising the baseline temperature inside the data center – known as a set point – can save money spent on air conditioning. Data center managers can save 4 percent in energy costs for every degree of upward change in the set point, according to Mark Monroe of Sun Microsystems, who discussed data center set points at a conference last year. But nudging the thermostat higher may also leave less time to recover from a cooling failure, and is only appropriate for companies with a strong understanding of the cooling conditions in their facility

Google: Raise Your Data Center Temperature « Data Center Knowledge

Storage Power and Cooling Issues Heat Up

I am doing some research into our data center cooling requirements.  I came across this article and thought this bit was interesting:

So how much does it cost to power 100TB (raw) of storage, and how much CO2 emissions are generated per year? That, of course, depends on the type of storage, the number and size of the disk drives, the cost per kWh of power, cooling costs and the average number of lbs of CO2 produced per kWh.

One example is a single storage system using 750GB SATA disk drives yielding 144TB of raw storage in a single cabinet footprint, which would require less than 52,560 kWh and cost about $10,512 per year with an emissions footprint of about 39.42 CO2 tons. To account for cooling costs, simply double the above numbers for a worst-case scenario. By comparison, a 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe generates about 7 to 10 tons of CO2 per year, while a Lexus RX333, depending on miles driven, generates about 5-6 tons of CO2 per year, and a 24 cubic foot refrigerator yields about 1.22 tons of CO2 per year.

Storage Power and Cooling Issues Heat Up