Backblaze Storage Pod 6.0 puts 60 3.5" drives in 4U of space

— 12:46 PM on April 25, 2016

Cloud storage and backup company Backblaze is becoming  a household name among enthusiasts these days. The company annually releases one of the only high-count hard disk reliability reports available, based on all of the SMART data and failure history of its drives. Backblaze uses consumer hard drives in custom high-density enclosures to achieve its redundancy and uptime requirements. Today, the company announced the next version of this custom enclosure: the Storage Pod 6.0. This rackmount chassis crams 60 3.5" SATA disks into four rack units.

The biggest change in the Storage Pod 6.0 over the Storage Pod 5.0 is support for 15 more 3.5" hard drives. To achieve this increase in rack density, Backblaze extended the length of the chassis by 5.5", or about 4" beyond the back of a standard 29" rack. The company figures that the increase in storage density is worth the potential inconvenience of having devices hang behind the rack. It's also quick to point out that the center of the Storage Pod's mass still rests on the rack's rails, since the drives inside represent the lion’s share of the unit's weight.

With 60 3.5" drives inside, a single Storage Pod 6.0 can hold 240TB of data with 4TB drives. Builders can also use 8TB drives to double that capacity to 480TB. The company figures a homemade Storage Pod 6.0 with 4TB drives would cost the builder about $10,400, or about $43.33 per terabyte. For businesses willing to go to the effort of rolling their own high-density storage nodes, that's about $10 less per terabyte than even the evergreen WD Blue 1TB consumer drive with much greater density.

Backblaze has always open-sourced its Storage Pod designs, and this version is no exception. Readers who are interested in building their own Storage Pod 6.0 can find the component list, blueprints, and STEP guide on the Storage Pod 6.0 announcement page.

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