Build a RAID 6 array for $100/TB

Build your own cloud-style storage for $100/TB that makes Amazon's S3 look pricey. Perfect for ripping 10,000 DVDs to disk!

Imagine storage that didn't cost much more than bare drives. High density storage with RAID 6 - double-fault - protection, reasonable bandwidth and web-friendly HTTPS access.

And really, really cheap.

Not your enterprise's RAID array Raw disk cost is only 5-10% of an enterprise RAID system's cost. The rest goes for corporate jets, sales commissions, tradeshows, sheetmetal, 2 Intel x86 mobos, obscene profits and some pale and blinking engineers in a windowless lab who make it work.

But what if you don't want 4-color brochures or the barely-clad booth babes. What if you just want cheap economical and reliable storage?

You aren't running the global financial system - what's left of it anyway - or a 500 person call center. But you want enough redundancy so it will stay up until morning.

Meet the Storage Pod You aren't the only one. Backblaze, a new online backup provider, designed the Storage Pod for their own use and are sharing it with everyone. They aren't selling it - that's where the build comes from - so they aren't trying to get rich off you.

Here's what it looks like:

Here's an exploded diagram with a simplified BOM:

And then there's the (free) software. 64-bit Debian Linux, IBM's open source JFS file system and HTTPS access. Simply stated each file gets a URL. Put a web server in front of it and serve the world - or just your home.

The Storage Bits take Many applications just need a big bucket that doesn't cost $5,000/TB. This is it.

You can build it yourself, but it is probably more complex than a high-end gamer system. Download the 3D SolidWorks files and have Protocase build you 1 or 500 of the boxes.

But the density is good, the performance is reasonable, the availability is decent and the price is right. This is a DC-3, not a 747. It is all you need for the right application.

And at $100/TB you can mirror all your data 2 or 3 or 4 times if you need more availability - and still be way less than half the cost of name brand arrays. Get the details from the Backblaze blog.

Comments welcome, of course. BTW, I'm trying out their free trial Mac online backup - at least one of the founders worked at Apple - and I'll let you know how it goes. I don't have a business relationship with them either, in case you're wondering.