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What Does the Next Generation Storage Pod Look Like?

Cloud Storage & Cloud BackupJune 24
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Andy Klein
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In that post, we contemplated the next generation Backblaze Storage Pod and outlined some of the criteria we’d be considering as we moved forward with Storage Pod 7.0 or perhaps a third-party vendor.Since that time, the supply chain for the commodity parts we use continues to reinvent itself, the practice of just-in-time inventory is being questioned, the marketplace for high-density storage servers continues to mature, and the continuing cost effectiveness of scaling the manufacturing and assembly of Storage Pods has proved elusive. Each Storage Pod has 25 different parts from 15 different manufacturers/vendors, plus the red chassis, and, of course, the hard drives. That’s a trivial number of parts and vendors for a hardware company, but stating the obvious, Backblaze is a software company.Still, each month we currently build 60 or so new Storage Pods. For standard parts like screws, you can typically find multiple sources, but for a unique part like the chassis, you have to arrange an alternate manufacturer.With COVID-19, the supply chain was very hard to navigate to procure the various components of a Storage Pod. It was normal for purchase orders to be cancelled, items to stock out, shipping dates to slip, and even prices to be renegotiated on the fly. That was a good thing when we were the only game in town, but a lot has changed.As we pointed out in the 10-year anniversary Storage Pod post, there are plenty of other companies that are making high-density storage servers like our Storage Pod. At the time of that post, the per unit cost was still too high. At the same time, we need to ensure that the systems are operational and available to meet or exceed our expectations and those of our customers, as well.As we contemplated opening our data center in Amsterdam, we had a choice to make: use Storage Pods or use storage servers from another vendor.

As said here by Andy Klein