Backblaze 採購硬碟的策略

在「How Backblaze Buys Hard Drives」這篇裡面提到了 Backblaze 採購硬碟的策略,可以看到完全都是偏成本走向,所以裡面的策略一般個人用不太到,一般企業也不應該照抄,但拿來看看還蠻有趣的...

像是因為硬碟太多,所以硬碟的使用電量是他們在評估成本時蠻重要的一環,這點在一般的情境下不太會考慮到:

Power draw is a very important metric for us and the high speed enterprise drives are expensive in terms of power cost. We now total around 1.5 megawatts in power consumption in our centers, and I can tell you that every watt matters for reducing costs.

另外也提到了 SMR 硬碟的特性,在單位成本雖然有比較高的容量,但導致架構面需要配合 (cache),而也會有工程端的成本提昇,所以不是很愛:

SMR would give us a 10-15% capacity-to-dollar boost, but it also requires host-level management of sequential data writing. Additionally, the new archive type of drives require a flash-based caching layer. Both of these requirements would mean significant increases in engineering resources to support and thereby even more investment. So all-in-all, SMR isn’t cost-effective in our system.

成本面上,他們觀察到的現象是每季會降 5%~10%:

Ideally, I can achieve a 5-10% cost reduction per terabyte per quarter, which is a number based on historical price trends and our performance for the past 10 years.

另外提到了用 SAS controller 可以接多個 SATA 硬碟的事情 (雖然還是成本考量),但這塊也蠻有趣的:

Longer term, one thing we’re looking toward is phasing out SATA controller/port multiplier combo. This might be more technical than some of our readers want to go, but: SAS controllers are a more commonly used method in dense storage servers. Using SATA drives with SAS controllers can provide as much as a 2x improvement in system throughput vs SATA, which is important to me, even though serial ATA (SATA) port multipliers are slightly less expensive. When we started our Storage Pod construction, using SATA controller/port multiplier combo was a great way to keep costs down. But since then, the cost for using SAS controllers and backplanes has come down significantly.

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