Computer Hardware Storage Porn

Sadly I don’t have a picture of the computer, because it’s now somewhere in our data center at work, so you’ll have to let me describe it to you. Think of it as the hardware porn equivalent of the Playboy letters section… Non-techies, skip to the bottom for the non-geek translation[1].

Imagine a computer case so completely stuffable with harddrives that you could fit….. well, lots in there. This box was brought out of somewhere, the case has no identifying marks on it at all so I can’t even look it up for you. Anyway, first of all it had 8 or 9 drive bays in the standard places, all completely empty except the bottom two which had a floppy and CD in them. Nothing special yet. Now beside the standard drive bay, on the “inside” of it, between where the hard drives would normally screw in and the outer case there was a space for three sets of three disks, if you were to put so many drives so close together that is.

There’s more! On the inside of where the case opens up there is a swinging drive bay that holds drives so they are stacked vertically sideways. IE: when the tray swings out and down you are looking at the front of the drives, and when you flip the bay back in, drives are sitting with their bums (the part that plugs into things) facing the floor and the drives parallel to the side of the case. That bay has enough for another 9 drives.

Actually, I lied…. I just remembered that the two side bays didn’t hold 9 drives, three sets of three, they hold three sets of 4 (again, if you were insane enough to put so many drives so close together).

So that’s 12 drives in the bottom bay.
Another 12 in the side bay.
And 9 in the front bay.

The possibility of 33 drives in one only slightly over sized case. Now I know why it had wheels! Now to do the math. A 500G disk isn’t all that big these days, you can get them for a reasonable price, though the price-point is more around the 320s.

500 x 33 = 16500 = 16 and a half terabytes

What? You’re not a wimp and want the 750G drives? Almost 25 Terabytes! <faint>

That’s a lot of porn warez mp3s backups!

The irony is that my kids will look back at this someday and laugh their asses off at me thinking that 25 terabytes was big. Of course, I figure in 2 or three years 1 and 2 terabyte disks are going to become the norm and suddenly a server like this will hold 66 terabytes easily. By then hard drives will be the size of a grain of rice though, and we’ll all be wired permanently into the net.

I’ll see if I can get some pictures from $work tomorrow.

[1]
Non-Geek Translation: At work there was a big computer case.

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