Redditor acquires decommissioned Netflix cache server with 262TB of storage


Enlarge / An Open Join Equipment server from round 2013 {that a} Redditor acquired.

A Reddit consumer named PoisonWaffe3 just lately acquired a 2013-era Netflix cache server that had been pulled from service and wiped for disposal, which marks a uncommon event the general public has been capable of get a take a look at the mysterious {hardware}, Vice studies.

The decommissioned cache server—referred to as an “Open Join Equipment” (or OCA)—operated as a part of Netflix’s Open Join content material supply community. Open Join is a community of servers all over the world embedded with native ISPs that comprise native copies of Netflix video content material, accelerating the supply of that content material to Netflix viewers by placing it as near the viewers as doable (each geographically and from a perspective of community hops).

Netflix supplies loads of high-level documentation about Open Join on its web site, however what is not broadly recognized is what particular elements make the Open Join servers tick—particularly one that’s nearly a decade previous. After eradicating three screws, PoisonWaffle3 took a glance inside their unit and found a “fairly customary” SuperMicro motherboard, an Intel Xeon CPU (E5 2650L v2), 64GB of DDR3 RAM, 36 7.2TB Western Digital arduous disks (7,200 RPM), six 500GB Micron SSDs, a pair of 750-watt energy provides, and one quad-port 10-gigabit Ethernet NIC card. In complete, the server incorporates “262TB of uncooked storage,” based on PoisonWaffle3.

PoisonWaffle3 acquired the intense crimson Netflix cache server as a result of they work for an ISP that was pulling the gadgets out of service. “We’re retiring/changing fairly a number of 2013 period Netflix OCA caches, and I used to be provided one,” they wrote. “After all, I could not say no.”

The consumer initially sought recommendation on what to do with the OCA, and options ranged from mining the Chia cryptocurrency (which advantages from a number of space for storing) to operating a Plex media streaming server. Initially, the OCA ran FreeBSD, however the server had been utterly wiped as a part of the decommissioning course of. As an alternative, PoisonWaffle3 put in TrueNAS, an open supply working system designed particularly for community file storage functions. No matter path PoisonWaffle3 takes with the {hardware}, 262TB continues to be quite a lot of storage for one particular person—even in 2022.

Apparently, the now-defunct dial-up on-line service Prodigy used a neighborhood caching system to distribute information extra effectively utilizing the identical primary precept as Open Join within the Eighties and ’90s. As an alternative of streaming video, that service merely served textual content information and vector graphic NAPLPS information. Instances have modified, however we nonetheless need speedy information.

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