Redditor acquires decommissioned Netflix cache server with 262TB of storage

Enlarge / An Open Connect Appliance server from round 2013 {that a} Redditor acquired.

A Reddit person named PoisonWaffe3 not too long ago 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 in a position to get a have a look at the mysterious {hardware}, Vice studies.

The decommissioned cache server—referred to as an “Open Connect Appliance” (or OCA)—operated as half of Netflix’s Open Connect content material supply community. Open Connect is a community of servers all over the world embedded with native ISPs that include 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 gives loads of high-level documentation about Open Connect on its web site, however what is not broadly identified is what particular elements make the Open Connect servers tick—particularly one that’s virtually a decade previous. After eradicating three screws, PoisonWaffle3 took a glance inside their unit and found a “pretty standard” 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 comprises “262TB of raw storage,” in response to PoisonWaffle3.


PoisonWaffle3 acquired the brilliant pink Netflix cache server as a result of they work for an ISP that was pulling the units out of service. “We are retiring/replacing quite a few 2013 era Netflix OCA caches, and I was offered one,” they wrote. “Of course, I couldn’t say no.”

The person initially sought recommendation on what to do with the OCA, and options ranged from mining the Chia cryptocurrency (which advantages from heaps of storage area) to working a Plex media streaming server. Originally, the OCA ran FreeBSD, however the server had been utterly wiped as half of the decommissioning course of. Instead, PoisonWaffle3 put in TrueNAS, an open supply working system designed particularly for community file storage functions. Whatever path PoisonWaffle3 takes with the {hardware}, 262TB remains to be rather a lot of storage for one individual—even in 2022.

Interestingly, the now-defunct dial-up on-line service Prodigy used an area caching system to distribute information extra effectively utilizing the identical primary precept as Open Connect within the Nineteen Eighties and ’90s. Instead of streaming video, that service merely served textual content information and vector graphic NAPLPS recordsdata. Times have modified, however we nonetheless need speedy information.


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