You’ll need 67 terabytes just to contain the excitement your storage-deprived mind is about to feel. How do you build huge cloud storage? This is how.

Online backup company, Backblaze, now providers of one of the cheapest cloud storage solutions known to man, gives you the cloud storage step-by-step scoop. It’s storage on a budget for sure. Not only do they give you the full overview with material list and wiring, they also provide the full SolidWorks 3D model, with every stinkin’ feature intact.

More Storage for Your Porridge

There were days when one would not only scoff at 1 Terabyte of storage, but also keel over with pains of laughter and tears. “One Terabyte of data? Are you serious?!” That’s not so much the case anymore.We not only need Terabytes of storage, we need multiple terabytes. Petabytes, Exabytes… million of bytes at our fingertips. At some point it seems ridiculous though. Think of backing up a Petabyte of data. But as data storage increase, so would data transfer – Terabytes per second, instead of Megabits per second.

So the search for better, cheaper storage lives on. Why did Backblaze go at it themselves. Here’s what they found out.

We’re a backup service, so our datacenter contains a complete copy of all of our customers’ data…Before realizing that we had to solve this storage problem ourselves, we considered Amazon S3, Dell or Sun Servers, NetApp Filers, EMC SAN, etc. As we investigated these traditional off-the-shelf solutions, we became increasingly disillusioned by the expense. When you strip away the marketing terms and fancy logos from any storage solution, data ends up on a hard drive. But when we priced various off-the-shelf solutions, the cost was 10 times as much (or more) than the raw hard drives.

This lead them to develop their own solution that would be a fraction of the cost. Using SolidWorks to construct the pod that would contain the drives, they created a sheet metal, 4U rack-mounted solution that cost a measly $7,867 (fully equipped) per 67 terabyte rack unit. So, for 1 Petabyte (1000 terabytes) , they slapped down a cool $181,000 to be up and running with the big boys… and with the information they provide, you could too.

The Storage Pod 3D Model

Why did they want to provide the full SolidWorks model for people to download? Ultimately, it’s so others can have a go at refining it, letting them know where improvements could be made or how costs could be lowered. This is really a great example of crowdsourcing, not only a product, but the main aspect of a business process. If they keep promoting this, it could optimize their storage solutions and really, the overall business of mass storage.

green arrow downloadDownload the BackBlaze 3D model here (ZIP 24.2MB)

Bib, Big hat tip to Dave Moore. Thanks!


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.