Redditor acquires decommissioned Netflix cache server with 262TB of storage


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

A Reddit person 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 in a position to get a have a look at the mysterious {hardware}, Vice stories.

The decommissioned cache server—known 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 potential (each geographically and from a perspective of community hops).

Netflix offers loads of high-level documentation about Open Join on its web site, however what is not broadly identified 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 normal” SuperMicro motherboard, an Intel Xeon CPU (E5 2650L v2), 64GB of DDR3 RAM, 36 7.2TB Western Digital onerous 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 accommodates “262TB of uncooked storage,” in line with PoisonWaffle3.

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

The person initially sought recommendation on what to do with the OCA, and strategies ranged from mining the Chia cryptocurrency (which advantages from a lot of space for storing) to working a Plex media streaming server. Initially, the OCA ran FreeBSD, however the server had been fully 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 remains to be numerous storage for one particular person—even in 2022.

Curiously, 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 Nineteen Eighties and ’90s. As an alternative of streaming video, that service merely served textual content information and vector graphic NAPLPS recordsdata. Instances have modified, however we nonetheless need speedy information.