45 Drives 'Lowest Cost' Enterprise Storage Company Profile

By: Brian Karas, Published on Jun 21, 2017

45 Drives claims the "lowest cost per Hard Drive Slot in the industry." But who or what is '45 Drives'?

What started as a product design to enable Backblaze to offer a low-cost/high-reliability online backup service is now available as a storage system for users who want those features for their own storage array.

45 Drives custom-builds storage arrays and servers, allowing several customization options and product/price-point they feel is well suited for security industry needs.

An executive from the company provided IPVM with additional product details, which we cover in this report. We conclude with analyzing costs and features vs Dell, HP and video surveillance manufacturer offerings.

45 ****** **********

** ****** ** * division ** *********, * ************ ** custom *****-***** ******** ***** in **** ******, ******. The ** ****** ******** started **** * ******* from ********* ** ***** a ****** ******* ****** and **** ** **** multiple **** ******. *********, the ******* ************ **** the ********* *** **** went ** ** ***** fully ***** *****.

*** **** ***** **** the ******** *******, ******** to ***** ** ****** in * ****** *******.

45 ****** *******

*** ******* ******* ** a ** ******* ******** to **** **, **, 45, ** ** ******, offering ** ** ***** of *** ******* ********. Pricing ** * ******* component ** ** ******' claimed **********, **** *****:

******* ******* ********* ** Drives ******** ** *** direct ******* ***** *** the ******, ******* * need *** ** ******** carrier/tray. *** ******* **** this ***** ***** ****** more **** *********, ****** higher ***** *********, *** also ***** ****** ********* issues.

*** ******* ******* *** handle ** ** *.***** of ******** ********* *** client, *** **** ** internal ******** ***** ** up ** *****.

***** ******* ******** *** highlighted ** ** ******' video *****:

Fully ************

***** *** ******** ******* can ** **********, ******* to **** *************, ** Drives ****** **** ***% customization ** *** ****** product. **** *** ***** in-house ************* ******* ****** them ** ****** ******, stamping/cutouts, *** ***** ******** of *** ******* ****** what **** ******* ***** manufacturers *** *****.

Software **** *** *****

** ****** **** * software **** ********, ******** that ******* ********** ******** RAID *** **** ***** them ** **** ** exceed *** *********** ** hardware-based **** *******.******** ********* **** ** the ********* ****** *** the ******** **** *******.

********* ** ** ******, software RAID offers ******* *********** **** no ******** ** ***********, and ***** ** ****** to ******** ***** **** time. **** ******** **** here *** ** ******** about * ******** **** controller ******** ***, ****** it ********** ** ******/******* a ****** ******.

Can *** *******/*** ********

***** ***** ** ******** only ** ******* ******* run *****, *** *** users ** **** ** run *** ******** ** the ******* ******* (**** a ******** **** ****) is **** ** ******. This ****** *** ******* to ******** ******* ** a ******** *********, ****** without *** **** ** integrated *** *****. 

Warranty *** *******

* **** ** ******** (upgradable ** * *****) and * ***** ** support (********** ** ** hours) *** ******** **** each *******.  ** ****** said **** ******* ** by ********* ****, ***** is ** **-**** ******* option *********. **** ** offer ******** *********** ***** with ** **** *** a ****** **** *******.

Security ********** ******* ******

*********, ** ****** *** mostly **** * ****** sales *****, ****** *** company ** *** ******* on ********** * **** formalized ******** ******* *** security ******** ***********.

*******

** ****** ******* ****** at $*,*** *** * 15 ***** ******* ***** on ** ***** **** E3-1220 *********, **** *** of *** *** ***** SSD **** *****. *** $2,500 ***** ** *** the *******-****, ******* *** array **** *** ** Purple **** (***** *****), as ** *******, ***** add $*,***, ****** *** unit ~$*,*** *****.

*** $*,*** *** *** get * *** **** **** redundant ***** ********, ** upgraded ****** ***** **** includes **** **** ****, an E52620 ** *********, * 8TB ****** (**** ***), and * * **** warranty.

** ********, ** ***** **** ~$10,000 *** **** ********* R530 **** ****'* ******* to *** *** *******. For **** *** ** Drives *** **** ********, the **** ***** ** a *** **** ****, and ***** ******* ** additional ****** ** *** a *******-***** ********.

** ******** *** (* Dell ******) **** ******* storage ************** *** ***** to *** ** * storage ****** *** *** software **** ***** ** ~$17,000 (****** *****). 

** ****** *** ** online *****/******* ************ ***** ***** *** ********* the ******* *** ******* to *** ********** *******.

Targeting ****** ******* *****

** *** ** ****** greatest ********* ** ** for ****** ******* ***** (say **** ** ******) that *** ****** **** many ************ ********** ***** *** may ***** ******* **** savings.

Compared ** ***** ******** *********

*** * ***** *********/***/******* configuration ** ****** ** likely ***** ** ***** a ******* ******** **** will ** **-**% ******* than ********** ******* **** ********, BCDVideo, *****, *********/*****, ****** Data, ***. *******, **** would ********* ******* ***** 4U ******* ******, **** a ** ** ** NVR ******, ***** ***** take ************ **** ********* than * ****** **** handles ******* *** ***** the *** ******** ********.

************, ** ****** **** not ***** ****** ****** *** *********** guarantees ** ********* **** BCDVideo, ** *** **-**** support ******* **** **** of ***** ********* *** provide ** ********* * Dell ** ** ****** chassis.

** ****** **** *** have * ******** ** the ******** ******, ***** can **** ** ***********' advantage ** **** **** to ***** ********* ********* than ***********, *** ** the ************ ** **** of ***** ***** *** support ****** ** ****** on **** *** ******** presentations.

45 ****** *********** ***********

*********** ******* *** **** effective ******* ****** *** find ** ****** **********, with *** ******* ** save ********* ** ******* and **** ***** **** more ***********. *** **** comes **** *** **** that ***** ***** ** systems ***** ****** **** availability, *** *** **** of ***** ******* *** parts ****** ***** **** offering ****-*** ***** **** require *** ********** ** maintain ***** *** ***** parts ********* *** **** techs ********* ** ******** to ******* ******** ********* failures.

 

Comments (14)

Fill one of these up and you will need a forklift to get it in the rack.

At my old job we sold a couple of Cisco storage arrays, the way to do it is to install it in the rack empty, and then install the drives.

Do they have a FiberChannel option?

Any data that Support that software  raid is equal or better then hardware raid?

"Better" can be somewhat application specific. If you are building a server that is primarily going to be a NAS device, software RAID with linux will likely give equal or better performance than hardware RAID with Windows, and at a reduced cost.

If you want to apply RAID protection to boot drives, you will need to go with hardware RAID, since software RAID can only initialize after the OS has booted up on a separate drive.

 

 

Here are some other blogs on the topic that provide some contrasts between the two approaches:

Software vs Hardware RAID performance

Hardware vs Software RAID

Hardware vs Software RAID In The Real World

If you want to apply RAID protection to boot drives, you will need to go with hardware RAID, since software RAID can only initialize after the OS has booted up on a separate drive.

Not true. GRUB supports md natively, and you should be writing the bootloader to the MBR of each disk. Also possible with UEFI.

We build a lot of our own DVR's and the software RAID has been very slow on initialization and rebuilds. Usually a day for every 2TB. Other than a hardware RAID, are we missing something?

What OS/DVR software are you using?

Windows 7 / Exacq

Most things I have read discourage software RAID under Windows. For Windows, a hardware RAID card is the recommended approach.

You could try linux as the OS if you're using Exacq though.

 

We have been using their products for years even as video storage for our 50+ camera exacq NVR with little to no issues.  Once you understand their i/o limitation from an enterprise perspective, it gives you a lot of capacity for much less than other options.

Nick -

Can you expand on the I/O limitations?

We know 45 Drives since they are a very 'connected' WD customer.  We hear great things about them and we know they love to test and test and test, which I think really keeps them on top of their game in terms of their overall system performance and reliability.

What is interesting as well with 45 is that they offer WD Purple drives for video applications.  Normally systems this big are spec'd only for 'enterprise class' drives.  This begs the question to the IPVM community:  Any experience using WD Purple drives (in video applications) with 45 Drives' (or others') very large systems, i.e. 24 drives or more in one system? If these drives work in these very large systems, recording video 24/7, that could be somewhat disruptive since the cost/TB is so much lower than enterprise-class drives...

We spend a lot of time on NAS and RAID oriented forums, and we've seen similar feelings from users that Software RAID offers more configuration options/more RAID types and may be less prone to failure/issues in general than hardware RAID. It's also the cost, sometimes, of buying a more affordable software solution over a hardware RAID-controller card to get the particular niche solution for your exact needs. In fact, Linux in particular tends to come with some great configuration features for software RAID, and 3rd party RAID tools are often cheap or free to download. I'm sure some of it is quite anecdotal, and experiences may differ, but that seems to be a general consensus of what we have seen.

Also, just to note: One of the really cool things about BackBlaze is that they are yuuuge on Open Sourcing, and you can typically find schematics for their storage racks and all kinds of things posted online. So if a solution like this doesn't fit your particular needs for whatever reason, there is probably something floating around readily available that may be a better fit.

Glorious times we live in.

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