Who needs HP and Dell? Facebook now designs all its own servers | Ars Technica
It is just another "hey we're big enough that the economies of scale work for us" story, but interesting nonetheless.
Facebook's "Magic Hinge" is pretty neat.
Inside its massive data centers, Facebook stores about 100 petabytes of photos and videos alone — aka 100 million gigabytes — and as users upload more digital stuff with each passing day, the social networking giant is intent on moving all that data onto custom-designed hardware that seeks to reduce costs and streamline both upgrades and repairs by stripping storage down to the bare essentials. Codenamed “Knox,” Facebook’s storage prototype holds 30 hard drives in two separate trays, and it fits into a nearly 8-foot-tall data center rack, also designed by Facebook.
The trick is that even if Knox sits at the top of the rack — above your head — you can easily add and remove drives. You can slide each tray out of the the rack, and then, as if it were a laptop display, you can rotate the tray downwards, so that you’re staring straight into those 15 drives. Equipped with a “friction hinge” that supports up to 800 pounds, the tray freely moves up and down when you apply a little force, but when you let go, it stays exactly where you put it.
“If I leave it there, it stays there,” says Amir Michael, the man who leads the engineering team that designed the Knox prototype. “It won’t come down on my head.” (Source)
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