PetaBox Unofficial Site

    At The Internet Archive, I've been working lately on something called the "PetaBox Project", working the software end of things (drawing heavily on the expertise of Eric, Jim, and Joerg).  CR Saikley is the hardware guy.
    The project goal is to make a low-cost, low-maintenance, high-density storage cluster, and open-source the hardware and software designs for anyone to use.  The short-term goal is to get the first cabinet of a petabyte-sized computer cluster shipped to Amsterdam, where it will act as a mirror site for the Internet Archive's data collection.  We shipped on May 28th.
    The cluster consists of a bunch of "redbox" nodes, which are 1U-sized Mini-ITX systems, optimized for low power consumption and heat dissipation, high storage density, and low cost per unit disk storage.  They each have a 1000MHz Via processor (used to be underclocked to 800MHz, but we stopped doing that) and four Hitachi 400GB IDE hard drives.  Their network is 100bT ethernet, and their operating system is Debian.  The design philosophy is "configuration, not code", meaning that they run as little custom code as possible (and what custom code they do run is open-sourced).  There are a few "special" nodes: "homeserver" (and its backup node) has more disk and gigabit ethernet, and "router" (and its backup node) has more CPU and memory, and gigabit ethernet, but only one disk (due to space constraints).
    This page is primarily an index into picture galleries, which are ordered chronologically.  Please note that this is an unofficial web page.  The PetaBox will eventually have its own official web site, where everything about it will be available for download -- specs on the nodes, software, etc.  The broader goal is to commoditize this kind of cluster, so that anyone who wants one can make one with a minimum of effort.  For now, the Official PetaBox Site is just a link to the petabox forum on the Internet Archive's site.
  * 2004-04-28 - The first rack is half-full.
  * 2004-05-27 - Prepping the rack for shipping.
  * 2004-05-28 - The first rack is shipping to Amsterdam.
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