ISP Worker Gets Beefy 262TB Netflix Caching Server for Free. According to Vice, Redditor PoisonWaffle3 published a fresh post outlining how he obtained one of Netflix’s 10-year-old caching servers for free. Even though it is a decade old, it still packs some significant power and has an amazing 262TB of storage. This is one of the few instances we’ve had a close-up look at Netflix’s server infrastructure.
The Redditor claims he acquired the Netflix server from his employer, an internet service provider. The ISP appears to have used these Netflix servers for years but is now replacing its infrastructure with newer hardware, which is how PoisonWaffle3 obtained this server for free.
This server, according to Vice, is a Netflix cache server and was part of Netflix’s free connect content delivery network (CDN). This method, which is still in use today, is intended to lower overall bandwidth requirements on the Netflix platform by providing ISPs with their own Netflix caching server. This enables popular Netflix material to be streamed directly from the ISP’s servers rather than from Netflix’s server farms.
The server is bright red in colour and comes in the shape of a 4U rack-mounted server chassis. On the front is an LCD for monitoring server health, as well as two VGA interfaces and two USB ports. To the left are two thin power supply that are probably hot-swappable.
A Supermicro motherboard with a single Intel 10-core hyperthreaded Xeon E5 2650L v2 CPU, 64GB of DDR3 memory, and a 10 GbE card is included in the specifications. Six 500GB Micron SSDs as well as 36 7.2TB 7200RPM drives are used for storage in the system. We do not even know what protocol the drives use, but we may assume they’re all SAS drives (including the SSDs).
Even by today’s standards, these basic requirements aren’t bad, and they were exceptionally good when this server was first deployed in the early 2010s. 64 GB of memory and 262TB of storage are not to be overlooked, especially for home use as a network attached storage device (NAS).
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Aside from the beefy hardware, the gadget appears to be very simple in terms of software. According to Vice, Dave Temkin, Netflix’s former VP of NSI, claims that these Netflix servers are simply Intel FreeBSD systems, with some running on Linux. This makes sense, given that the servers were only intended to cache video files from Netflix servers.
According to the Redditor, his Netflix caching server did require some maintenance, such as replacing a couple noisy fans and one failing drive, but that was it. He claims that the server will be repurposed as a home NAS.