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I am curious where they purchase 4TB disk for $195. That is less than half of most places. That's quite a price break, even if buying in bulk.



Seagate 4GB external drive is selling for $180 right now: http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Backup-Desktop-External-STCA40...

Yes, probably not same speed specs, but it's external, which means it usually costs more for the convenience of the housing.

Edit: Unless my math is wrong, the 3GB model is a better price point...$40 for a TB as opposed to $44+/TB for the 4TB version. http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Backup-Desktop-External-STCA30...

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Sadly, the ones in external cases are cheaper these days, since they're targeted differently. ;( Take a look at http://blog.backblaze.com/2012/10/09/backblaze_drive_farming...

If you're not afraid of shucking cases, there are a number of 4TB drives you can get at that pricepoint-

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822178...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236...

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Yev from Backblaze here -> We're not above liberating drives from their enclosures: http://blog.backblaze.com/2012/10/09/backblaze_drive_farming...

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Husking external drives seems like a great way to get a deal.

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I've done it myself for my home servers. Tends to get strange looks, I can only imagine what buying in the scale BackBlaze did caused for reactions :p

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They actually had people buying external hard drives for them last year[1], so they're probably just removing the drives from the housings and then recycling the casing.

[1] http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57556147-76/startup-paid-b...

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Backblaze do say the price per TB for 3TB drives is better, but obviously you can squeeze more TB per 4U case when you use 4TB drives.

That cuts down on the power usage, cooling, and rack space that you need to pay for.

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Disclaimer: I work at Backblaze. We make the decision to switch to the more dense drives when the "break even" point is about 1 year of operation. We have a little spread sheet (it isn't rocket science) of how much electricity a drive uses, what we are paying for the physical space rental, etc. We plug in the prices if the 4 TB drives pay for the overhead within 1 year we go ahead and buy those.

The drives seem to last about 5 years in our experience, so technically we should be able to buy the more dense drive it it pays back in 4 years, but cash to run the business is very dear to our hearts so we don't like going out much more than a year on a payback.

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You can get them at Costco now for $180. It kinda blew my mind when I was there last weekend.

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Costco has them for $20 off right now, so $159.

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Yea, if you see my above link, Costco was a big help to us. They have a lot of good deals.

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My local Costco has them at $139/ea for the 4TB externals right now. I wonder if they have some sort of dynamic/regional pricing that causes the price to go up in the Bay Area.

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And I wonder if that happened automatically in their yield-management software, perhaps triggered by sales data showing that Bay Area stored got completely cleaned out on a regular basis? :-)

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That may be the case. It certainly would make sense to me since I imagine demand for denser storage is higher in Silicon Valley.

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