Redditor picked up a Netflix cache server, packs 262TB of storage

Redditor gets his hands-on a decommissioned Netflix cache server for free: inside, it packs a single Intel Xeon CPU, 64GB DDR3, and 262TB of storage.

Redditor picked up a Netflix cache server, packs 262TB of storage
Published Oct 27, 2022 8:41 PM CDT   |   Updated Wed, Nov 16 2022 7:26 PM CST
2 minutes & 7 seconds read time

A Reddit user has secured themselves a decommissioned Netflix cache server, posting about his experience on Reddit.

Redditor "PoisonWaffle3" works for an ISP that has been getting rid of old Netflix servers, as they've been upgrading to new systems. In a thread titled "So I got a Netflix cache server..." with a bunch of pictures of the bright-Netflix-red server, and what is inside of the cache server.

A decommissioned Netflix cache server (source: "PoisonWaffle3" on Reddit)

A decommissioned Netflix cache server (source: "PoisonWaffle3" on Reddit)

PoisonWaffle3 explained on his post on Reddit that all he could find online for the Netflix cache server was overviews, installation and configuration guides for their proprietary software, and more. The Redditor noted that he had "no specs, no clue what was inside the red box".

Inside of the Netflix cache server was a "fairly standard" SuperMicro motherboard, a single Intel Xeon E5 2650 v2 processor, 64GB of DDR3 memory, and a 10GbE ethernet card. But the storage, oh boy... there were 36 x 7.2TB 7200RPM HDDs and 6 x 500GB Micron SSDs for a total of 262TB of storage.

Inside of the Netflix cache server (source: "PoisonWaffle3" on Reddit)

Inside of the Netflix cache server (source: "PoisonWaffle3" on Reddit)

Dave Temkin, Netflix's former Vice President of Network Systems Infrastructure told Motherboard: "They're just an Intel FreeBSD box. We got Linux running on some of the generations of that box as well. They're designed to have a huge pipeline from disk to NIC and not do much else. The CPU is just enough to support that mission. It has a custom NIC but it's actually nothing crazy".

PoisonWaffle3 replaced some of the noisy fans inside of the server, as well as one of the failed storage devices, w here he might use it as a NAS (network attached storage) at home. Makes sense, given there's an incredible 262TB of storage that he got for FREE.

Here's what 262TB of storage looks like in a Netflix cache server (source: "PoisonWaffle3" on Reddit)

Here's what 262TB of storage looks like in a Netflix cache server (source: "PoisonWaffle3" on Reddit)

PoisonWaffle3 explained on Reddit: "So I got a Netflix cache server... "All I could find online was overviews, installation/config guides for their proprietary software, etc. No specs, no clue what was inside the red box".

"I have an opportunity to get a newly retired Netflix OCA cache server/appliance from work (large ISP). I don't have all of the details yet, but I gather that the retired appliances are about 4-5 years old and are filled with SSDs that likely have a lot of read/write cycles on them. I'm not sure on the rest of the specs yet".

"I should have an opportunity to check them out in a few hours, and can either bring one home or nab a few parts. I don't have a four post rack (only a 22u 2 post that's wall kountrd), and I'm pretty sure these will draw a lot more power than my PowerEdge T620. What do you guys think? Anyone have any experience with these hands-on? I can't find much online".

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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