How to

At a fraction of the cost: How to create your own cloud storage server

To create your own cloud storage server
Written by Hassan Abbas

If you run a business that requires a lot of digital storage, then at last a time will come when you have your own cloud.  Whether the backups for company data, the big-name providers don’t come cheap. So you are probably considering Amazon S3, Dell, Sun, EMC, and NetApp, among others. It is simple to create a cloud storage server.

Further, if you are ready to cut costs then take the challenge into your own hands. However, with a few tricks and a bit of know-how, then you are able to attain petabytes of storage for as little as a tenth of the price as any of those big-name brands.

However, in this article, we will display to you how to use a few key ingredients.

  • Consumer-grade hard drives to keep costs low
  • Readily-available commodity components
  • Space-efficient racks and boxes
  • It is free software
  • HTTPS to store and recover data

Drives and elements to create a cloud storage server

However, when removing away everything but the core function of what all the big enterprise cloud brands do. However, what you attain is as simple as transferring data. Thus if you are building your own cloud server, so then the hard drives that you purchase will largely determine the price point. Then make up the bulk–estimate at least half and as much as 80 percent–of your investment.

Moreover, this software is free. While the open-source design for Backblaze is the newest enclosing affirm. But it is able to bring the cost down to as little as 3.6 cents per GB of storage, totaling 240TB with all 60 drives accounted for. This is a simple way to create a cloud storage server. So the pods sit in 4U racks. However, the 6.0 design prolongs a few inches past the edge.

Similarly, you are able to buy one of these “pods” pre-built for between $3,000 and $7,000. So depending on how many hard drive slots you need, from 45 Drives or Blackblaze. Moreover, with the pre-built pod, so the only other thing that you have to buy is the actual hard drives.

Now you are able to build one yourself. So for a 6th-gen pod with 60 hard drives. While the full section lists along with estimated prices are found in this PDF. Similarly, most elements are found on Newegg and Amazon. So that some will come from special distributors.

While the parts alter for each version of Backblaze’s design. Similarly, here is a generic rundown of everything you will have to need:

  • 4U chassis
  • Power supply
  • On and Off switch
  • Case fan
  • Dampeners
  • Fan mounts
  • Motherboard
  • CPU Fan
  • CPU (Intel)
  • 8GB RAM
  • Port multiplier backplanes
  • SATA III cards
  • SATA III cables
  • Cable harnesses
  • Screws and cable ties

Assembly to create a cloud storage server

To create your own cloud storage server

Similarly, if you contain all the parts, then it is time to start assembly. Thus you are able to install the following from BackBlaze:

However, all in all, the 60-drive setup costs an estimated $3,500 according to BackBlaze. So keep it in mind that it does not add the drives. However, the company says that with the 45 4TB hard drives, the total bill comes out to about $10,500.

Remember it that in a prior design, BackBlaze used a direct-wire setup, in which all of the hard drives are wired directly to a Rocket 750 SATA card. However, they switched back to their original configuration. So depending on what hardware is available at what price, both are good options.

Making a Cloud

So now you have established a huge storage server for a fraction. But you still have to make it into a cloud that is approachable to clients, staff, and other applications.

However, start the work from the bottom up. The Backblaze recommends 64-bit Debian Linux as the operating system. Whether you can bring one of the pre-made pods, many of the drivers will come pre-installed.

Similarly, so you must have to select between the JFS or ext4 filesystem. Ext4 is more common but JFS is what BackBlaze uses. Moreover, each pod contains its own HTTPS IP address, which is how it will access. Thus, ext4 supports up to 1EiB, but the distro copy of e2fsprogs only supported 16TB. Building from source using the 64bit flag solves this.

However, you have to end up with about 83 percent of usable space out of the total. This is where we have to stop relying on Backblaze for advice, as its cloud software is proprietary.

Moreover, another option is Oxygen Cloud, this uses the Oxygen Storage Connector to change the used storage on the server into storage. So that they are used with Oxygen Cloud apps. So the oxygen cloud encrypts data in transit end-to-end. Similarly, you are able to access Oxygen Tunnel Gateways. It permits you to access your storage from outside your own firewall without having to convert your configuration.


So the main risk is that you can lose data. So that it means that you can lose your job and harm your company and coworkers. Similarly, the system is using a single disk for the host operating system, some do not have unnecessary and any health or monitoring software must be built, installed, and configured by hand.

In the end, it is necessary to say that it is also not as easy to expand. Because when you pay for Amazon S3, maintenance is all taken care of for you. Similarly, but a task as simple as exchanging a failed drive in a DIY storage pod needs you to remove 12 screws and the top cover. Thus not to mention setting up custom wiring equipment. A lot of the necessary maintenance will require the system to take offline and possibly powered down.


We hope that you will like this tutorial the most. Because we have explained thoroughly and in a very easy manner the whole procedure at the fraction of the cost: how to create your own cloud storage server. Well in case of any trouble feel free to ask any questions.

About the author

Hassan Abbas

Tech enthusiast with too many items on his wish-list and not nearly enough money! Specializing in all things tech, with a slight Apple bent he has been writing for various blogs for the best part of (too many) years

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