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Readers: Could you build a complete data environment off eBay?

Storagebod On the way to "Powering the Cloud" with Greg Ferro and Chris Evans, we got to discussing Greg’s book White Box Networking and whether there could be a whole series of books discussing White Box storage, virtualisation, servers etc and how to build a complete White Box environment.

This led me to thinking about how you would build an entire environment and how cheap it would be if you simply used eBay as your supplier/reseller. If you start looking round eBay, it is crazy how far you can make your money go; dual processor HP G7s with 24Gb for less than £1000; 40 port 10 GbE switch for £1500; 10 GbE cards down to £60.

Throw in a Supermicro 36 drive storage chassis and build a hefty storage device utilising that - you can build a substantial environment for less than £10,000 without even trying.

I wonder how far you could go in building the necessary infrastructure for a start-up with very few compromises. And whether you can completely avoid going into the cloud at all? The thing that still going to hurt is the external network connectivity to the rest of the world.

Instead of "White Box" … perhaps it’s time for junk-box infrastructure. I don’t think it’d be any worse than quite a few existing corporate infrastructures and would probably be more up-to-date than many.

What could you build? Answers on a postcard please. ®

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