How Redditor ended up with an industrial-grade Netflix server
A Redditor says they managed to get an old Netflix server for free, and they posted a file Detailed online look at the once-mysterious devices. The devices were part of Netflix’s Open Connect Content Delivery Network (CDN), and can often be found built into major ISPs to ensure your Netflix streams aren’t sucked up. From a report: Reddit user PoisonWaffle3 said that his current ISP had offloaded old Netflix servers while upgrading them to more modern equipment. In a Reddit thread titled “So I Got Netflix Cache Server…” He posted a picture of the server, which is bright red, on Netflix, and explained how he was curious about what was inside the boxes given how little public information was available.
“All I could find on the internet were overviews, installation/configuration guides for their proprietary software, etc,” he said. “No specifications, no evidence of what was inside the red box.” Dave Timken, former vice president of Network Systems Infrastructure at Netflix, told Motherboard that there’s nothing too vague about what the servers can do, although they do help significantly improve video streaming by shortening the overall content transfer time. “It’s just an Intel FreeBSD box,” he said. “We’ve run Linux on some generations of this box as well.”
Netflix’s Open Connect Content Delivery Network devices cache popular Netflix content to reduce overall strain across broadband networks. Netflix allows broadband ISPs to embed a CDN server on an ISP for free; The shorter transit time helps improve video delivery, which benefits broadband providers and Netflix alike. It took all three PoisonWaffle3 screws to get inside the mysterious red module, at which point users discovered a “fairly standard” Supermicro board, a single Xeon E5 2650L v2 processor, 64GB of DDR3 memory, and a 10Gb Ethernet card. They also found 36 7.2 TB 7200 rpm hard drives and six 500 GB micron hard drives, for a total storage capacity of 262 TB.
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