Behold The Mysterious Netflix Open Connect Appliance
Netflix have always been somewhat secretive about the hardware they use to provide the streaming video you watch, but thanks to a Redditor that works at an ISP being offered a deprecated Netflix OCA cache. We know a fair amount about the software that Netflix uses, from their Open Connect architecture and their Settlement-free interconnection technology, but have always been cagey about the guts of the devices they provide to ISPs to improve streaming.
The fancy looking case contains some pretty bog standard hardware, the same SuperMicro motherboard and Xeon E5 2650L v2 that are found in many server rooms, and 64GB of DDR3 RAM isn’t all that impressive. The storage is a little more impressive for 2013, with six 500GB Micron SSDs sitting in front of 36 7,200 RPM 7.2TB WD HDDs for a total of 262TB of raw storage. The last piece of hardware, and perhaps the most important, is a quad-port 10-gigabit Ethernet NIC card.
PoisonWaffle3 has since installed TrueNAS on the OCA for his own personal use, not too shabby for a Plex server. Ars Technica might be underestimating what storage fanatics do at home when they suggest that “262TB is still a lot of storage for one person—even in 2022.” A certain ex-PCPerson would scoff at such a tiny amount of storage.