Open source code is a valuable resource for the internet community at large and it benefits us all when developers and other makers can build upon each others' work. Today, Backblaze open sourced its Reed-Solomon erasure coding source code--a Java library used for reliable file storage.
As Backblaze explains on their blog, Reed-Solomon is a library for erasure coding, which is useful for storing data in a way that even with loss of parts of the data, the whole thing can be recovered reliably:
An erasure code takes a “message,” such as a data file, and makes a longer message in a way that the original can be reconstructed from the longer message even if parts of the longer message have been lost. Reed-Solomon is an erasure code with exactly the properties we needed for file storage, and it is simple and straightforward to implement.
The code is hosted at GitHub now, and you can use it for commercial or personal projects. The company has also open sourced its storage pod design, which means that with these two elements together, you could possibly build your own huge data storage box. You'd need to be fairly technical to do this, but the building blocks are here if you're up to the challenge. Check out Backblaze's blog post for more details and an explanation of how the Reed Solomon erasure coding works.