Data Center and Critical Infrastructure

Barracuda (BBS890A) Backup Server 890 Teardown

12 June 2013
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Teardown Overview

This teardown is of the Barracuda BBS890a which is a 2U rack server, with a dual processor socket. At a high level - the system is composed of a SuperMicro Chassis (which includes power supply but without motherboard), an off-the-shelf ASUS motherboard, and other off-the-shelf components (See System Cost Analysis tab for details). Final assembly markings on the unit say Made in the US - so it's assumed an EMS provider is kitting this for Barracuda.

The key to this system, in terms of keeping it cost-effective - come down to using inexpensive off-the-shelf system level components from ASUS and others - and the fact that this is AMD-based (AMD solutions are more aggressively priced than Intel typically). The ASUS motherboard found here is the same in another Barracuda and Zenith system torn down by IHS iSuppli.

As with most servers, and teardowns of servers, there are a lot of client-configurable options, so the cost assessment we are doing is only valid for this specific configuration. Having said that, we have rolled up the numbers in ways that should match the way a client would buy the system (and options) from the supplier - Barracuda in this case. Though it's not normally part of the teardown analysis, we have provided an end-buyer focused analysis here that is designed to answer not just the question of 'what are the component costs that going into the system', but what are the subsystem totals and markups that tend to stack up along the way that ultimately add up to a price to the end buyer.

Barracuda (BBS890A) Backup Server 890 Main ImageBarracuda (BBS890A) Backup Server 890 Main Image

Target Market

Enterprise Users



Based on data sheet copyright date.

Barracuda (BBS890A) Backup Server 890 - Motherboard BottomBarracuda (BBS890A) Backup Server 890 - Motherboard Bottom

Pricing and Availability

~$19K USD

For this configuration - Barracuda sell this device (MSRP) for approximately $19K.


Volume Estimations

5,000 Annual Production Volume
5 Total Years

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed an Annual Production Volume of 5000 units and a Product Lifetime Volume of 5 year(s).

Teardown volume and production assumptions are primarily used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially). Unless assumed volumes are different by an order of magnitude, minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis because of this.

Barracuda (BBS890A) Backup Server 890 - Disassembly View 1Barracuda (BBS890A) Backup Server 890 - Disassembly View 1

Cost Notes

Because of end-buyers's specific needs on this project - our normal methodology for compiling top cost drivers does not apply here, and we have produced roll ups that more closely emulate the modules and options that end-buyers would be able to buy or negotiate. As an example of what this means, we assume that end-buyers will be more interested in negotiating NIC cards, or RAID controller cards, for example, instead of individual ICs.

We do not normally account for logistics costs or 'other' costs Beyond basic electronic systems and EMS-Level Assembly, teardowns are hardware cost focused. But in order to better chart the cost links in the supply chain, and how that might affect end-buyers we have created a simplified supply chain (in the 'System Cost Analysis' Tab) with rough mark up assumptions (which also should account for logistics cost) between the parties to better account for where our BOM costs are in the grand scheme of 'total cost', or price to the end customer.

Barracuda (BBS890A) Backup Server 890 Cost AnalysisBarracuda (BBS890A) Backup Server 890 Cost Analysis

Manufacturing Notes

This system was labeled, at final assembly level, as made in the USA. We believe Barracuda are having this system integrated by a US EMS Provider, and that the 'kit' they are building comes from all of the systems suppliers spelled out in the System Cost analysis tab.

Country of Origin

For the purposes of this analysis, we are assuming the following country(ies) of origin for each level of assembly, based on a combination of 'Made In' markings, and/or assumptions based on our knowledge of such equipment.

Box Contents - United States
CPU - United States
Drives - United States
Memory - United States
Misc Peripheral Assemblies - United States
Motherboard - China
Other - Chassis - United States

Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of 'finished' sub-assemblies (such as hard drives or DIMM modules), we do not calculate internal manufacturing costs, but rather assess the market price of the finished product in which case country of origin assumptions may or may not have a direct effect on pricing.

Labor rates are applied directly only to hand inserted components and systems in our bill of materials, and although regional assumptions do, these new rates do not have a direct effect on our modeled calculations of placement costs for automated SMD assembly lines. "Auto inserted components (such as SMT components) placement costs are calculated by an iSuppli algorithm which allocates a cost per component based on the size and pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Design Complexity

Component counts by assembly and the number of assembly are indicators of design complexity and efficiency.

Component Qty: 8 - Drives
Component Qty: 830 - Other - Chassis
Component Qty: 2 - CPU
Component Qty: 2920 - Motherboard
Component Qty: 4 - Memory
Component Qty: 1117 - Misc Peripheral Assemblies
Component Qty: 11 - Box Contents
Component Qty: 4892 - Grand Total

The component counts of this system are inline, largely speaking, with other systems of similar functionality. Storage servers are inherently complex and we expect the kinds of elevated components we see here. Most of these components in such a system are board level components. At a systems integration level this equates to handful of items - which are, for the most part listed above as lineitems (Motherboard, CPU, Etc.). Final integration is not terribly challenging.

Barracuda (BBS890A) Backup Server 890 - Box ContentsBarracuda (BBS890A) Backup Server 890 - Box Contents

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