Do You See Any Advantages In Cloud Storage Of Your Data?
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11.2 years ago
klemen ▴ 60

I am thinking to store my data in cloud storage, because I have a feeling, that cloud is cheaper. Do you agree with this? What do you see as an advantage of cloud storage?

cloud data • 2.4k views
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11.2 years ago

Cloud storage as a rule is not yet cheaper than local storage. Example: 1TB of data stored on a small external drive: <$100. 1TB of data mirrored on two drives for redundancy: <$200. 1TB of data on AWS S3: $0.10 * $1000 GB = $100 per month. 1TB of archival data on AWS Glacier: $0.010 * $1000 GB = $10 per month. You can see that AWS Glacier comes the closest to the price of local storage, although it's meant only for archival storage that you don't want to retrieve, since data retrievals cost extra.

There are some advantages to storing your data in the cloud:

  • You are doing your computing in the cloud, so you'll have to move your data there eventually
  • You do not worry about maintaining infrastructure and making repairs when hardware fails
  • If you are storing data for someone else and need to bill it as a service, cloud storage makes invoicing easy.
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I agree with the numbers, but I'd caution that they hide some possible costs. If you already have servers, server racks, power, networking infrastructure, regular backups, and software management to deal with growing storage amounts up to many TBs, then it's true that the incremental cost of another 1 TB is ~$100.

But if you have to start from nothing or closer to it (say just you and your laptop), then there's a rather large startup cost (plus ongoing local management costs) to get to the point where the marginal cost for the drive itself is the right number. In that case, since the cloud number is truly "all in", it might make more sense financially. It can also make more sense if you value your time highly versus the time required to manage the computational infrastructure in-house.

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