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Data Storage The Almighty Buck

Ask Slashdot: Data Storage Highway Robbery? 168

Posted by timothy
from the airwave-robbery-is-very-common dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I just learned that Salesforce charges $3000 per year for 1GB of extra data storage. That puts it in line with hardware storage costs from about 1993. We've all heard of telcos and ISPs charging ridiculous rates per MB when limits are reached — what's the most ridiculous rate that you've heard?"
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Ask Slashdot: Data Storage Highway Robbery?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:46PM (#42015233)

    You're not paying for the oxide molecules on the platter -- that cost is too trivial to bother with. What you're actually paying for is having the data backed up, the computers to make it available when you need it, and the bandwidth to allow you to upload/download it whenever you want.

    dom

  • Text Messaging (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lobiusmoop (305328) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:59PM (#42015299) Homepage

    At 20c per message (160 bytes), works out at $1310 of income per megabyte of traffic. [wikipedia.org] for the telcos. Talk about a cash cow.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:00PM (#42015315)

    I agree that storage prices are rifdiculous. It's not like storage is that expensive anymore. People are wont to gouge others if they can. Dropbox only gives 2GB for free and 100GB for 199 a year. That's a ridiculous price. I could roll my own solution that's better for about the same AND have no one but me controlling my data. There is always the colo idea. Buy a cheap 1U, pack it full of HDDs and colo that bad boy. Do it at two different locations and use rsync or other tool of choice to maintain your own private.

    I can see there being a cloud backlash of sorts coming because of carelessness with important data. I have none of my data in the cloud until I can figure out how to roll my own solution that I alone control. Anyone that doesn't control their data doesn't "own" their data. Someone else does. I could care less what the storage companies say. If you don't control the means of storage, you are at a loss already.

    Storage should be cheap, though.

  • by obarel (670863) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:01PM (#42015325)

    Yes, I just found out that the Ritz are charging £6.50 for a cup of tea, while at Tesco they sell 80 tea bags for £0.27 (0.3375p each).

    Well I never!

  • by nzac (1822298) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:39PM (#42015591)

    Depends on the QOS requirements.
    They might have to pay out a grand for every 30 seconds you can't get your data or there is too much latency.

  • by Michalson (638911) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @08:17PM (#42015827)
    To expand on this Salesforce.com has two different blocks of storage allocated for any Salesforce instance. One is data storage which is for tables and you start at 1GB for your database. This is where the quote of $3000 for each additional GB comes from. The other is file storage, where you save PDFs and other record attachments. You start off with 30GB and it is much more in line with normal cloud data storage prices. Your usage of both is displayed seperately on your companies Salesforce admin page.

    As the parent said the cost of that 1GB is not really the disk space but the expected transaction cost in terms of servers. The number of bytes shown as used is not even based on any actual disk usage (this would be complicated with table structure, overhead, indexes and fragmentation). For most tables they use a formula of 2KB per record - it doesn't matter if it's an contact record which is probably stuffed with much more then 2KB, or a very simple custom sales record containing a name and a dollar amount. There are a few special tables that are treated at 512 bytes per record, like the table containing chatter updates (Salesforce.com's social media like notifications). Taken all together this means that the "1GB" of data allowance is really 250,000+ records, depending on how much is chatter vs. actual records and not anything related to disk space. It's just easier to explain it as 1GB to a management person rather then as a complex relationship between records, transactions and indexes.
  • cost != drive cost (Score:4, Insightful)

    by smash (1351) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @08:30PM (#42015891) Homepage Journal

    You're forgetting: power, a/c, rack space, fault tolerance, network connectivity/bandwidth to/from said storage, backups. None of that is free or even cheap.

    Sure, if you want a single 1 gb drive in someone's data center sitting on a shelf by itself in someone's data center with no connectivity you could get it for the drive cost, but that's not what you're paying for.

  • by Required Snark (1702878) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @08:50PM (#42016001)
    This is typical monopolistic/cartel behavior. It is a symptom of a closed environment where there is no effective competition.

    This is the business model that dominates a large segment of the US economy, and is endemic in telecommunications, software, finance, agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, health care and energy. Companies in these areas using lobbying to suppress competition and write legislation that guarantees high profit margins.

    This kind of corrupt system ultimately leads to extreme failure. The worldwide economic meltdown in 2008 was the direct result of a greedy, corrupt and incompetent financial system with a primary goal of making insiders as personally rich as possible. The meningitis epidemic is a more recent example. In both cases business groups were able to shut down all effective regulation.

    Sadly nothing is really changing. All the fines for the failed financial business are a joke. JP Morgan just paid a $296.9 million dollar fine for misrepresenting mortgage backed securities, which is meaningless considering their market capitalization is $150.27 billion dollars. Similarly, BP was just fined $4.5 billion for the Gulf oils spill. This sounds like a lot, but that amount is around the profit for a quarter of a year. Considering that in 2005 BP had an explosion at a Texas refinery that killed 14 and injured over 175, it is clear that the corporate culture did not really change. Until the people running these dangerous corrupt organizations are held personally responsible we will continue to see this occur on a world wide basis

  • by mysidia (191772) on Sunday November 18, 2012 @03:29AM (#42017521)

    The role of IT is to take care of the monster, not tame it.

    What gives you that idea? You assume IT has the same role in every organization? Bad assumption.

    it's like having the office administrator go around making sure people use both sides of the pages in notebooks and that people stop doodling on post-its while taking calls because it's waste.

    When the office administrator is given a fixed budget for the purchase of post-it paper, the admin might impose a limit on the number of post-its each department has access to.

    Or a company where cafeteria people decided that there is no need to stock both milk and cream for coffee?

    If management tells the cafeteria people to reduce their food costs, by reducing their budget, the cafeteria/food department may do just that.

    IT should be there to offer training and provide guidance but in the end it's a support function, not a business driver. IT is there to support the sales staff, not school them or patronize them.

    Nonsense. IT is there to provide infrastructure for data processing, and efficient data processing is a crucial business driver that can provide competitive advantage.

    That means the IT department allocating their IT budget in a manner that maximizes organizational efficiency is to be expected; new productivity-enabling improvements to systems protection against security threats, and provisioning of local storage, over purchase of overpriced disk space on remote web site.

Take care of the luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves. -- Lazarus Long

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