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Data Storage The Almighty Buck

Ask Slashdot: Data Storage Highway Robbery? 168

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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  • SMS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @06:45PM (#42015227)

    $.10 for 142 bytes.

    ~$700 for 1kb

  • I charge similarly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by holophrastic ( 221104 ) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @07:30PM (#42015519)

    even without how the data is being used, it needs to be there, and it needs to be acquired, capacity-planned, and it's a part of a large network. In my case, there's a limit to how much storage I can put into one web server. And since I divide my multiple clients across multiple web servers, if 25% of them suddenly jump 25% in their usage, I hit the ceiling really quickly. And since I have huge administrative and risk costs to migrating projects from one server to another, or procuring a new server, there are real costs as a result.

    I'm not charging for data storage. I'm charging for an entire working solution. Data storage has a impact on that solution in a manner far greater than it's simple cost. Hey, motherboards are more expensive than hard drives. But motherboards can be replaced in an hour without loss of client data, or just about any software configuration. Motherboards can be swapped. But when a hard drive needs replacing (it doesn't need to be broken, it can just be too small), it's a big ordeal to manage that data throughout the process.

  • What's in that 1Gb? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @08:46PM (#42015975)

    First, let me say that the summary is wrong or, at least, people's understanding of what it is saying is wrong. $3000/1GB is NOT file storage; it is for the 'database' storage. File storage is 500mb / license (at least that's how much our org has...we have 25 licenses and 12.5gb of file storage), which is billed separately than 'data'.
    They say '1 GB'...but you need to know what goes in that 1 GB. Each record in Salesforce takes up 2kb, period. Our company has the Enterprise level plan for SF, which gives an object up to 500 fields per record; of those 500 fields, (I believe) up to 10 can be 'long text' fields with up to 32k characters (maximum long text is actually capped at 1.3m characters per record). The 500 fields can include dates, strings (255 characters), numbers, picklists and a few other types. Included with this is the option to track history for up to 25 of those 500 fields, which logs who makes what change and when. All of these fields, filled in completely, with all the history, still only take 2kb of your storage. There is one more tier above Enterprise called allows 800 fields per object, all still in that 2kb per record.

    So, yes, if you look at their '1GB for $3000' price without knowing what that 1GB entails, it seems extremely expensive. I honestly do not understand why they market it in that way...they should market it as $3000 for 500k records.

    Those that understand how SF is structured will learn to make use of the *cannot* think in normal relational database way, because even though those 500 fields take up only 2kb of your storage, the other end is also true. If you have an object with 1 field on it, it will also take up that 2kb. We made this mistake with our initial move to SF from our MySql database. We had a structure of Parent / n Child / n Grandchild with 200k Parent objects. All-in-all, the MySql database is quite small (I'd say around 200k parents, 600k Child, 650k Granchild). Translating that structure directly across to Salesforce cost us a lot of money due to needing all that extra storage...our org currently uses 4GB. We are slowly de-normalizing our database to drop our usage down to 1 parent from (at max) 33 records.

  • Lucent PBX voicemail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MpVpRb ( 1423381 ) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @08:59PM (#42016043)

    I used to administer a Lucent PBX

    Minutes of voicemail cost thousands of dollars

    The storage was already physically present on a hard disk in the box

    After paying, they "unlocked" a little more of the disk

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 17, 2012 @09:26PM (#42016185)

    Nope, I'm also a SF user, and can confirm the $3k/GB rate. This is for data ::DATABASE:: storage, not just random data storage. So think of it as $3K per year for each GB of hosted database. Their rates for that are much cheaper, though still extortionate, and their entire business model seems prefaced on nickel & diming customers for everything from these ludicrous storage rates to very low limits on daily API calls without paying more. Sugar CRM and other competitors are much better options.

  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @10:27PM (#42016491)

    That has to be TB, even then, shoot, I'll store a couple TB for someone for 3 grand each.

    Will you still be willing to do that, when they inform, they need you to manage backup of the data, and meet a performance SLA at all times (even in case of hardware failure); and that a defined transfer rate has to be achieved, no matter how many requests per second to read and write to/from that dataset, E.g. all I/O requests have to succeed, and the delay must be kept under 50ms, and the storage must be performant even at 20,000 requested IOPS at 64KB requests of any arbitrary access pattern with queue depth of 128?

  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @11:33PM (#42016767)

    I remember an electronic typewriter (IBM?) that had built in magnetic storage. It was a late variation of the old Selectrics.

    For $500 they had an option that was described as giving you unlimited storage.

    Sounds worthwhile, no?

    It turned out the standard magnetic storage was a floppy drive with a captive disk.

    The $500 option bought you a new plastic faceplate that gave you access to the drive so you could change the floppy.

  • by lucm ( 889690 ) on Saturday November 17, 2012 @11:39PM (#42016797)

    It's worth noting that companies waste storage like crazy in Salesforce. Give your sales staff free reign, and you'll easily use that space up on PDF's, gigantic image assets for email designs that change every other day, etc.

    The role of IT is to take care of the monster, not tame it. When IT takes action to bring down storage "waste" (be it in SF or in mailboxes) on its own, 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.

    Did you ever work in a company where facilities people decided that lights should be motion-sensor-activated after 6pm? Or a company where cafeteria people decided that there is no need to stock both milk and cream for coffee? Or a company where architects found out that by shrinking parking stalls just a few inches they could fit a few more cars in the underground parking? If you expect the sales staff to put links in emails instead of files attachments or if you want to impose a quota on mailboxes you have fallen for the same flawed logic as facilities people, cafeteria people and architects. You lost sight of the value chain and you miscalculate what is and what is not true waste.

    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. If IT believes that a business process is suboptimal and should be addressed, there is a chain of command for that; you prepare a nice spreadsheet with itemized expenses and you run that up the chain. If the person in charge determines that the waste is in fact unacceptable, he/she will initiate a change.

    $3000 per year = about $12 per working day. One can probably save more by shopping for a better long-distance calls provider than by making noise about those rascals in sales who make too many PDFs.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito