I wondered whether this very slow price drop was representative of the cloud storage industry in general, so I went looking. Below the fold is what I found, and some of the implications for cloud use for long-term storage.
- Amazon's S3 currently charges $0.125/GB/mo for the first TB, so in nearly 6 years it has dropped about 3%/yr. Their charges for more than a PB of data have dropped around 10%/yr.
- Rackspace's Cloud Files currently charges $0.15/GB/mo. It was originally launched as Mosso CloudFS on May 5, 2008; The launch pricing was $0.15/GB/mo. So Rackspace's price average price drop over nearly 4 years is 0%.
- Windows Azure was launched in November 2009. I believe the launch price was $0.15/GB/mo for the first TB. Recently, Microsoft dropped the price of Windows Azure from $0.15/GB/mo to $0.14/GB/mo and added volume discounts. Thus in just over 2 years the price has dropped about 3%/yr.
- Google Storage now costs $0.13/GB/mo. It launched nearly 2 years ago and officially left beta last October. It hasn't been in official production long enough to drop in price.
Duracloud currently works with the first three providers, charging $6K/yr "subscription" plus $1K/TB/yr, or $1/GB/yr, or $0.083/GB/mo. $1K/TB/yr is less than the advertised price of any of the providers they work with, except if they are storing more than 5PB of data in S3. This seems to pose two problems:
- First, as Michele points out, this model means that small customers' subscriptions subsidise large customers, which is unfair.
- Second, it looks to me like the current pricing may be a loss leader, which would make a lot of business sense if they believed that cloud prices would drop quickly.