[EDIT: Update]

Wrote this post thinking about Google Docs. Turns out Google is copying Amazon and has come out with its own “Google Storage for Developers”. Basically identical to Amazon, just that it costs $0.17 per GB per month instead of the $.20 per GB per month that Amazon charges. Data transfer in and out costs a heck of a lot of money, especially to-from APAC ($0.30 / GB)!

Which means running your own storage server (in a well built and well managed data-center) is probably the best bet. A decent server with decent storage say, 2Terabytes of disk (1TB x2) costs about $100 per month which is … $0.1 GB/month with RAID level 1 – Mirroring or $0.5 per GB/month with RAID level 0 – striping. In all practicality there will be no further data-transfer charges.

‘Course you have run your own linux distro, but you can choose whatever super cool filesystem you want. If you use Kimsufi.co.uk you can run Proxmox VE (or VMWare or Hyper-V) + a pre-packaged appliance like Openfiler.

[EDIT: Original Post continues]

Google is nearly an order of magnitude cheaper than Amazon S3 for cloud storage!

  • Google: Max 1GB, Crappy interface for large files, tools ecosystem not as rich as S3.

  • Amazon S3: Max 5Gb per file. Decent tools. Have to pay for good usermode filesystems. EBS allows you to easily store/mount true-crypt encrypted volumes.
    • 80 Gb for $192 p.a (full redundancy)
    • 80 Gb for $96 p.a (reduced redundancy storage)

And Google has no data-transfer charges … which can be very, very substantial! Amazon is free for inbound data till June 2k10 …

I think I’m going to start transitioning my content from S3 to Google. Going to try and store my everyday desktop as a VM image – let’s see how that goes.

BTW: Noticed that Reliance has substantially lower latency than Tata when it comes to international bandwidth. Round-trip times under a 100ms for servers in Paris/London. Which means remote desktop may actually be usable. I remember a senior (and brilliant, though understated) colleague, saying that anything under 200ms is ok for UI tasks … (this is when I was developing embedded devices and we were trying to work out how fast we needed the processor to be …). Methinks Tata goes via SGP => TKY => NYK to reach LDN (they acquired Tyco). Reliance on the other hand owns FLAG and can go via the Middle East. When I’m next on a Tata line, I’ll check out ping times to NYK. Should be about the same either way to NYK (~250ms), but LDN should be 400ms via Tata if I’m right.

I think Amazon has servers in SGP. I think Google is more of HKG play – which will add some 50ms to round-trip times.