The cost of storing data online has come down drastically over the last few years this is the main reason why Cloud Storage has come about. 10 years ago you would need vast servers just to compute files being stored with data lookups. Now thanks to advances in storage technology and data base info structure, Web storage space is less expensive.
The only problem now is that file sizes have got a lot bigger.
We are no longer just storing a few files and the odd image, we now store our whole digital life online include photos, video and music. All of these are thousands of times larger than the average text file. Another problem is that even these already huge files are getting bigger. We are now taking photos on 18 megapixel cameras, each one of these photos is a huge file size. We are also upgrading our movies to HD blueray quality which are about 10 times larger than a .avi movie files which are usually compressed to the size of a CD.
So the need for unlimited storage space is growing because our files are growing. Most users will only need about 30GB of storage space but then you have the big data users who are backing up there DVD collection who need closer to 1 TB.
Based on Amazon S3 storage costs 1TB will cost $125 per month. So signing up for a $9.95 unlimited storage plan will mean you are losing your online storage provider money. Companies like JustCloud and Carbonite offer unlimited storage at the moment for under $5 per month.
So why do they keep these customers live?
There is one reason – file de-duplication. If you upload a mp3 and another user attempts to upload the same mp3, they will notice these files share the same digital signature and not have to store the file again. So in 10 years time the big storage users would have paid for themselves.
One thing to note is that Carbonite start to “Throttle” your upload speed when you use 250GB. Basically this means they start to slow your upload speed so that it takes longer for you to backup a lot of data. No other company we know of does this.