Business internet

Storage Costs

There’s a great deal in the online media this morning regarding Facebook’s need to raise more cash. The site is apparently uploading between 2 and 3 Terrabytes of photos a day.

That’s roughly 3 million one MegaByte pictures. Users are also downloading the photos at a rate of 300,000 pictures a second!!

In order to host this growing online album Facebook is looking to buy 50,000 servers this coming year. It’s not just the cost of the servers. 50,000 of them will probably use up 1,250 or so racks and consume in the region of 2.5Megawatts of power.

That’s a big rent bill as well as the cost of power and cooling – currently retailing at 18 pence per KiloWattHour in London Docklands. All this has to be paid for by online advertising in what must at the moment be a declining market.

I’m not saying that Facebook is shaky. In fact in my view the application is a serious winner. This is though a warning to all IT managers out there about the rising cost of storage. I don’t think Moore’s Law is keeping up with rise in data.

It is also a warning to make sure that you are dealing with a partner that is on solid financial footing. If you are looking for offsite storage solutions, and most are these days, choose a partner that is not as vulnerable to the fluctuations in the stock market, has plenty of cash in the bank and low or no debt.