Originally Posted by Tallest Skil
I’ve been wondering something recently.
Go back to 1994. 1GB drives were huge. Basically the largest available, right?
Fast forward to 2004. 1TB drives had just come out. 1000x larger.
And now in 2014, we have… 4TB. Where are our Petabyte drives? What happened here? I mean, even 10TB seems like a meaningful thought, but nothing. Nada.
So Google being able to offer up this amount of storage seems insane. Think of the sheer number of drives! Think of the amount of physical space required! And I guess they assume the service will be used for at least a year per person, because terabyte drives are still $100.
Simple math assuming the average 100GB purchaser _uses_ 10GB (and median user is 2GB...pretty much what I see in my disk management Life).
And retail for 4TB internal drives is ~$150. Google's price is wholesale.... your price is off by a factor of 3+.
Figuring in 4TB RAID 5 and a Mirror... and likely a decent amount of compression to balance any anomalous usage spikes
Let's say you want to service a BILLION users.
That's 10GB per user RAIDED/Mirrored out at 24GB.
24GB*1B (is a lot of zeros)/4TB = 6Million Drives
my back of the envelope price for the raw spindles (6 million 4TB if you're counting) is $750Million..
Storage Array, networking, the army of technicians to wire up the cabinets, electrical, cooling... lets double that 1.5B
Seems like a lot of Initial spend.... oh wait Google made 9.0BILLION last quarter.... Take it out of petty cash.
A BILLION Users costs Google 1.50 cents in initial CapEx and OpEx/yr per user...
Google .49/1.99 = 25% Gross Margin... is it profitable to Googles current stds.... yes.
Year 2... plan on 10% disk failure (8 cents) and 10% growth (8 cents), 10% growth on costs (.83 cents per user)
Google makes $1.05 Billion at 50% gross profit the 2nd year....
Seems to make pretty simple business sense... if you have the capacity in the data center and your network.
Edited by TheOtherGeoff - 3/13/14 at 3:53pm