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Internal Costs Per Gigabyte — What Do You Pay?

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the wonder-what-the-dept-of-education-pays dept.

Data Storage 420

CodePwned writes "I recently took over a position at a rather large company where I discovered my group was paying $30 per gigabyte per month! That's $360 per year per gigabyte to our own IT department. While I understand costs are different depending on the scale, redundancy, backup and support methods, there doesn't seem to be any good papers on what range you should expect your costs to be. So far, my research shows an average of $1 per gigabyte or less for internally hosted space. What do you pay?"

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CDW, Newegg, etc (0)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | about 4 years ago | (#33075466)

Well at my job we pay whatever the current prices are from our vendor. CDW seems to have pretty reasonable prices, and we do a lot of other ordering from Newegg and Border States Electric (they're regional to up north by MN, IIRC.) so we get pretty good prices as far as I can tell. Sounds like the OP needs to talk to some vendors.

Re:CDW, Newegg, etc (3, Insightful)

jhantin (252660) | about 4 years ago | (#33075540)

I think the OP is talking about total cost of ownership here, not purchase price. TCO is all-inclusive, covering network bandwidth to make use of the space, backup and redundancy, paying someone to keep it running, electricity to keep it spinning, a share of a fileserver box to put it in, etc, etc.

Re:CDW, Newegg, etc (1)

Stargoat (658863) | about 4 years ago | (#33076244)

Backup and redundancy can get awfully expensive, particularly if an online backup product like Evault is used. I don't know if its worth 30 dollars, but it's a pretty fucking good milkshake.

wrong question (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | about 4 years ago | (#33075468)

you don't want to know what people pay, you want to know what their costs are.

Re:wrong question (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075870)

What was missing from the Million Man March? Three miles of chain and an auctioneer.

Eh? (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | about 4 years ago | (#33075488)

Bandwidth? Storage? Backup? Downloads from a particular site? What the hell are we talking about here?

I thought it was RAM (3, Funny)

sugarmotor (621907) | about 4 years ago | (#33075542)

I thought it was RAM

Re:Eh? (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | about 4 years ago | (#33075564)

I agree. This question got through without enough information to be answerable. My guess is this either refers to storage or bandwidth.

Re:Eh? (5, Informative)

Surt (22457) | about 4 years ago | (#33076104)

He's at a large company, where one department (IT) actually charges other departments (sales, development) for services. He wants to know what he should expect to be charged by IT per GB of storage. He thinks the IT department at his company is overpricing to provide for Aeron chairs.

Re:Eh? (3, Informative)

porkThreeWays (895269) | about 4 years ago | (#33075710)

I don't think it's as vague as everyone is making it to be. Since his department is paying the IT department it most likely means data on a windows network through CIFS that is backed up and redundant. This is a common thing.

Re:Eh? (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | about 4 years ago | (#33076106)

I don't think it's as vague as everyone is making it to be. Since his department is paying the IT department it most likely means data on a windows network through CIFS that is backed up and redundant. This is a common thing.

If you are having to speculate based on what is likely and common, then it fits the very definition of "vague".

Gigabytes of Pr0n, maybe? (1)

hawks5999 (588198) | about 4 years ago | (#33075734)

Full service IT at it's best.

Re:Gigabytes of Pr0n, maybe? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33076038)

Full service IT at it's best.

Apostrophe usage at its worst.

Re:Gigabytes of Pr0n, maybe? (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about 4 years ago | (#33076218)

maybe he was using Schrödinger's' apostrophe?

Re:Gigabytes of Pr0n, maybe? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 4 years ago | (#33076228)

I wonder if forum/comment web sites for authors and writers and such has the occasional "tech nazi" show up to tell someone... nvm.

Re:Eh? (0)

syousef (465911) | about 4 years ago | (#33075740)

Exactly. Just because you can buy a consumer grade hard disk for $1/GB, doesn't mean $30/GB is necesarily a rip off. For starters commercial grade network devices aren't so cheap. Secondly you may have multiple online copies via some form of RAID. Thirdly you might have that backed up periodically to more than one other device. Fourthly there's admin costs of overseeing this...

I wouldn't go as far as including bandwidth though.

Re:Eh? (5, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | about 4 years ago | (#33075864)

That's not the point, the point is that you can buy a consumer grade hard disk for $0.05/GB.

A 1TB consumer-grade HDD costs $50. $1/GB per month would mean $12,000 per year to store that. His employer is spending $360,000 to store that same amount of information. This is clearly far beyond the "consumer pricing has no bearing on enterprise pricing" argument.

I don't think that more than one third of a million dollars can be justified to store one terabyte of data, no matter what the infrastructure involved. At that price, you can afford to colocate one hundred servers in one hundred different datacenters and replicate your data to all of them, including the staff to manage them all. $360k per year to store 1TB is insanity.

Re:Eh? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 years ago | (#33076118)

Assuming we're talking about storage, which we might not be...who knows?

Re:Eh? (1)

RichiH (749257) | about 4 years ago | (#33076154)

> $360k per year to store 1TB is insanity.

Actually, the fact that this is happening in a private company and not in a public entity is the surprising thing...

Re:Eh? (2, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | about 4 years ago | (#33076230)

Well, if they've got an internal SLA for 24/7 uptime, that would require having at least four full-time people (4*40 = 160, and there's 168 hours in a week) *available*, if not directly interactive with the storage system. If they each make $90k, there goes your $360k/year. Cut those salaries in half and you get eight IT people full time, with a little bonus for the folks who work nights and weekends.

And that's just for one location. If this storage includes multiple datacenters, they would have to have more people on-hand.

Maybe this is just the way the original poster's company determines their IT staffing budget; if they've decided that there is a direct correlation between the amount of disk storage requirements and the number of IT people required to cover all IT needs, then it might make perfect sense. Buy yourself a gigabyte for $30/year and with it get all the free desktop and network support you can eat!

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075842)

So far, my research shows an average of $1 per gigabyte or less for internally hosted space.

Re:Eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075890)

I would post but it would cost /. too much.

IT all depends (4, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | about 4 years ago | (#33075520)

I suppose it all depends on what, and how, you're measuring. Is that money spent on backup tapes, raid systems, flash drives, or what? Is that for offline storage, frame-relay throughput, ISP bandwidth. Does IP telephony get rolled up in that? The question seems a little vague to me.

Re:IT all depends (1)

StoneOldman79 (1497187) | about 4 years ago | (#33075738)

Yep, 30$ seems a lot but there are many, many factors we don't know:
* how many IOPS do you get?
* does price include the fileserver / is fileserver separately billed?
* include software/license for server+client (& virusscanning) ?
* Do you get 100% uptime guarantee on multiple locations?
* Do you get daily backups for the last 10 years?
People tend to look at the GB price for a consumer but "just the disk space" is not the biggest expense.
It is not so easy to determine the price you "should" pay..

Re:IT all depends (1)

AngryNick (891056) | about 4 years ago | (#33076066)

and don't forget the cost of the labor force supporting and monitoring all these components...while they attend "training" and "share knowledge" on /.
"For the last time, close that browser and get the @#$%%#$ rack installed before leave today!"

Re:IT all depends (1)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | about 4 years ago | (#33075832)

Exactly. Are we talking about my $500 WD 1TB NAS (2 x 1TB RAID1) or my half-million dollar multi-site WAN replicated EMC storage solution?

We pay more (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075532)

Until about two years ago we were charged about CHF10 (CHF=Swiss Franc) per 100MB per month to our internal (now mostly outsourced) IT provider, that is 3 times more than you, roughly. But I don't know what our service charges are now. On top of that we pay a flat rate of CHF600 per person for IT support per month. Doesn't matter how much you call IT. I felt like we were ripped off, but no-one seemed to care.

Performance, reliability, and price, pick two. (4, Interesting)

GoNINzo (32266) | about 4 years ago | (#33075534)

Performance, reliability, and price, pick any two.

High performance and reliable storage tends to be expensive.
High performance and cheap tends to require a lot of maintenance.
Reliable and cheap tends to be really really slow.

So if they are on a SAN with that one gig spread across 50 drives, there are some applications that need that speed.

Re:Performance, reliability, and price, pick two. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33076044)

If it was just a gig, it'd probably be cheaper to just buy RAM.

Re:Performance, reliability, and price, pick two. (4, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | about 4 years ago | (#33076124)

At those costs, one terabyte of data stored for three years would cost roughly $1.1 million. I find it hard to believe that you could legitimately build a SAN that stored 1 TB for that amount of money and not have hit some sort of performance wall that made the expense superfluous. I mean, at some point, you're maxing out multiple 10GigE fibre channels from your SAN and thinking "How can I spend the rest of this money?"

Re:Performance, reliability, and price, pick two. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33076142)

High performance and cheap doesn't mean a lot of maintenance. I think the total amount of time to monitor and maintain systems regardless of their cost can be directly related to how knowledgeable the staff was that installed the equipment.

I don't understand... (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | about 4 years ago | (#33075538)

the question

Re:I don't understand... (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about 4 years ago | (#33076220)

OK, I'll bite.

You buy 1 TB HD : one time Cost=$100

you want to not worry if it fails so
You buy another 1 TB HD: one time Cost=$100+$100

You want an off-line backup so
You buy Tapes+tape drives:
                    one time Cost=$100+$100+$1500
                    monthly cost=$100

You want someone else to manage it...

  Yup, your 1TB of storage is starting to cost alot.

$3/Gb/Month (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075546)

$3/Gb/Month

WTF? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 4 years ago | (#33075556)

I might be mistaken but if I'm getting you correctly "internally hosted space", about $100 for a TB drive that translates to about $0.09 per gb. If it's internal why would you have to pay per year for that?

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075644)

Gee, power, cooling, cost trade off of the space, maintenance, replacement of hard drives... I wonder why you would have to pay per year.

Re:WTF? (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 4 years ago | (#33075672)

If it's internal why would you have to pay per year for that?

The 30lb bags of Purina IT Chow are a recurring cost.

Re:WTF? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075860)

Hey, this fine back-hair pelt won't keep a healthy sheen on its own, you know!

Re:WTF? (3, Informative)

XanC (644172) | about 4 years ago | (#33075674)

"Internal" in the question refers (very obtusely) to the cost within a company. In other words, $X per gigabyte is taken from his department's budget in order to "pay" for their IT use.

Re:WTF? (2, Interesting)

KevMar (471257) | about 4 years ago | (#33076128)

We fight with this type of stuff all the time. The market price for things and the amount IT "charges" for the same thing can be way out of line. What I usually see is some large infrastructure investment by IT gets broken up and tacked onto other services charged to the departments that depend on them. Your TB drive may cost $100 but it may be in a high end raid on a server with some fault tolerance attached to a UPS ran by a full team of support. The company can either cover the cost of IT or hand it back to you based on the services you use.

You may be able to get away with getting you own 1TB drive and not paying the IT tax. But if the IT expenses are not being met, they will find other ways to charge you.

I would kind of like to start charging our departments something for network space. It goes unchecked at the moment. I have 16 out of 500 users that use 1/2 of our home folder storage.

Costs for what? (4, Informative)

georgewilliamherbert (211790) | about 4 years ago | (#33075560)

For backed up to tape storage? Storage replicated to another, remote datacenter? Snapshotted at regular intervals?

SAN storage? NAS? Direct attach? On arrays with 10 drives, 100 drives, or 1000 drives?

Fast SAS or FC drives? SATA arrays? 5400 RPM? 7200? 10k? 15k?

If you're paying $360/GB/yr for low end storage that sucks. For very high end, with replication and snapshots and the fastest drives and so forth, that's pretty high, but not an order of magnitude high.

Re:Costs for what? (1)

RingDev (879105) | about 4 years ago | (#33075910)

Not to mention you are also paying the salary for a full time employee+on call. Figure with taxes and benies, and depending on your local cost of living, a decent network tech can run a company $100k/year. And if you're running a smaller SAN with say 10 terabytes of storage that's $10/GB right there.

-Rick

SAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075568)

We're paying about $1000/GB on our SAN.

Too generic a question. (2, Insightful)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 4 years ago | (#33075590)

"Depends" is your answer. Though I'm assuming you're talking about disk, not tape nor VTL. Do you buy direct from the manufacturer or through a channel? How big is your company? What's the total installed base so far? General Electric pays much less per GB than some midsize company with 100TB.

Do you mean for SATA disk in a tier2 array or SSD in a tier1 array?

Costs go up when you include snapshots and replication.

Do the editors even ask the submitter to be more specific?

our service (0, Redundant)

drDugan (219551) | about 4 years ago | (#33075594)

shameless self promotion::: (you asked)

ClearBits offers unlimited bandwidth / distribution of up to 10GB for $45/year, $0.98/GB/month additional, and less for higher usage.

http://www.clearbits.net/about/member_benefits [clearbits.net]

Re:our service (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075918)

Why the fuck should I trust you with my company's sensitive data? Could you prove to me that you didn't and don't use third-world labor (mainly Indians) to develop the software powering your service?

Re:our service (1)

Dogers (446369) | about 4 years ago | (#33075998)

Great!

Except your terms of service don't appear to mention anything along the lines of availability, backups, etc..

$40 (3, Interesting)

spike2131 (468840) | about 4 years ago | (#33075600)

We pay a one time $40 per gigabyte as the capital cost of acquiring the storage. There is no monthly cost. I think $40 is still way too much.

Re:$40 (-1, Troll)

camperdave (969942) | about 4 years ago | (#33075724)

We pay a one time $40 per gigabyte as the capital cost of acquiring the storage. There is no monthly cost. I think $40 is still way too much.

Considering you can buy a two terabyte Seagate ST32000542AS Barracuda LP Hard Drive for $120, yeah, $40/gigabyte is way too much.

Re:$40 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075822)

No monthly cost? How is that possible? Do you just throw it straight into the trash?

Clearly there's cost associated with the life of the asset. At minimum there's some cost of the capital used to make the purchase that, if you're looking to get the most beneficial tax situation, is depreciated over the life of the asset.

I'm pretty sure you're powering the hardware somehow.
You're probably maintaining or supporting it using a system admin or two.
Hardware fails so it needs repair or replacement. This can happen anytime. Systems using many HDDs like RAID or similar are a great example.
You probably have some insurance policies that cover the hardware in case of fire or similar. As the amount and value of hardware covered increases, those premiums can go up to.
If your connecting to a network then you occasionally need switches and cabling to connect to the storage.
If there is remote access then there's bandwidth that might need to be added.

I know these costs can vary but the "There is no monthly cost." statement makes you seem really ill-informed. I hope you're not the manager for that department.

Re:$40 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075884)

I think he means his dept is billed $40. $40 as a one time cost doesnt sound awful -- assuming it's in a SAN and
includes backups in perpetuity.

Re:$40 (2, Informative)

spike2131 (468840) | about 4 years ago | (#33075930)

No monthly cost to our group. Once its bought, the ongoing operations cost comes out of someone else's budget.

your forgetting.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075618)

there is no way for $1 per month per gb you will get daily backups, off site storage, redundancy, speed, etc.. an 99.99% uptime. and internal storage your not counting all the hardware for the "internal storage" nor are you counting A/C, Electricity, physical space, etc. etc..etc.. Network, Bandwidth.

I don't pay (3, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | about 4 years ago | (#33075622)

My boss does.

Re:I don't pay (2, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 4 years ago | (#33076080)

The only 'insightful' comment so far, and me without mod points - your department pays whatever your boss has agreed to pay. Why should it even worry you...? $30 a month is background noise compared to the cost of running a 'department'.

(PS: The OP didn't even say what he's paying for so I don't see what other people are commenting on...)

One idea... (3, Interesting)

lexcyber (133454) | about 4 years ago | (#33075636)

Stop beeing retards and do internal invoicing. Not like the board of directors is billing "per decision". IT department as a billing self ruling department is so damn stupid. And no one seem to understand it. It is like having a fire department only going to fires that is in line with their mission statement.

And having an it department invocing per GB instead of having a budget for storage and then the company can allocate it as they please. And if someone has a bigger need, it should be a question for the company. Not a matter of giving a profitable it department.

Re:One idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075862)

Sure, if we'd work like this everyone will want to have a 100Gb homedirectory/outlook mailbox/subversion repo whatever. You say go to management and I'll tell you what they'll decide: the teams that make most of the money get it the rest wont. So cut out the middleman and make this common practise by rebilling I say. But then everything should be rebilled (and that's where it goes wrong most of the time: some team rebill and some don't. This effectively means mixing a capitalist and communist society and that don't work....)

Re:One idea... (4, Interesting)

Cytotoxic (245301) | about 4 years ago | (#33076214)

Sure, if we'd work like this everyone will want to have a 100Gb homedirectory/outlook mailbox/subversion repo whatever. You say go to management and I'll tell you what they'll decide: the teams that make most of the money get it the rest wont. So cut out the middleman and make this common practise by rebilling I say. But then everything should be rebilled (and that's where it goes wrong most of the time: some team rebill and some don't. This effectively means mixing a capitalist and communist society and that don't work....)

This is exactly what happens. If IT resources are "all you can eat" then IT ends up rationing the supply. This works in smaller organizations where IT is heavily involved in the business. As the size of the organization gets larger, having IT deciding priorities between various groups is less desirable.

The inevitable result of unbilled IT is the CEO holding the line on the IT budget while the departments are demanding more and more services. Simple econ101 will tell you what happens next. If you fix supply and decouple demand, you get rationing.

There is an inevitable curve as companies get larger and larger:

1. IT handles everything
2. resources become constrained and an executive group attempts to prioritize IT projects
3. internal billing and budgeting is used to prioritize IT resources
4. Numbers used for internal billing are used to justify outsourcing and/or mini IT departments spring up inside divisions.
5. outsourcing/distributed IT produces mixed results and added complexity - so IT is insourced.

   

Re:One idea... (3, Interesting)

zero_out (1705074) | about 4 years ago | (#33075944)

As I understand, this stems from the idea of outsourcing IT. IT outsourcing companies love this, because they can easily compare apples to apples. "Your internal IT dept. charges $30/GB to host and support your files, but we can do all that for $25/GB!" However, many IT needs don't fit into that model very well. Which model you use really depends on your needs, the size of your company, and the department structure.

Re:One idea... (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 4 years ago | (#33076166)

only problem is if you don't do the internal billing from IT you end up with the situation we had before that..

IT is a huge cost.. lets cut/slash/kill......

you end up with companies who think they can slash IT in half and it woln't change any other parts of the company..

if theses areas don't have some realization of the cost of what they are doing IT gets stuck with the cost - and an unjustifiable budget.. if marketing needs another 2k worth of storage they can justify it .. pay IT and we provide it.. else they would use it and we have to justify it?? to whom?? how?? it doesn't work.. it would be nice if it did .. but it doesn't.

on the flip side 30$ per month per GB seems overly high.. we run around 20$ per year per GB - but we are also a small outfit

Internal Clients (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075640)

That's what normally happens internally in a company. The company that does not specializes in IT pays its own IT group larger amount of money for different reasons, limited but not included
1. You have your own network.
2. You put money to pay for your people own and support
3. You put your own reliability depending on the money you have
4. Your data is managed by your people and it's backed up at your own responsibility
5. Having your data closer to you probably gives you more bandwidth availability (speed and latency).

Of course you can buy your own NAS and place it behind your desk, and you'll be responsible for your data, but of course if something happens... it's on you.

Depends on what you get for that (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 4 years ago | (#33075656)

It depends on what you get for that $30 per Gb/month. If the only thing you get for that is storage and support costs come out of a different pot, then you are paying too much. On the other hand if that $30 represents all of the IT budget for your company, then it might be about right (might not be as well, ther e are too many variables in that case).

Apportioned costs. (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | about 4 years ago | (#33075754)

Apportioned costs have little to do with what actual services are being used by a department. It all depends on how management wants to allocate costs. Many times, accounting will just allocate costs across all departments equally. Meaning, even if you're one department out of two that only uses 1/10th of the IT department's resources, you get charged for 50% of it - as a simplified example.

In the poster's case, he doesn't say exactly how they're being "charged" only that it works out to $30/gigabyte.

That's always a point of contention among mangers: who should pay what part and how much of the overhead costs because it reflects in their numbers.

Cost Drivers (4, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 4 years ago | (#33075758)

Hi,

I am willing to bet that the "gigabyte" usage is simply a cost driver. Accounting simply needs to know how to divide up IT costs and settled on this as a cost driver, possibly one of many, to determine what it takes to support each department.

This is neither new nor entirely bad. Sometimes it is better to go with an easy-to-implement, but only partially accurate number than one that is perfectly accurate but impossible to implement.

Re:Cost Drivers (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 4 years ago | (#33076024)

Accounting simply needs to know how to divide up IT costs and settled on this as a cost driver, possibly one of many, to determine what it takes to support each department.

Bingo. When they "split out" IT as a department, chances are they just said "Well so far we have been spending this much a year and providing exactly x in storage GB, y in support hours, z in application runtimes, etc. etc. etc. The number then gets tweaked based on inflation, changing requirements (more speed, more backups, more whatever per unit) but what it probably isn't changing based on is *competition* which is the only thing that will make it go down.

If it's practical, pay an internet based file host. Most likely it's not due to regulatory compliance, bandwidth issues, etc. You can try hosting the files yourself by taking your year's budget and buying a server, tape drive, etc. and running that direction, but this might be seen as infighting. How about a plan that gets your message across to all of the involved parties?

State your (generously estimated) storage plans for the year, deliver them to IT and await the budget numbers. Since it's done monthly, they need to ramp up capacity but can't just ramp it down even though you can cut back usage in a month's time. Next month, cut back as hard as you can: delete all old archives, switch to local storage for anything thats not 100% essential, switch to backups in the form of a USB disk on someone's desk if that's what it takes. When the payout to IT drops to 10% of what it was, let them squirm as you report to your boss how much money you are "saving the company" while IT is busy laying off support staff to meet their numbers.

Re:Cost Drivers (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 4 years ago | (#33076158)

The trouble is if your cost system is out of whack then people with limited budgets will make descisions that are good for them under the current system but would be bad descisions if things were more accurately accounted for.

In particular i'd think overcharging for storage would cause a lot of local badly backed up storage to pop up (at least that is what seems to happen at the uni I go to).

nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075768)

It is considered overhead costs an thus part of the IT yearly budget.

Think about it (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 4 years ago | (#33075772)

$1/gig is barely a mirrored pair array stuck in a PC. Probably not even 15krpm SAS.

What exactly do you need?

Lots of storage?
Lots of I/O?
Redundancy?
Backups?
Disaster Recovery?
People to manage it?

It all costs money. If you don't need any of that then by all means, buy a PC, stick a couple of 1.5Tb drives in it, raid 0 them and call it the department server. Of course, other people in your organisation may have mandated all of the above.

Funny Money (1)

emeade (123253) | about 4 years ago | (#33075794)

One client of mine pays [much] more outrageous prices, one more TB and they have to build another datacenter it seems. A lot of posters have pointed out the factors that go into the storage costs equation, but with internal budgets and make believe money, it is often a political issue.

There are more costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075810)

Also factor in Electricity, Bandwidth to the site, IT support, backups, setup and maintenance fees. Even if you host it locally sure it'll be less than $1 to purchase the drive, but you are going to be racking up quite a bill in the things I just brought up.

Here is 67 Terabytes for $7867 (2, Interesting)

sentientmachine (1867036) | about 4 years ago | (#33075820)

Do it yourself. Get almost a petabyte for $7867:

http://blog.backblaze.com/2009/09/01/petabytes-on-a-budget-how-to-build-cheap-cloud-storage/ [backblaze.com]

My answer:
67 terabytes is 67000 Gigabytes.
$7867 / 67000 = 11 cents per gigabyte.

Your mileage may vary.

Re:Here is 67 Terabytes for $7867 (4, Insightful)

zonky (1153039) | about 4 years ago | (#33075856)

You've not allowed for power, network, or backup in your costing. Try again.

Re:Here is 67 Terabytes for $7867 (4, Insightful)

Eristone (146133) | about 4 years ago | (#33075974)

Also doesn't allocate anything for the cost of the person doing the maintenance/monitoring - that person doesn't come for free usually.

Re:Here is 67 Terabytes for $7867 (3, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | about 4 years ago | (#33076076)

that person doesn't come for free usually.

Nah but they're real cheap in Malaysia.

Re:Here is 67 Terabytes for $7867 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33076258)

Sure, but now you have to pay for the network bandwidth to Malaysia!

dom

Do not forget the cost of servers and software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075824)

Including the costs of fileservers, switches, operating systems, all-inclusive vendor extended warranty (3 years), and redundancy, our cost per GB is about 15$ (purchase cost, excluding che cost of people that manage the servers and excluding the cost of the backup system). Your montly fee seems to me way over the industry standard.

For storage, right? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075874)

Higher ed, 4gb FC EMC SAN, weekly tape backups:

First 2GB is free, after that it's $7/GB/yr

This may merely be an allocation scheme (5, Insightful)

neltana (795825) | about 4 years ago | (#33075876)

What you may be seeing, especially if you are working for a very large company, could just be a cost allocation scheme, not a real money cost as you are thinking of it. If your department brings in revenue, the organization needs to match expenses to it for purposes of Management Accounting.

For instance, imagine you know it costs $X to run one of your cost centers. That dollar amount includes everything from the manpower, the equipment, the facility...everything. Now, they need to assign these costs to the departments that actually make money in a way that makes sense. They could do this by carefully costing out each service they provide and assigning an overhead rate, blah blah. That tends to be a pain. You do it if you have to...but you try not to have to. Another, easier, way of doing it is determining a usage metric (CPU hours, GB of storage, number of tickets) and using that to determine each profit center's percentage allocation of the overall cost.

So, the $60 per GB may not even be close to a market rate for storage. However, if all the departments used twice as much storage next year, the per GB cost might fall to $31 per GB (slightly more than half to account for the fact that there would obviously be more real costs). Conversely, if you convinced your management to contract externally for storage, everyone else might find their per GB cost rise, since the fixed costs would be static.

His concern.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075896)

I think he is concerned whether $30 / Gb / month is a rip-off - given reasonable standards for reliability & performance.

Incentive (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 4 years ago | (#33075908)

I recently took over a position at a rather large company where I discovered my group was paying $30 per gigabyte per month! That's $360 per year per gigabyte to our own IT department.

It is incentive to keep your data free of porn, lolcats, pictures of the 2007 Christmas party, CD rips, etc. It also helps to pay for the Ferraris that the IT department drives.

ya (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33075920)

we do .47 per GB with a multiplier of 1.25 for RAID5 and 2.0 for RAID 1+0. This is on EMC clariion arrays.

Hope This Helps [TM] (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | about 4 years ago | (#33075978)

Don't think of it as $360/GB per year, think of it as $360,000/TB per year.

Factor "overall" cost of IT dept.. (1)

ivan_w (1115485) | about 4 years ago | (#33076016)

It's possible the "internal" cost is simply some form of rudimentary metric to measure the relative usage that is made of the IT dept by each of the other depts (so each dept is charged accordingly).

--Ivan

Just guessing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33076028)

Really just guessing here, but is your internal storage, by any chance, provided by a group company function, while you work for a subservient company? It does seem a common way to claw back cash to the parent company.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33076048)

We pay approx $75,000 per Tb per year.

Tier 1 enterprise class SAN. fibre, triple redundant, vtl and then tape behind that with HSM etc etc etc then with layers of federation in front of that, both hard- and soft-. Effectively we can loose the entire SAN, and the switch over is quick enough that most apps won't see it, and we won't loose any data or have an issue.

Which is all good and well, but when your looking to handle a couple of Pb of data, the bill quickly adds up.

9 euros (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33076050)

per year per GB for backedup and replicated to a second datacenter of SAN storage.

I think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33076062)

The contributor and /. editor need to RTFA.

Corporate charges (1)

stimpleton (732392) | about 4 years ago | (#33076082)

If this guy has started at a local govt entity or highly formalized private enterprise, I would suggest he squares himself up and forgets this sort of thing.

I have seen this directly. For example the corporate staff (including CEO) gets their wages divided into cost center charges.

Quick and dirty example: $3,000,000(corporate wages and expenses) / 500 cost centers = $6,000 per annum.

Alternatively if he wishes to keep digging, he will find himself pushed to the outer, or worse, managed out of his position.

At the last place I worked (1)

AfroTrance (984230) | about 4 years ago | (#33076092)

The main "file server" had only 2 TB of storage, for a ~200 user site. Our department started using high resolution imagery, and we were burning through the remaining 500 GB of free space. They told us our department needed to upgrade the hardware, and offered to set up a 4 TB NAS for us for $10,000 (or maybe $20,000?) I questioned why don't they upgrade the file server and they said it was full. I found out later all the servers on site were 5 year old HP machines.

It's not the bits... (1)

autophile (640621) | about 4 years ago | (#33076100)

...it's the people supporting the bits. At my company, storage is also insanely expensive compared to the personal consumer space, but that's because unlike the personal consumer space, our data centers have high reliability, and lots of personnel (along with their 401k plans, insurance, office space, and other expenses) who have to be paid to support the systems.

The cost of Platinum storage.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33076110)

Platinum storage at UBS APAC is currently around 100kUSD per gig per per year. Its mainly used for production systems and as such is guaranteed to have 5min snapshots.

Sooooo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33076162)

Ask them for the equation that they use to calculate this cost. Then, break it down into pieces that you can monitor (total throughput, reads/writes, data storage used, active vs. latent storage, tech support calls, backups/restores, etc.). Use something like Cacti to graph it with $$ as your Y axis. I'm not kidding. With a little work you could build this and then pay precisely what you owe. If it's still cheaper to internalize your storage, then go for it.

£15 one off cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33076168)

Where I work I implemented the SAN so had to quantify all the costs associated with implementing it and worked out an actual pound figure. In the end it was best for our accounting practices to charge a one off fee which could then go back into procuring more storage when required. When you take into account all the hard drives, drive arrays, storage controllers, fibre channel switches, backup solution, tapes etc. it cost the business £15 per gigabyte. So it sounds like where you are they are charging a lot

We get quite often that they can go to the local PC world to buy a terrabyte drive for £50 but when you explain to them that if that drive dies so does their data and the fact that realistically only one persona can use that drive at any time they reluctantly cough up.

ultimately if you dont like the price, dont pay for it. Delete the data and see how much that would cost the business.

Not enough info (1)

rongage (237813) | about 4 years ago | (#33076176)

Like many others are saying on here - you need to give us a lot more information here. There is a huge difference in the cost per gig between a Netgear and a NetApp. You also didn't mention if your cost analysis includes your OpEx costs (Operational Expenses) - things like hard costs (labor) and soft costs (power, hvac, floorspace, etc).

Tell us more and we'll be able to help you out better.

Depends on the level of storage (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 4 years ago | (#33076178)

We charge people something like $30-40/GB one time cost for space on the NetApp 2020s. Reason is there's two redundant NetApps in two different buildings, one of which is also backed up to a tape library with tapes rotated out to a vault in yet another building. Also the NEtApps have space set aside to do hourly snapshots, in case you delete something. Costs just a little bit for that kind of performance and reliability. For our lesser storage system, which is basically just a supermicro case filled with 2TB WD RE4-GPs we charge like $0.20/GB. You get it on a RAID-6 system, but no backups, no redundancy, if it dies the data is gone. For desktops, well it costs whatever you can get a drive for probably $0.10/GB or less.

Costs entirely depend on the performance and even more on the reliability you demand. If you say "I can't ever lose my data," fine we can do that. However you need to be willing to drop some serious dollars. You can't have cheap and reliable.

That's the problem we run in to is users want to pay bottom dollar, but then scream and wail that it is our fault if anything gets lost. Just doesn't work that way. You have research you need stored? That's what the expensive ass NetApp storage is for. It would damn near take a nuclear strike to cause data loss there. Not willing to pay? No problem, but no bitching if your drive goes tits up.

Additional details (2, Informative)

CodePwned (1630439) | about 4 years ago | (#33076190)

This is just storage space, not web pages/applications, or software etc. We're talking digital assets of the company such as documents, images, videos... etc. Basic, run of the mill file storage is being priced at $30 per gig, per month. It's basically just a giant network share. It doesn't need to be co-located just your typical raid array with some method of disaster recovery.

I'm interested in what other companies charge internally for file storage.

not a fair question (1)

mistahkurtz (1047838) | about 4 years ago | (#33076202)

it's really not a fair question.

some may be paying more, or yours may be high depending upon what your storage infrastructure looks like.

are you on HP EVA or XP storage? IBM SVC?

or do you just use some basic gig-e SAN, or DAS/NAS?

let's start there, and then let's talk about how your storage works. is it tiered, is it smart, is it redundant? how important is some of the data? what type of contracts do you have in place? what is your storage plugging into, and how?

answer these questions, and give your question some context.

My Cost (2, Informative)

Target Drone (546651) | about 4 years ago | (#33076226)

At the universisty where I work. IT charges $3.00 per GB/year to store data on a NetApp SAN. It then costs you another $3.00 GB/year for backups.

NOTE: In case you're wondering the two prices are charged separtely in case you have data that doesn't need to be backed up or have data that needs to be backed up but isn't stored on the SAN.

A little high (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33076240)

We pay a flat fee of $110/GB for storage from our IBM DS8300 SAN. This includes cabling and tape backups. I work at a telco in Canada.

Ahem (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | about 4 years ago | (#33076250)

It pleases us to make this generous offer of $27 per gig, saving you 10% over your current outrageous costs. We would be happy to make a long term contract with you, guaranteeing no cost increases for the next 20 years. In addition, by paying in advance, we will be happy to discount the price further to reflect the savings on our billing costs, at the rate of $0.02 per gigabyte. Please sign below
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