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Advice regarding on-line storage versus terabyte drives

2008 January 17
by Shannon Lowder

Over at Experts Exchange, a user asked for some advice on using online (or off-site storage) for a collection of video files.  This is something I have been discussing with my friends and co-workers for some time.  I thought I’d try to help out.

Looking at the amount of storage, 2 terabytes, I had to start thinking of a few different providers.  I also had to consider their pricing.  Storage like that will be costly.  Currently I’m limited to 500GB of storage on my web server.  I’d have to move to a larger package to get the full size.

Another user posted an issue with moving the author’s storage off-site.  The time it would take to re-download that file if you needed it would make it virtually impossible to use an off-site solution to serve video files back to an end-site.  At least until home broadband becomes a lot faster, and gets closer to LAN speeds.

So I then bring up additional issues with the off-site storage, security and digital rights.  Given that the user wants to store video, you have to consider the MPAA.  Right now it’s still illegal to make a backup copy of a movie you own.  Even though older laws did provide a “backup” provision.  The author will have to make sure he keeps his collection private, and not share the media that is copy-written.

Based on the amount of money it would cost to rent the storage off-site.  I ended up suggesting co-location.  That way the author can build a machine to his specs, and only pay for the bandwidth plus electricity he uses.  That way rather than costing several hundred per month, it would cost him about $100 per month.  The only real cost being his one-time server build cost.

Given that Experts Exchange is a Q&A board, and not a full service consulting site, there was no extra follow-up on this question.  The user market both suggestions as the solution.  I’d prefer to do more work on this, but the author is satisfied!

What do you think?  Can you go off-site?  What kind of performance are you getting?  Anyone know of any low cost services?  What would you have suggested?  Send in your comments, and let me know what you think!


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  1. December 12, 2008

    Hi, cool post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for writing.

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