Cloud Security Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Industrial IoT, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security

@CloudExpo: Article

Will Cloud Storage Ever Be Free? By @RickNotDelgado | @CloudExpo

Demand for cloud storage has increased every year as more & more data is being stored in data centers around the world

The cloud is proving to be a useful tool for businesses both large and small. What started out as an innovative idea has quickly transformed into a vital component of many business practices. Demand for cloud storage has only increased with each passing year as more and more data is being stored in data centers around the world. While only 7% of data was stored in the cloud in 2013, that number is expected to increase to 36% by 2016. With growing demand comes fierce competition among the many cloud vendors out there, and as is the case with most business competition, that has led to falling prices and a better product. As prices continue to fall, some are even wondering if one day cloud storage will even be offered for free. It's an intriguing possibility but one that is accompanied by a number of complications.

It should be noted that while cloud storage is not yet free, it's still incredibly cheap compared to the rates from years ago. Much of it does, however, depend on the type of cloud storage being utilized. In the case of storing data that is rarely used or accessed, some vendors charge only a few cents per gigabyte. A quick check of some of the latest rates reflects this trend. Both Google Drive and Dropbox offer a whole terabyte for just $10 per month, with other options hovering around that total. Even these numbers keep getting slashed as competition among Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and others forces them to outmatch and give counteroffers to attract more businesses and customers to their services. For example, as Amazon launched its new Fire phone, it offered free unlimited cloud storage for photos users took with the new device. While the free storage isn't necessarily meant for business data, it's easy to see how companies may one day offer more free storage on a wider basis.

There are other ways cloud storage is being offered for free. Almost every cloud provider out there gives away some cloud storage at no charge. Dropbox offers 2GB of storage for free (though more can be gained through referrals and other actions), Amazon and iCloud offer 5GB, and Box, OneDrive, and Google Drive give even more. While this may seem like quite the generous offer, it's important to understand that the amount of storage space given away for free isn't that much if used by a business. The free space is actually more of a marketing tool designed to give people what amounts to a free trial. If a business likes the experience of using the free storage space, they might upgrade to the monthly premium version.

So some storage space is offered for free while overall prices continue to come down. Does that mean cloud storage will be free one day? Not necessarily. Prices may decline but the cost to install and run the infrastructure required for cloud storage will never go away. In other words, operating the cloud always comes at a cost, even if the costs decrease. The cloud computing model can best be summed up by describing it as containing a high initial cost (the installation of servers and other infrastructure) followed by the low cost of providing the service to consumers. This is also known as a zero marginal cost model, wherein adding new customers to the service can be done at no extra cost. This means costs overall can be low but for companies that provide cloud storage, the product and service will likely never be offered for free.

There are, however, other possible ramifications of cheaper cloud storage and new payment models to consider. Some experts believe cloud storage costs will change into one resembling how people pay for cell phone service, mainly that consumers would get unlimited storage for one flat subscription fee paid every month. Others suggest the storage itself may come at no cost to the consumer, but users would have to pay for other helpful services and software offered by the cloud provider. Whatever the future holds, competition will likely force vendors to continue offering more product for less, which can only be good news for consumers looking to make the most of the cloud. If you would like to learn more about cloud storage and what it can do for your business, click here.

More Stories By Rick Delgado

“I’ve been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I’ve started doing freelance writing and I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet.” – Rick DelGado (@ricknotdelgado)

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Early Bird Registration Discount Expires on August 31, 2018 Conference Registration Link ▸ HERE. Pick from all 200 sessions in all 10 tracks, plus 22 Keynotes & General Sessions! Lunch is served two days. EXPIRES AUGUST 31, 2018. Ticket prices: ($1,295-Aug 31) ($1,495-Oct 31) ($1,995-Nov 12) ($2,500-Walk-in)
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...