Welcome!

Cloud Security Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Ravi Rajamiyer

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
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
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...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
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 ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...