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Hello, Ron,

I'm too swamped with moving around gigabytes of audio and deadlines 
to get deeply into this, but there is a huge dichotomy out there 
which may be reduced in the future, but it's the cost per GB of raw 
consumer-level hard drives and the cost per GB per year of managed 
storage. The cost of consumer hard drives for a given amount of 
storage is a small percentage of the cost per GB per year of managed 
storage. I don't have a precise percentage, but it's in the 
neighbourhood of 5-10%, maybe less.

So those of us who look at hard drive costs from CDW or Amazon or 
NewEgg and then go to buy a finished storage system end up with 
sticker shock on the storage system.

I'm not sure where all this is going, but, long term, even the 
managed storage will drop.

LTO tape is inexpensive, but one LTO drive will cost about as much as 
I have invested in a triple-redundant 1250 GB hard-drive storage 
system. It costs me about $3/GB to add storage to it (in 250 GB 
lumps). I can easily triple it before I run into brick walls--as long 
as I look at it as 250 GB (or 500 GB) chunks, and don't try and 
manage it as a 3 GB single file system.

Cheers,

Richard

At 11:12 PM 2006-12-09, Ronald W. Frazier wrote:
>Hello all,
>
>(Please forgive cross postings.)  After reading Mikes reply to my 
>How CD's and DVD's can fail article, I've been doing extensive 
>research into CD and DVD media which lead me into studying digital 
>data archiving.  I'm going to be modifying my article to correct 
>some of the errors Mike pointed out.  The field is so broad, my head 
>is spinning.  The one conclusion I came to is that, to really 
>preserve digital data, takes lots of technology and manpower and 
>planning.  One document I read, either from the British Library or 
>the British Archives (can't remember which) cited a digital mass 
>storage system that they have.  They ingest enormous quantities of 
>data.  I saw a chart which estimated their average cost of 
>maintaining the system and administration over 5 years to be close 
>to 9 EUROS PER GIGABYTE!  That translates to $12.12 at the current 
>exchange rate.  This is an astounding cost.  This means the cost of 
>archiving the data from a standard DVD movie, 4.7 GB, for 5 years, 
>would be 42.3 Euros or $56.97 at the current exchange rate!  It 
>would be cheaper to just buy a couple of movies from the publisher 
>every 5 years.  Of course, with most digital data, you don't have 
>that luxury.  Anyway, this cost factor really surprised me, 
>considering the almost negligible cost of the storage media 
>itself.  I also saw a proposal for a data storage system for audio 
>visual materials for an agency affiliated with the US National 
>Archives which is planning to ingest, get this, 23 TERABYTES PER 
>DAY!  That's 23,000 GB / day.  So, combining these two figures, it 
>would seem that this US agency would need to budget $12.12 * 23,000 
>= $278,760 / day to cover their 5 year data storage costs.  This 
>works out to about $99 Million / year.  That sure sounds like a lot 
>to me.  In your experience, does that sound correct?

Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada       (905) 713 6733     1-877-TAPE-FIX
Detailed contact information: http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.