That S3 outage sure concentrated people’s minds. And almost simultaneously, EMC announces that they’re getting into cloud storage. It’s obvious to me that we’re nowhere near having worked out the economics and safety and performance issues around where to put your data. There are some areas of clarity; geek über-photog James Duncan Davidson, in The Economics of Online Backup, shows that for a person with a ton of personal data, the online option is really unattractive. And you do hear sotto voce rumbles about going online in the geek hallways, for example “Amazon web services: 3x the price, 0.5x the reliability, and lower scalability than DYI. Buy only for the low capex and lead time.” That’s from Stanislav Shalunov, who by the way is a damn fine Twitterer. The big questions remain open.


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From: John Cowan (Feb 19 2008, at 00:44)

Boy, a picture may be *worth* a thousand words, but it *costs* a whole lot more than a thousand words. If I generated eight gigs a day of photographs, I wouldn't want Amazon-style backup either.

Since I don't, I find S3 (and JungleDisk) a huge win.


From: Bob Aman (Feb 19 2008, at 10:41)

It's an interesting point. I don't use S3, instead I opted for for the storage back-end for a service I'm working on. The service is a long way from going live, but in the time I've been using it, I haven't seen even a minor hiccup.

This was my rationale for opting for remote "cloud" storage: I wanted to do as little system administration as possible. In this particular case, that means VPS rather than dedicated. I can just clone an existing image when I need to add instances. However, each instance will have storage needs that far exceed the quotas that most VPS hosts give. By hooking up SSHFS to I effectively create a storage space that all of the instances are able to share. I keep the local cache sizes to within each instance's quotas and everything is peachy.

I'd be paying far, far more than the amount I'm currently paying for a more traditional setup.


From: Edouard (Feb 19 2008, at 17:58)

Turns out I'm going to to a seminar tomorrow at Auckland University by Mike Culver, "Web Services Evangelist" for Amazon Web Services.

Any good questions I should ask him?

Apart from, you know, "wow, Tim Bray really bagged you guys on his blog yesterday - how do you feel about that?"

Outage aside, S3 doesn't come across as bad to me - in fact, given the particular needs of my work's web ventures, it looks like a great deal.


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February 18, 2008
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