Some Cheerful Truths About Cloud Storage

Yes, Jon William Toigo makes some excellent points about lack of cloud storage management tools in his recent post, "Some Depressing But Hard Truths About Cloud Storage," but there has been some good news lately: dropping cloud storage prices.

Sure, the ongoing cloud storage price wars among companies such as Google, Apple and Microsoft might be consumer-oriented, but cheaper cloud storage for the public at large surely translates into lower costs for enterprises.

The latest volley came this week from Microsoft, which increased the amount of free storage on its OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) service and slashed prices for paid storage. The move follows similar initiatives from competitors.

In March, Google cut prices for its Google Drive service.

Shortly after, Amazon also got in on the act, posting lower prices effective in April.

Enterprise-oriented Box at about the same time decreased the cost of some of its services, such as its Content API.

Earlier this month, Apple announced price reductions for its iCloud storage options and previewed a new iCloud Drive service coming later this year with OS upgrades.

Just a couple weeks ago, IBM downgraded the expense of object storage in its SoftLayer cloud platform.

Interestingly, "Dropbox refuses to follow Amazon and Google by dropping prices," CloudPro reported recently. Coincidentally, The Motley Fool today opined that "Microsoft May Have Just Killed Dropbox."

In addition to price wars, the cloud storage rivals are also improving other aspects of their services in order to remain competitive. For example, in Microsoft’s announcement a couple days ago, the company also increased the free storage limit from 7 GB to 15 GB. And if you subscribe to Office 365, you get a whopping 1 TB of free storage. In paid storage, the new monthly prices will be $1.99 for 100 GB (previously $7.49) and $3.99 for 200 GB (previously $11.49), the company said.

And, of course, Amazon and Google both last week announced dueling solid-state drive (SSD) offerings.

So as Jon William Toigo ably explained, enterprise cloud storage management is a headache and it’s not getting enough attention. But if these consumer trends continue apace in the enterprise arena, lower TCO and increased ROI should lessen the pain.

http://virtualizationreview.com/blogs/the-schwartz-cloud-report/2014/06/cloud-storage-price-cuts.aspx

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