In SAN vs cloud storage - a gray or silver lining? , Joseph Hunkins review last December's observations of cloud storage by Chris Mellor of Techworld:
"Google does not use a storage area network (SAN). It has no world-wide network-attached storage (NAS) infrastructure. Instead it uses thousands of Linux servers with cheap disks - direct-attached storage (DAS) - and organises their contents inside its own Google File System (GFS).Cloud computing storage is the antithesis of traditional SAN and NAS storage. The good news is that relatively few organisations will have the size needed to build out cloud computing infrastructures. The bad news for SAN and NAS storage vendors is that they could be so incredibly massive as to trigger a significant migration of their customers to using storage-as-a-service on the massive clouds provided by Google, Amazon and others."
Of particular interest to me were his quotes on storage cost.
"Where SAN costs will run in the neighborhood of $20 per gigabyte, the (internal) cost of cloud storage by Google is reported to be about $1 per Gig. At Amazon E3 the cost is about $1.80 per year per Gigabyte of storage."
Meanwhile Symantec acquires Swapdrive announces it's new offering for cloud storage providers.
“We’re going to leverage our file system know-how to deliver next generation object storage for cloud computing,” said Rob Soderbery, senior vice president of the storage and availability management group. The system will mostly be used as the back end for Symantec Protection Network SaaS offerings, but will also be available to service-provider customers, according to Soderbery. Currently called Symantec Secure Scalable Storage (S4), the new system is slated for an alpha later this year, beta early next year and live availability for SaaS in mid-2009.
Bottom line is that cloud storage as a service is significantly cheaper than "build-your-own" SAN storage