Is cloud storage, which appears to be a bargain off the top, overly expensive when compared to buying your own drive and keeping everything on your desk? It certainly looks that way.
On the other hand, Amazon.com's S3 service charges 12.5 cents per-GB/month for its cloud storage. Using that figure, a customer who wants to store 2TB in the cloud for three years would pay about $4,500, or $2.19 per gigabyte.
For a consumer or VSB (very small business), that might be inordinately expensive. For an enterprise, however, that is a huge bargain, when compared to the cost of maintaining servers, arrays, switches, et cetera in a data center.
Of course, there are many pros and cons to each type of storage. We don't need to list them here.
In any case, one of my colleagues, Frank J. Ohlhorst, decided to take a close look at the math involved with the economies of scale, and he came up with a noteworthy article on it.