Skip to Main Content
The volume of worldwide digital content has increased nine-fold within the last five years, and this immense growth is predicted to continue in foreseeable future reaching 8ZB already by 2015. Traditionally, in order to cope with the growing demand for storage capacity, organizations proactively built and managed their private storage facilities. Recently, with the proliferation of public cloud infrastructure offerings, many organizations, instead, welcomed the alternative of outsourcing their storage needs to the providers of public cloud storage services. The comparative cost-efficiency of these two alternatives depends on a number of factors, among which are e.g. the prices of the public and private storage, the charging and the storage acquisition intervals, and the predictability of the demand for storage. In this paper, we study how the cost-efficiency of the private vs. public storage depends on the acquisition interval at which the organization re-assesses its storage needs and acquires additional private storage. The analysis in the paper suggests that the shorter the acquisition interval, the more likely it is that the private storage solution is less expensive as compared with the public cloud infrastructure. This phenomenon is also illustrated in the paper numerically using the storage needs encountered by a university back-up and archiving service as an example. Since the acquisition interval is determined by the organization's ability to foresee the growth of storage demand, by the provisioning schedules of storage equipment providers, and by internal practices of the organization, among other factors, the organization owning a private storage solution may want to control some of these factors in order to attain a shorter acquisition interval and thus make the private storage (more) cost-efficient.