Tenet #2: Online storage will become the norm, not the exception

Tenet #2: Online storage will become the norm, not the exception


On July 13, 2005, I wrote a blog entry discussing total cost of ownership, and contemplated why a photographer should use PhotoShelter when they could “get a 1TB hard drive for $1000″ to back-up their images. At that time, 1TB of storage cost $4800/year on PhotoShelter.

I made the case in 2005 that the reason you should pay (significantly) more was that you were getting geographically redundant RAID, plus a feature set that was built for professional photographers. Having files online not only makes sense from a back-up strategy, but from a workflow strategy as well. We can’t reiterate this enough. We felt then, as we do now, that online storage will be the norm, not the exception for file storage. But I think we intuitively knew that the price had to be price competitive with desktop solutions to be considered seriously.

The pricing is now competitive.

Today, we announced an add-on storage option for our subscribers with a Pro or Standard account. These users can get 1TB of additional storage for $1000/year, or 500GB for $600/year. A desktop solution with 1TB of usable space currently runs about $1300 at a minimum.

And if you did buy a drive, you still couldn’t:

  • Easily access its contents remotely
  • Assemble online galleries
  • Use collaboration tools like our lightbox
  • Integrate it into your website
  • Price and license online

We all use multiple computers. We all travel to various destinations. All our clients need images at the most inopportune times. We’ve all suffered hard drive crashes. Having your images online has so many advantages, we shouldn’t even need to argue the point anymore.

Still think it doesn’t make sense? Tell me why.

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There are 2 comments for this article
  1. David Stevenson at 9:44 am

    Excellent points Allen. I’m with you 100% about on-line storage becoming the preferred method of storage. However, when I choose to store my files on portable media I alone have access and control over the files. Can you address the safeguards that are in place preventing the wrong people getting access to our files. This is, and will be a major concern for many established photographers with valuable archives.

  2. Allen Murabayashi at 2:46 pm

    As with any online activity, I think you individually have to weigh the pros and cons. For example, I do my banking and bill paying online. They have far more sensitive information than my photos, and yet I trust them with that information because 1) i assume that they have levels of security in place, and 2) i want the convenience and accessibility. In the case of PhotoShelter’s security, we have numerous safeguards surrounding the data starting with physical security at our data centers, to firewalls, to expirations of your login sessions. Ultimately, online security is most easily accomplished by the user simply choosing a hardened password, and changing it with some regularity. A malicious person is much more likely to get into your account because you have a crackable password, than they are to get into our back-end systems.

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