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I've looked at Amazon S3 and it costs roughly $4746 per month for 100 megabits/s (which translates into 31,640 Gigabytes of data transferred. That's at a rate of $0.15 per gig.)

I haven't found a cheaper "cloud" option. I'm curious if there's any other cloud hosting option out there cheaper than S3. Uptime is not an issue because I can build failover for most things into the browser. e.g. I can use javascript to say "if the image didn't load then go to this other URL instead."

FYI I'm currently using a colocation facility which is about 30% cheaper than S3 and I'm familiar with colo prices - so this question is really about "cloud" services and by that I mean services where I don't have to worry about the infrastructure.

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Hi, I'm the OP. I should have clarified. When I say 100 Megabits per second, I don't mean the link speed. I mean the amount of data transferred. There are two ways of measuring transfer. Colocation facilities measure it as megabits per second and cloud services measure it as total Gigabytes transferred per month. So 100 megabits per second is 31640 gigabits transferred per month. –  Mark Maunder Jun 6 '10 at 7:55
I wonder if you could abuse shared hosting to do what you want. Dreamhost charge $9/mo for unlimited storage and unlimited transfer. –  fahadsadah Jun 6 '10 at 13:00
Nevermind, found the policy. dreamhost.com/unlimited.html. Quite plainly states that you can't do that. –  fahadsadah Jun 6 '10 at 13:01
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4 Answers

Amazon just announced their Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS) option on S3, which reduces the reliability but also drops the price from $0.15 per GB to $0.10 per GB. That is pretty much the going rate for metered bandwidth on most co-location and dedicated servers, so you won't find raw bandwidth much cheaper than that. It looks like SimpleCDN claims rates as low as $0.006 per GB transfered, but they bill overages at $0.09 so that sounds a bit sketchy to me.

I have always found that http://www.Superb.net has the best prices for cheap servers and bandwidth. They include 4000GB traffic with each server and will upgrade from a 10mbit to 100mbit uplink port for free usually. You can buy an additional 1000GB/mo for $99 ($0.099 per GB) or you can have an unlimited 100mbit uplink for $800 a month. Check out their dedicated server deals here: https://www.superb.net/dedicated-servers/base-server-plans/

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Oops... looks like RRS only reduces the storage costs, not the transfer costs, so bandwidth is still billed at $0.15 for the first 10 TB. –  Greg Bray Jun 11 '10 at 17:18
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OVH has absurd pricing on bandwidth, take a look at http://www.ovh.co.uk/products/superplan_mini.xml and http://www.ovh.co.uk/products/superplan_mini.xml?bp=unmetered, which I don't really understand.

I also do not know if they really follow through on what they offer.

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Why not just get a few virtual servers? I'm using a German hoster, but the prices are pretty usual, so let's take it as an example:

  • 12.99 EUR/Month for 1 virtual server
  • 100MBit/s connection per server
  • 5000 GigaBytes traffic/month inclusive per server

So if I were you, I would get 10 servers for a total of 130 EUR per month, and have 50000 GB traffic inclusive, and even get a total connection speed of 1000MBit/s (it's probably not 100% guaranteed speed as some services offer, but AFAIR they guarantee at least 10MBit/s, so I'd still get a total of 100MBit/s).

Yes, you'd have to do a little bit of server administration yourself...

BTW, managed virtual servers - which reduce your admin workload - cost just a few extra bucks (14.99 instead of 12.99 for 5000 GBytes/month). I assume you still wouldn't get the full convenience of a cloud, but it comes down to saving a few thousand dollars per month.

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5000 Gigabytes transfer for E12.99 per month? I'd have to see that to believe it. Linode charges $159 for 1600 GB transfer per month. And slicehost charges $250 for their cheapest server with 2500GB transfer. If the server vendor does offer this I doubt they're going to be in business for long. But I don't mind helping put them out of business, so post a link to their site please. –  Mark Maunder Jun 6 '10 at 12:44
European bandwidth is heavily oversold, since there are many public peering points available at dirt cheap prices. Getting high performance outside Europe is going to be a problem. –  gekkz Jun 6 '10 at 13:10
The price is absolutely usual (it's one of the hosters on the last page of this slightly outdated comparison here: strato.de/imperia/md/content/strato_de/pdf/…). The company is in business since 1997. –  Chris Lercher Jun 8 '10 at 6:32
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If the files aren't changing very often, you can look at a content delivery network, like CacheFly. Their cheapest plan is $99/mo, and includes 1GB of storage and 250GB of transfer.

fahad@equal:~$ wget -O /dev/null http://cachefly.cachefly.net/100mb.test
--2010-06-06 08:40:18--  http://cachefly.cachefly.net/100mb.test
Resolving cachefly.cachefly.net...
Connecting to cachefly.cachefly.net||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 104857600 (100M) [application/octet-stream]
Saving to: `/dev/null'

100%[======================================>] 104,857,600 86.2M/s   in 1.2s    

2010-06-06 08:40:20 (86.2 MB/s) - `/dev/null' saved [104857600/104857600]

86.2MBps is a whopping 689.6Mbps, and I think the limit I'm hitting is the speed of my connection, not theirs!

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Please see my comment above. I'm looking for 100 megabits per second of transfer which equates to 31640 gigabytes transferred per month. That would cost roughly $6339 at cachefly. Thanks for your comment though - I wasn't aware of that particular CDN. –  Mark Maunder Jun 6 '10 at 7:56
Ah, I misunderstood you. –  fahadsadah Jun 6 '10 at 12:53
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