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How can MediaFire (and other online storage websites) afford to offer unlimited storage space, as well as unlimited bandwidth?

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In many ways it works the same as the all you can eat buffets. –  Zoredache Jul 27 '10 at 23:23
    
@Zoredache You say that, but I've seen some people get through a dozen or more plates at a time at one of those places! :O –  Tom O'Connor Jul 28 '10 at 7:01
    
@Zoredache -- I love the analogy lol. It makes sense now. –  Wazle Jul 29 '10 at 4:50
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1 Answer

I gather that they basically work on the principal that:

  1. Nobody will use 100% of their storage
  2. Nobody will use 100% of their bandwidth.

They're basically taking a gamble on the above statements..

A lot of their bandwidth will be provided with interesting peering arrangements, as well as a few transit providers.

Storage is also cheap, and becoming cheaper, as long as speed and performance isn't a real problem. Caching data will help alleviate any real disk slowness, so it's not as noticable that they're using 5400 rpm disks, not FC connected disk arrays.

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Which is the same principal that gmail uses with its (currently) 7.4gb of space offered –  Mark Henderson Jul 27 '10 at 23:05
    
They also store the user uploaded data for a period of time before erasing it to make space for new user data. –  Luis Ventura Jul 28 '10 at 0:30
    
Okay, that makes sense -- just like the all-you-can-eat buffet analogy. Thanks. –  Wazle Jul 29 '10 at 4:52
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