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I'm a programmer and I'm involved in a project of creating something like Dropbox to offer it to the clients of a big company here in my country (online storage space+sync,etc). We are already charging the clients monthly and would like to offer them online storage space for little extra money. We already have a system that offers 98% of continuous electric supply.

I've been asked for hardware requirements, I have an idea of what's needed but would like your help. How many servers, are clusters needed, etc.

I'm also thinking that maybe we can get affiliated with dropbox (or another service) instead of creating something from scratch.

Please, can you answer roughly about the hardware requirements?

I would really appreciate it.

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closed as not a real question by EEAA, Ward, Chopper3 May 23 '11 at 6:35

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

you might also want to take account the software side, one reason dropbox is able to do it at a low cost is cause they use deduplication extensively, both when storing or transferring data. A lot of dropbox's secret sauce, so to speak, is in their software implimentation – Journeyman Geek May 23 '11 at 5:32
98% of continuous electric supply? That means an average outage of half an hour per day?! – splattne May 23 '11 at 6:29

There is a massive upfront costs involved in providing online storage. the storage+redundancy+power+bandwidth+servers can cost a fortune! for many companies the upfront costs are just not worth it and its common that the ROI will take months if not years.

That said the requirements will be based on your load and most likely bottle necked by bandwidth so the first thing i would say is a bare minimum of 10mbit up/down, this will be completely dependent on the expected load and required speed.

2nd is that you would need servers with redundancy; UPS, Power supply and HDD redundancy (min raid 5) with enough space to satisfy your clients, again this is dependent on your expected load.

Companies like DropBox can get away with giving away free 2gb storage because the do storage on a VERY VERY large scale. dozens of servers around the world, they would have spent $100,000+ on a setup that allows a very large user base and therefor can make money off quantity not quality (although they have good quality) with only profits in the long term.

The reality is that you cant really compete with companies like dropbox because they are just too big.

as far as providing storage to clients goes, i would try talking to companies like dropbox about commercial options.

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