Daily Archives: January 25, 2012

Comparing Amazon S3 Pricing to USPS Pricing

I am doing a good bit of video editing these days and I want to send the original HD video to my collaborators around the country. The data ranges from 10GB to 40GB depending on how long the interview ran. I basically need to get it to one other person – one upload, one download, and delete the data.

DVD is completely useless here as it would take 3-10 DVDs and there is no easy-to-use spanning software. I have an ISP that gives me 630GB of storage and unlimited bandwidth – but any one connection only sees 350KB/sec – which leads to a 15GB taking over 40,000 seconds – most of a day.

Amazon’s S3 charges for outgoing bandwidth and storage but does not limit outgoing bandwidth. That drops the 15GB transfer time to less than an hour on a wired connection. Doable given that I only need to do this 3-4 times per month. The S3 charge for a week of storage and a single transfer of a 30GB file is about $4.50.

If I purchase a 32GB USB stick and put it in a photo mailer, it can be sent for $2.00 first class each way. I have a photo mailer that can be reused both ways that costs about $0.50. So sending 30GB via mail ignoring the cost of the 32GB memory stick is also about $4.50 as long as I get my 32GB memory stick back.

Interestingly I can pay an $20.00 per month to get an extra 30GB of space on the University of Michigan AFS servers. Which if I moved 30GB of video four times per month, turns out to be about $5.00 per transfer.

I think that I am going to give up and compress the video to H.264. If I could get it under 3GB, then a whole host of options open up – one-way sending of a DVD or upload/download any number of free resources I already have.