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Free is Always Good!

Despite the old adage, “nothing in life is free,” I don’t know anyone who likes to pay when you can get it for free. I know I don’t, and I’m pretty sure you don’t either. There are a lot of things that are free that we take for granted. Music on the radio, TV on non-cable stations, and best of all, free shipping (online order). All of these things are free, sort of. Both radio and TV have advertisers to sponsor the cost, thus there are commercials, and free shipping usually requires a minimum spend amount to qualify for free shipping. However, there are other things are free that many of us simply overlook. Think about all of the free email or social media apps, which provide free storage capacity for your content (emails, pictures, video, etc….). Free is always good! 


So, if nothing in life is free, how is that storage on these apps is free? After all, the data in the cloud has to be stored on type of medium such as tape, hard disk drive or solid state, which are not free. Well, similar to radio and television, these apps have to seek out advertisers in order to afford building/buying cloud storage.

With millions of gigabytes being uploaded every minute, the size of the cloud is growing exponentially. Of the three most common storage mediums, tape provides the lowest $/GB metric, but excruciatingly slow access time to be a reasonable choice for most apps. On the other end of the spectrum, solid state provides the fastest access time, but at a very high $/GB cost. That is why cloud companies depend on hard disk drives for storage. HDDs provide the best of both worlds - extremely low $/GB with very fast access time.

As the cloud as grown, so has Toshiba’s nearline HDD sales. Toshiba’s nearline HDD portfolio ranges from products with capacities as small as 1TB* to the industry’s highest capacity HDD in mass production of 16TB - and it doesn’t stop there. Even higher capacity HDDs, which ultimately results in lower $/GB, have been announced, and this should further fuel Toshiba’s nearline HDD sales and strengthen Toshiba’s position in the cloud storage market. And though nearline HDDs are not free, the pennies on the dollar per terabyte is the main reason these apps can provide cloud storage for free, and free is always good!


*Toshiba defines a megabyte (MB) as 1,000,000 bytes, a gigabyte (GB) as 1,000,000,000 bytes and a terabyte (TB) as 1,000,000,000,000 bytes. A computer operating system, however, reports storage capacity using powers of 2 for the definition of 1GB = 230 = 1,073,741,824 bytes and therefore shows less storage capacity. Available storage capacity (including examples of various media files) will vary based on file size, formatting, settings, software and operating system, such as Microsoft Operating System and/or pre-installed software applications, or media content. Actual formatted capacity may vary.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.

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