Sunday, March 2, 2008

To Limit Or Not To Limit - That Is The Question

We've spend a lot of time at Athena Backup debating whether to offer unlimited storage.

There are some great things about an unlimited service:
  • people don't need to wonder about whether the service will work for you (well actually they do - but more on that later)
  • people don't have to make tricky decisions about what is worth backing up
Sadly, however, there are big downsides to an unlimited service. Storage costs are still significant (for example Amazon charges $0.15/GB/month) for storage so 100 GB is $15 - more than many services are charging. Clearly storage can be had for less than $0.15/GB, but by the time it's on the 'net it's a significant portion of that. What this means is:
  • a backup service either needs to cut off heavy users (you see language like that buried in the legalese for most services) OR
  • implement some sort of throttling to stop/slow the backing up of data until the user, in frustration, stops backing up so much data
Neither of these options is much good for the user. Will the service really backup the data you have? There's no way to tell...

So, after much soul searching, we've decided to price Athena Backup at $4.95/month for 50 GB.

Why 50 GB? We believe that 50 GB is a good amount of storage for photos and music. It provides clarity to our users and let's them manage their personal data. It let's us provide a great service and still be profitable without making people's lives difficult, either by cutting off their service or crippling their service.

Now to see what users think!

1 comment:

Alan said...

I cannot understand how you price your service at 4,95-month per 50 GB, and amazon charges you 0,18-month per GB.

The more you sell, the more you loose (2,55 per user !).