How much does it cost Google to store unlimited photos online for free

How much does it cost Google to store unlimited photos online for free

Google Photos will no longer be free for high-quality photos and video, and any photo or video that we upload from June 1, 2021 will deduct gigabytes from what we have available in Google Drive

Photos Free was launched, everyone had their hands on their heads, but Google claimed that the service was profitable.

In this profitability there were factors such as advertisements, bringing more users closer to its ecosystem, increasing the probability that they pay to have more gigs or upload content without compression, or training their recognition systems for faces and elements present in photos that also monetize by other means. But it seems that none of those were profitable enough to compensate for keeping the service as it was until now.

All users have changed the way we take photos and save backup copies, since Photos takes them automatically. We have entrusted our entire photographic life to Google, with a system that allowed us to quickly find photos such as "beach" or "Paris" that the AI ​​recognized. However, now it comes to an end, and only Pixel mobile users will be able to enjoy it for free, turning to alternatives such as Amazon Photos if we are Prime subscribers, as well as Google One, Backblaze or mounting a NAS. It is the same business of printers and ink over and over again, where they build loyalty and then they nail you.

Google obtained 11,274 million dollars of benefits in the third quarter

But, is the cost of keeping this service free, and especially for a company that generates so much money? Alphabet (Google's parent company) entered in the third quarter of 2020 about 46,170 million dollars, with use of profits of 11,247 million dollars. In the same quarter of 2019, those profits were "only" $ 7.068 billion.

In all of 2019, Google brought in $ 161,857 million, with $ 34,343 million in net profit. Ads account for the majority of annual revenue, at $ 134,811 million (83.3% of total), while cloud accounts for only $ 8,918 million (5.5% of total revenue). Unfortunately, Google does not detail the specific benefit of the cloud segment.

Thus, we see that Google has benefits to spare, and the cut does not come precisely because of economic problems, but because of maximizing the benefit despite the fact that this means something negative for users, where many use Photos to keep in touch with their families in these moments of such distance. But users have stopped caring for the company for a long time, since there is no more than going to the new logos that are so easy to confuse at the color level for products like Gmail, Drive or Maps.

Therefore, Google gave us key information that allows us to calculate the cost of continuing to offer free photos. The company said that 28,000 million new photos and videos are added every week, equivalent to an average of 3.5 photos per week for every inhabitant of the planet. In addition, it states that there are 4 billion photos stored on the platform, equivalent to 500 photos and videos per inhabitant of the planet.

Each mobile photo compressed in Google Photos occupies about 3 MB, while if we upload from the PC the compression can be even stronger, leaving them at about 800 KB. We are going to give Google the benefit of the doubt and assume that each photo uploaded compressed to 16 MP with its algorithm occupies those 3 MB, while for 1080p videos, we are going to assume that they are about 30 seconds on average and take 20 MB. In total, the ratio can easily be that there are 27 billion new photos and 1 billion new videos every week. Therefore, we already have everything we need.

With this, we have that each week 101,000 TB of content, or 101 Petabytes, are uploaded. Google has to buy hard drives and servers to house them, in addition to maintenance costs, electricity and physical space. Currently, the largest capacity hard drives offer 16 and 18 TB of storage. Western Digital has the WD Gold 18 TB Enterprise, which costs around 500 euros. Google will have preferential access to the company, and will probably make them cheaper when placing large orders, so we are going to assume a cost of 400 euros per hard drive. We are also going to add a 4 TB SSD for each rack as a cache, being about 400 euros more

The cost of hosting new content on Google Photos for free: 0.06% of your profits

The final price is 2.24 million euros for hard drives, and 40,400 euros for SSD every seven days. If we assume that each server can store around 1 Petabyte (although now a new server can host several petabytes without problem), costing about 6,000 euros each server, we must add 624,000 euros. In total, between hard drives, SSD and servers we have a cost of 2.9 million euros every 7 days. In a 30-day calendar month, that figure rises to 12.43 million euros, which in one quarter rises to 37.29 million euros.

As we say, to that we must add electricity from those 101 servers. Giving it margin, each one can reach 1,000 watts consumption, including external ventilation, reaching 2,160 kWh in a quarter. At the cost of electricity in the United States we are talking about 218,000 euros per quarter, adding a total figure of 37.5 million euros.

By rounding up and adding other costs that we have been able to overlook (physical space, cabinets, network, etc.), we can assume that the cost of adding new equipment each quarter to keep Google Photos free is 50 million euros, not counting the benefits that Google may be obtaining from that service, such as attracting new users who pay to maintain the original quality of the photos, as well as for other services of the company, including the ads themselves, which many users would surely have accepted in Photos in order to keep the service free. € 50 million each quarter represents less than 0.06% of Google's profits each quarter.

We can also calculate the cost of storing the content that a user uploads. Every day 14 PB of information are uploaded, with a daily cost of 414,333 euros. That leaves us a cost per GB of 3 cents. If we assume 5 GB of photos each quarter, which is equivalent to about 1,666 photos, we are talking about a cost per user of 15 cents per quarter, or 60 cents per year. It is estimated that each year companies like Google generate tens and even hundreds of euros.

Therefore, yes, Google could have kept it for free and hardly knew about it, since thanks to our data they enter more than 120,000 million euros. What less than to reward us in some way with services such as what Google Photos has been until now, and what will cease to be from June 2021. The photos that we have stored will remain there forever as the memory of the one that was one of your best services.

Date update on 2020-11-15. Date published on 2020-11-15. Category: Computer class Author: Oscar olg Fuente: adslzone