Google Hard Disk

Everything that google does will always in many people interests. Google Inc.’s rumored plan to offer an online storage system has been called “the virtual Hard Disk Drive (HDD).” However, such a virtual HDD system could mean very real profits for Google, earning a much higher margin than the actual hard disks sold by Seagate Technology LLC and others according to iSuppli Corp. believes. Reports indicate Google plans to provide some free storage, with additional space allotments available for a fee. While pricing isn't known, the Google storage service reportedly could be released within a few months.While such a service would be useful for consumers, it could be very lucrative for Google. “Google’s plan has simple economics: It can make more money in the storage business than the companies that actually make HDDs,” said Krishna Chander, senior analyst, storage systems for iSuppli.The concept of online virtual storage is not exactly new. Yahoo, Xdrive LLC and others have been offering similar services, typically 5Gbytes of free storage, with more space available for a fee. However, Google could one-up these competing services by offering as much as 50Gbytes of free storage, Chander estimated. Google could generate significant returns from this free service by placing advertisements on the storage-service website.

Simple Math For the Revenue

Chander estimated that about 4.2 million users eventually may employ Google online storage system. Assuming Google collects $50 per user per year in advertisement revenue collected from users of the free version of the system, the revenue potential is about $210 million annually. On the expense side, Chander estimates that it would cost Google 25 cents per Gigabyte for those 50Gbytes of free storage. Google may have to install storage capacity of about 210,000Tbytes. This will require the purchase of about 210,000 1Tbyte-capacity HDDs, representing a gross expense of about $52.5 million. “This would represent a good return for Google,” Chander said. “While a typical HDD supplier makes about an 18 percent gross margin for a desktop-PC-class hard drive, Google could command a gross margin of 75 percent. This would give Google more than four times the rate of return compared of the HDD suppliers.”

Excerped from iSuppli Whitepaper