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Re: (eternity) Eternity as a secure filesystem/backup medium (fwd)

At 09:26 AM 1/20/98 -0600, Jim Choate wrote:
>> From: Bill Stewart <[email protected]>
>> 1) Storage of information - Storage currently costs < $1/MB for raw disk, 
>> and getting cheaper by the minute,
>Assuming your 5 year plan, a 1G drive costs $100 or less. That's roughly
>> The costs of the equipment for permanent storage are probably about
>> 10-50% more than the costs for storing for 5 years;
>A Cyrix P200 runs about $600 for a working box (I bought one just a few
>weeks ago). So that gives us about $120/cpu-year.

You missed my point - the cost of a CPU-year and GB-year drop rapidly
every year; the costs of storage plus associated CPU for 100 years of 
storage are probably just a bit higher than for 5 years.

>> but sysadmins, lawyers, etc.
>> cost money and they're not getting cheaper as fast.
>Granted, but except for the sys-admin you don't need them often. In all the
>years I have been in business I've needed a lawyer only a couple of times.
>Say $1k/lawyer-year.

For normal businesses, that's true, but eternity servers, if they can
be physically located, probably will require a bit more lawyery.

>> the costs of administration (assuming inflation is limited to
>> some small number) can be covered by an annuity.
>For reliable system administartion you're looking at 5 people (3 8-hr.
>shifts plus weekend coverage of 2 12 hour shifts). A sys admin with the
>skills and maturity to work in this environment is going to run you in
>the neighborhood of $40-60k/yr. So this means we're looking at, on the
>outside, $300k/sysadmin-yr. This is the real cost of doing business

You're probably right, though you may not need 7x24 sysadmins,
and they can share their time maintaining quite a lot of servers if
they're all cookie-cutter.

>Not shure what the normal ratio for online versus offline storage actualy
>is currently, say 10:1.

Somewhere between 10:1 and 100:1; the cost of sysadmins making tapes
may be higher than the media itself :-)

>> 2) Transmission of information - Roughly proportional to MB/time -
>This seems overly simplistic to me. The actual cost of the bandwidth is
>reasonably fixed for a given site. 

The price of pipes is very roughly proportional to their size.
The size of the pipes you need are roughly proportional to how much
data gets transmitted during your busy hour.  This gets cheaper
every year as well, but nowhere near as fast, and the volume
depends on how interesting the data is to potential readers
as well as on how big it is.  

> Remember, under the Eternity model
>we don't know *which* server is being hit for the request. 

There are different models for how to run an Eternity server,
but any server will need bandwidth based on how much is getting retrieved.
In any case, the machine transmitting data knows which request
it's responding to, even if it doesn't really know who the
requester or the author are, so it's not unreasonable to charge
a retrieval fee or stick on an advertising banner.

>> unlike storage, this one's not predictable, unless the provider and
>> author agree in advance (e.g. N free accesses per year, per password.)
>> So the provider could charge the reader for access,
>I fail to see the profit in giving away plans for man portable nukes or to
>turn commen cooking yeast into a THC producing horde when the various
>groups around the world would pay so many millions (or would that be
>billions) for some to get it and some to keep others from getting it. The
>potential for a access auction hasn't been explored as far as I am aware.

You might want to give away that THC recipe for free just to end
the drug war, or to make supplies cheap and plentiful, or because
it's a bogus recipe using your own special brand of yeast.  
It's the principle of the thing :-)  On the other hand,
if the provider of the service deliberately doesn't know what
the documents on the system are, to him it's just shipping bits,
and content is Somebody Else's Problem.

>> or use advertising
>> banners to fund retrieval costs (if that remains a valid model
>> for financing the web over the next N years, especially if the
>> readers retrieve data through anonymizers.)
>I believe advertising would be a necessity. The question is how. Would the
>payoff for doing a print ad in a magazine be worth it? Should it only
>be advertised on the net?

I'm not talking about how to get users - I'm talking about those
annoying banners from Doubleclick and LinkExchange that fund many
of the interesting services on the net because advertisers think
it's worth their money to buy impressions.

>>    If they want their names known, they can include them in the contents
>>    of the data that readers retrieve, independent of what the server does.
>Then there is no reason to use an anonymous network, simply put the data on
>their own webpage and sell it direct, cut out the middle-man a tried and
>true business tactic.
>>    and accumulate reputation capital under those nyms.
>One of the assumptions is that the source, individual server, and sink
>are all anonymous to each other as well as Mallet. Now we're changing the
>rules of the game in the middle of the game. Apples and oranges.

The assumption is that True Names and physical locations are probably
anonymous.  Doesn't mean that a reader is going to retrieve documents
of unknown content by unknown authors - you may very well know that
Zed WareMeister has the best deal on slightly-used Microsoft Products
and can be found on alt.eternity.warez, and his reputation capital 
accumulates under the pseudonym rather than his True Name.
But there will also be authors whose names are well-known but whose 
locations aren't - Salmon Rushdie may be selling digitally signed copies 
of his latest book online, but he still doesn't want to be easy to find.
Bill Stewart, [email protected]
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