So, it has come to this.  I am on the verge of buying a Hello Kitty flash drive and sending it to the cloud, aka Why would I so such a thing, you ask?

I’ve discovered that allots you 1,000 MB (that’s one gigabyte in 21st-Century speak) for data storage.  That’s what holds your accounts and contacts and opportunities and stuff. If you blow that cap, they kindly offer to rent you 50 MB for $300/year or 250 MB for $1,500/year.  The larger plan nets out to $6 per megabyte per year.

On the other hand, I can buy this cute 8 GB drive for a whisker under $20.  That’s about a quarter of a cent per megabyte, for as long as Hello Kitty can hold on to that cute pink balloon.

If Salesforce sold a flash drive like this, you might expect it to cost $48,000.
Per year.
Without the cute ears.

What could account for this 2,400x price difference? I’m not so naive to believe that cheap flash memory is as good as Salesforce’s cloud, or that storage is all they’re really charging for, but pricing enterprise data storage by the megabyte still seems awfully out of touch to me.

Don’t forget that for more than five users, Salesforce is already charging at least $65 per user per month. If you’ve got ore than 50 users, they’ll even throw in 20 MB more storage for each user starting with user 51.  $65 x 50 user x 12 mos/year = $39,000 a year for a 50 user  organization, and you get one gigabyte of data storage. One.

A Flickr “pro” account gets you “unlimited” photo storage for $25/year and a free gmail account has 10 GB of inbox storage, a figure that I bet Google will increase over time, as you may remember it was just a single gigabyte when the service launched.  If you pay for Google Apps for Business, your inbox is 25 GB for each user at $50/user/year.  (That last plan is 1/3,000 the per megabyte price at Salesforce, just sayin’)

I thought the promise of the cloud was virtually unlimited cheap storage.  Google gets that, even Yahoo does.  I hope Salesforce gets the memo soon, especially since they hang their hat on being all about the cloud.

So will I launch Hello Kitty to the cloud? Not likely, but I feel better for having vented. Now it’s time to run a big mass delete job to bring my storage use back down to an affordable level.