Views from Phanfare CEO and Co-founder Andrew Erlichson

Link Amazon Announces Reduced Redundancy Storage (Hint: We don’t use it)

Amazon just announced Reduced Redundancy Storage, designed to provide 99.99% durability. We don’t use that version of Amazon S3. We use the version of Amazon S3 that provides 99.999999999% durability and can sustain the concurrent loss of data in two facilities.

The exciting part of the news for us is not the reduced redundancy storage; it’s that Amazon has finally disclosed that the durability goal for the version of Amazon S3 we use is 99.999999999%.

What does that mean in human terms? Well, Amazon says that even their Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS) is 400x more reliable than a disk drive. But if you store 10,000 files using RRS, you would expect to lose one each year. Or put another way, the expected lifetime of a file is 10,000 years. But with regular Amazon S3, you would have to store about 100B files to expect to lose one each year.

Phanfare is built using the most reliable online storage available and is designed to be the primary copy of your data, far more reliable than anything you can do yourself. And it’s that durability that drives a significant part of the underlying cost of delivering the service and one of the reasons we recently raised our prices.

Even online backup services, which sell based on the fear of you losing your data, don’t typically use online storage with the durability of Amazon S3. That is how they get their price down. But they figure if they lose a little data, you have the primary copy anyway and they can just back it up again. Not so with Phanfare. We assume that you are using us as primary storage for your photos and videos.

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  • Mike

    I do use phanfare as my primary source for storing my photos and I appreciate phanfare dedication to not losing any of them.

    <insert random legal drama and/or financial crisis>

    What happens to my content if phanfare goes bust?

  • erlichson

    Not happening right now ;-)

    But the general plan would always be to give customers a significantly long opportunity to retrieve and/or buy their collection on DVD.

  • Frank

    I appreciate the reliable storage of my photos and videos and is one of the reasons that I have stayed with Phanfare for the last few years. I do not store my raw images at Phanfare, but I was curious if this is now a capability.

  • erlichson

    Yes, we offer RAW storage but you need to separately purchase RAW blocks from Phanfare to do it. Those RAW blocks are also stored on Amazon S3.

    The best workflow for archiving RAW at Phanfare is through Lightroom or Aperture. Our plugins for those have RAW+JPEG settings.

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