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A Cost Analysis of DynamoDB for Tarsnap

Tarsnap is a service offering secure online backups. Colin Percival details the costs Tarsnap would have for using Amazon DynamoDB:

For each TB of data stored, this gives me 30,000,000 blocks requiring 60,000,000 key-value pairs; these occupy 2.31 GB, but for DynamoDB pricing purposes, they count as 8.31 GB, or $8.31 per month. That’s about 2.7% of Tarsnap’s gross revenues (30 cents per GB per month); significant, but manageable. However, each of those 30,000,000 blocks need to go through log cleaning every 14 days, a process which requires a read (to check that the block hasn’t been marked as deleted) and a write (to update the map to point at the new location in S3). That’s an average rate of 25 reads and 25 writes per second, so I’d need to reserve 50 reads and 50 writes per second of DynamoDB capacity. The reads cost $0.01 per hour while the writes cost $0.05 per hour, for a total cost of $0.06 per hour — or $44 per month. That’s 14.6% of Tarsnap’s gross revenues; together with the storage cost, DynamoDB would eat up 17.3% of Tarsnap’s revenue — slightly over $0.05 from every $0.30/GB I take in.

To put it differently getting an 83.7% profit margin sounds like a good deal, but without knowing the costs of the other components (S3, EC2, data transfer) it’s difficult to conclude if this solution would remain profitable at a good margin. Anyway, an interesting aspect of this solution is that the costs of some major components of the platform (S3, DynamoDB) would scale lineary with the revenue.

Original title and link: A Cost Analysis of DynamoDB for Tarsnap (NoSQL database©myNoSQL)