(Cited in Forbes)
Because of recent news reports, I wanted to cross check the cost feasibility of the NSA’s recording all of the US phonecalls and processing them.
These estimates show only $27M in capital cost, and $2M in electricity and take less than 5,000 square feet of space to store and process all US phonecalls made in a year. The NSA seems to be spending $1.7 billion on a 100k square foot datacenter that could easily handle this and much much more. Therefore, money and technology would not hold back such a project– it would be held back if someone did not have the opportunity or will.
Another study concluded about 4x my data estimates others have suggested the data could be compressed 10:1, and the power bill would be lower in Utah. A Google Doc version of the spreadsheet and a cut and past version below.
This was just boingboing’ed.
|number of call-minutes per person per month||300||minutes (estimate from my family’s usage)|
|sides in a phonecall (caller+receiver)||2||since most calls are domestic, only need to record a call once for each reciever/caller pair|
|number of people in the US||315,000,000||https://www.census.gov/|
|number of bytes/sec in a phonecall||8,000||this is the uncompressed number, could be compressed to 1/2 to 1/4 easily|
|cost of a Petabyte (PB) of “cloud” storage||$100,000||this is basically what the Internet Archive pays. Petabyte = 1,000 terabytes|
|Square feet of datacenter space per petabyte||16||2 feet wide by about 8 feet including corridor between racks|
|Power to run a PB||5||kilowatts|
|Cost per KWhr||$0.15||California costs (higher than much of the country, could be 1/2 in other places)|
|number of bytes/min in a phonecall||480,000||calculated from above|
|number of bytes/month for a person||144,000,000||calculated from above|
|number of bytes/month for the US||22,680,000,000,000,000||calculated (divided by 2 because there is a caller and reciever, don’t need to double count)|
|number of PB/month for the US||23||calculated|
|number of PB/year for the US||272||calculated|
|Cost to store all phonecalls made in a year in the “cloud”||$27,216,000|
|Square feet to store all phonecalls||4,355|
|Cost of datacenter power for all phonecalls for a year||$1,788,091|