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The March to 1000 Days of Usenet Newsgroup Retention

Postby SlyckTom » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:56 pm

In about 1 month's time, just about every major newsgroup provider, like Astraweb and NewsHosting, will reach 1,000 days retention. This ongoing effort reflects the both the increase in consumer demand for extended binary access, as well as the dramatic decline in storage costs. For those new to Usenet lingo, retention means the amount of time data stays on a server before it is deleted.

Not long ago, two weeks was considered excellent binary retention. That was back in the late 90s of course, when storage costs were well over $10 a gigabyte. This price has fallen to less than 10 cents per gigabyte today.

This has meant better dollars spent for the consumer as well, especially since Usenet consumer costs have remained relatively stable over the years. Astraweb and NewHosting, both top tier providers, are at a virtual retention tie. Astraweb currently has 972 days of retention, while NewsHosting has 973.

With just about everyone upgrading their retention capacity, the great retention wars of the late 2000s seem distant. Remember when everyone was racing towards 300 days?

Only 1,000+ days until 2,000 days retention.

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Re: The March to 1000 Days of Usenet Newsgroup Retention

Postby Dustin_D_Lense » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:11 pm

It is not only the fall in raw storage costs that have increased retention times.

There are knock on effects from the consolidation of the usenet network too.

While the rise in broadband has increased the volume of usenet posts, especially binary, there has been a significant reduction in the number of ISPs over the dialup days. Also with broadband, many of the 'real' ISPs have fallen by the wayside, unable to compete with incumbent telecoms and cable providers who are not interested in providing a full internet package (how many these days include usenet, user webspace etc).

In the early net days, an ISP could have many local usenet peers all operating in the same datacentre and could easily share the costs of longer distance peering however as the number of ISPs has reduced at the same time as user bandwidth has increased,, it has not been cost effective to offer long retention usenet binaries or in many cases a usenet service at all.

This leads to the current situ of a handful of paid services and a topolopy change in peering arrangements with smaller ISPs in many cases paying to peer with the dedicated services or in some cases if they wish to retain a usenet service they contract the service out to one of the dedicated services.

Not only does this reduce the dedicated paid for's peering costs, in many cases it can make peering a revenue stream.

ergo, it is not just the falling cost of raw storage, but the consolidation of ISPs and the resulting changes in topology of the usenet network that have enabled increased retention.
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