Cost Of Cloud Data Storage – We all know cloud storage as a means of storing our important data. Cloud storage can be used for backups, archives or as an extension of local file systems for current data. Many cloud providers now offer different tiers of storage, and if you want to store and manage data cost-effectively, it’s important to understand how these tiers work.
This article provides an overview of these tiers and their application usage. Because costs can vary from region to region, we won’t go into an exact cost breakdown. However, we will include resources where you can find more information about pricing from different cloud providers.
Cost Of Cloud Data Storage
Cloud tiers are broadly categorized as hot or cold. Hot tiers are used to store frequently accessed data. Storage costs will be higher, but data access will be instantaneous and data access fees will be lower or free. There will also be no minimum contract period for data storage. Cold tiers are for data that is rarely accessed. Storage costs will be much lower, but there will be minimum contract periods. Data is generally not immediately available and may take several hours to be retrieved. Significantly higher fees apply for retrieving data.
Calculating The Costs Of Cloud Migration
Not all cloud providers offer tiers. Some offer flat rate single tiers that need to be considered for certain types of data workflows. Prices here are usually lower than other hot storage, but higher than cold storage. The data is available immediately and there are usually no access fees. There may be minimum contract periods for best rates. A major benefit is that monthly bills don’t change if workflows change unexpectedly.
AWS currently has six tiers – four hot tiers and 2 cold tiers, all of which are S3 compatible and use the same API. They are listed below in order from hot to cold.
S3 Standard, as the name suggests, is the primary hot tier. It’s the most expensive storage tier, typically around $20 per TB/month, but the data is instantly available and there are no data access fees or minimum contract terms. This is an ideal level for the local system file extension.
S3 Intelligent – Tiering is used for workflows with unpredictable change patterns. Depending on usage, data is automatically moved between different hot and cold tiers. Appropriate tier storage fees apply, and there is an administration fee and a minimum object size fee. It comes with a very unpredictable cost, but if there is no other way to automatically manage the data lifecycle, this can be a good choice.
Save On Storage Costs Using Amazon S3
S3 Standard – Infrequently Accessed: This is a lower-cost hot storage tier for data that is accessed infrequently but still requires immediate access. It’s about half the price of S3 Standard, but there’s a minimum item size fee and a 30-day contract for each item stored. Access fees are also charged. This is a good option for continuous data protection and file expansion when data needs to be accessible immediately but not frequently.
S3 One Zone – Infrequent Access: One Zone is specifically designed for backups, which are one of two physical copies of data. At around $10 per TB, it’s the cheapest hot storage tier, but data is only stored in a single data center in a region, meaning there’s a higher risk of data loss.
S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval, S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval (formerly S3 Glacier), and S3 Glacier Deep Archive are the three cold tiers designed for archive data that needs to be accessed infrequently. Storage costs are $4, $3.6, and $1 per TB/month, respectively. S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval provides the fastest access to archival storage with the same throughput and millisecond access as S3 Standard and S3 Standard-IA storage classes. With S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval and S3 Glacier Deep Archive, data is only accessible in 12 hours by default. Glacier Flexible Retrieval offers expedited searching within minutes, but at a much higher price. Glacier Flexible Retrieval and Glacier Deep have higher data retrieval costs and minimum contract terms of 3 and 6 months per object. Many organizations that need to store data for compliance reasons would do well to consider these tiers, as they will drastically reduce long-term storage costs.
Microsoft offers 3 levels: Hot, Cool and Archive. There is also a premium hot tier designed for high transaction data, but it is currently not possible to switch from the premium tier to other tiers. Otherwise, the Hot, Cool, and Archive tiers follow the same pattern of high to low storage costs, low to high data retrieval costs, and data retrieval times as the AWS S3 tiers. Minimum contract terms for object storage are zero, 1 month, and 6 months for Hot, Cool, and Archive respectively.
Two Options To Reduce Data Center Costs — Consolidation And Cloud
Microsoft offers reserved capacity pricing that offers a lower fixed price per tier for a minimum 1-year or 3-year storage commitment.
Google offers 4 levels: Standard, Nearline, Coldline and Archive. Pricing varies by region, but broadly aligns with AWS Standard, Infrequent Access, and Glacier. Google Cloud Standard does not incur data retrieval costs, but they are higher at all tiers. It’s worth noting that the archive tier has a minimum contract term of 365 days per item. On the other hand, Google Cloud offers instant access to archive data when needed.
IBM also has 4 standard tiers. Like Amazon S3 Intelligent Tiering, IBM Smart Tier manages your data between hot, cold, and cool based on activity and access. Then there is Standard, Vault and Cold Vault for different classes of data retention. Again, storage prices range from high to low and data retrieval times from low to high. They also have Archive and Accelerated Archive classes that offer 12-hour or 2-hour retrieval times with lower long-term storage fees.
Wasabi is a new generation cloud storage provider offering only cloud storage at a fixed price of $5.99 per TB per month (this may vary by region) with no ingress, egress or I/O costs. Some contracts may have a minimum object storage fee of up to 3 months. The costs are also lower for contracts with reserved capacity for more than 1, 3 or 5 years.
Cloud Storage Providers For 2022
While the choice of cloud providers is vast, they are often constrained by corporate policies, which regions are served by which providers, or concerns about data sovereignty.
There are also other important data management criteria such as version support or bucket immutability that can be factors in the decision-making process.
Your cloud choice may also be influenced by other cloud services such as computing services. Azure and AWS have several services in addition to cloud storage.
That being said, the key to determining which cloud services to use is understanding your data and workflow. Tiger Technology offers a storage assessment service to help you understand your data, how and when it is used and therefore what cloud storage service tiers you should consider.
Object Storage Speed Test And Reviews
Tiger Bridge is a policy-based, software-only data management solution that has full API integration with all leading cloud providers. Because Tiger Bridge understands all of the metadata associated with your on-premises data, you can set policies based on data age or data usage to copy or move data to any layer in the cloud. This means that data can live according to its data lifecycle at the lowest cost level.
Tiger Bridge replaces the intelligent data management cloud services that have relatively high management fees, and automatically moves data between tiers based on policies. Tiger Bridge’s flexibility means you can also move data directly to archival tiers, for example when it’s designated compliance data.
A single Tiger Bridge instance also supports multiple cloud destinations, giving organizations complete freedom to cost-effectively store their data.
Cloud tiers offer tremendous flexibility for storing your data cost-effectively. There are many options, and pricing is often very complicated to determine due to the variety of storage, access, and management fees that can apply. Cold storage is very inexpensive, but there are minimum contract periods for objects, generally high egress fees, and time delays for data retrieval.
Cloud Storage Services
Understanding your data lifecycle is key to making the right decisions. If you don’t have the tools to get this information, consider a data assessment service that reveals past and current data usage patterns. Once you have this information, consider what data management tools are available. Tools with full cloud API integration like Tiger Bridge allow you to easily automate this process on an ongoing basis rather than having to do it manually, ensuring you avoid costly mistakes. Always monitor your cloud costs so you can adjust your policies as data patterns change.
Want to learn more about using Tiger Bridge to connect your local storage to cloud tiers? Watch this 5 minute overview video.
Hybrid Cloud Storage Solutions And Services
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