Cloud Storage Service Comparison

Posted on December 10, 2015 By Paul Rubens

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Microsoft

Microsoft Azure Blob Storage

Locations: North America (multiple) , EMEA (Ireland, the Netherlands), Asia/Pacific (Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore) and South America (Brazil).

Microsoft's Azure block blob storage costs depend on capacity, volume of storage transactions and data egress in a similar way to Amazon's S3 service.

What's notably different from Amazon's offerings is that Microsoft offers differently priced services based on different redundancy options. (Unlike Amazon, Microsoft has no ultra-low-cost offline storage option equivalent to Glacier, although it seems likely that one will be introduced in the near future.)

Here's a summary of the redundancy options:

  Locally Redundant Storage (LRS)Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS)Geographically Redundant Storage (GRS)Read-Access Geographically Redundant Storage (RA-GRS)
How it works

Makes multiple synchronous copies of your data within a single data center

Stores three copies of data across multiple data centers within or across regions. For block blobs only. Same as LRS, plus multiple asynchronous copies to second data center hundreds of miles away Same as GRS, plus read access to the secondary data center
Total copies 3 3 6 6
Why use it For economical local storage or data governance compliance An economical higher durability option for block blob storage For protection against a major data center outage or disaster Provides read access to data during an outage for maximum data availability and durability
Available SLA 99.9% read/write 99.9% read/write 99.9% read/write

99.9% write

99.99%read

Capacity pricing as of November 2015:

Storage Capacity LRSZRSGRSRA-GRS
First 1 TB/month 0.024 per GB $0.03 per GB $0.048 per GB $0.061 per GB
Next 49 TB (1 to 50 TB)/month $0.0236 per GB $0.0295 per GB $0.0472 per GB $0.0599 per GB
Next 450 TB (50 to 500 TB)/month $0.0232 per GB $0.029 per GB $0.0464 per GB $0.0589 per GB
Next 500 TB (500 to 1000 TB)/month $0.0228 per GB $0.0285 per GB $0.0456 per GB $0.0579 per GB
Next 4000 TB (1000 to 5000 TB)/month $0.0224 per GB $0.028 per GB $0.0448 per GB $0.0569 per GB

Google

Google Cloud Storage

Locations: North America (U.S.), EMEA (Belgium), Asia/Pacific (Taiwan)

Google's cloud storage offerings are simpler than Amazon's and Google's in that there are only three different storage products rather than four: Standard Storage, a slightly lower cost Durable Reduced Availability (DRA) Storage that offers lower availability than Standard Storage, and the very low cost Nearline Storage . This competes with Amazon's Glacier offline storage on price, offering slightly lower availability and slightly higher latency than Standard Storage (time to first byte is typically 2 - 5 seconds compared to Glacier's 4 hours. ) Google does not elaborate on exactly how DRA differs from Standard Storage.

Google's capacity charges are much simpler to Amazon's or Microsoft's because they are flat rate. Total storage costs are made up of this flat rate plus data transfer and egress charges in a similar pricing structure to the one offered by Microsoft.

As of November 2015, capacity charges and availability targets are as follows:

  • Standard: 2.6c per GB/month, 99.9% availability
  • Durable Reduced Availability: 2c per GB/month, 99% availability
  • Nearline: 1c per GB/month, 99% availability

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.



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