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Amazon S3, MS Azure and Google Cloud Storage Pricing Comparison

To help our customers better navigate on constantly changing cloud storage market we decided to prepare a short article comparing Microsoft Azure, Google Storage, and Amazon S3 prices.

Amazon S3 is public object storage that helps individuals and enterprises to store and retrieve data. For a few years of its existence, Amazon has regularly announced price cuts for Simple Storage Services. Its main competitors — Google Cloud Storage and Microsoft Azure are running face to face and also systematically decrease cloud storage costs to undercut Amazon pricing.

Storage Classes

In this article we will focus on the default region prices of each cloud storage provider, those are US Standard region for S3, US East for Azure and US region for Google Cloud. To learn about the pricing in other regions of S3, Azure and Google Cloud you can turn to AWS website, Azure website and Google Cloud website respectively.

To compare different cloud storage classes, we have grouped all storage services into 3 tiers:

HOT — durable, available and performance object storage for frequently accessed data.

  • Amazon S3 Standard
  • Microsoft Azure Hot Blob Storage
  • Google Cloud Storage standard

COOL — storage class for data that is accessed less frequently, but requires rapid access when needed.

  • Amazon S3 Standard I/A and S3 Standard Z-I/A
  • Microsoft Azure Cool Blob Storage
  • Google Cloud Storage Nearline

COLD — secure, durable, and low-cost storage service for data archiving.

  • Amazon Glacier and Amazon Glacier Deep Archive*
  • Microsoft Azure Blob Archive Storage
  • Google Cloud Storage Coldline
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* In 2018, AWS has introduced Amazon Glacier Deep Archive, a subclass for the Amazon Glacier storage. With the price for storing 1GB/month starting at $0.00099 it is the cheapest storage solution on the market.

Amazon S3 vs Azure vs Google Cloud Storage Pricing

In the table below you can see monthly per-GB prices for S3, Azure and Google Cloud Storage for the first 1TB stored.

Monthly per-GB Prices for the First TB Stored

Amazon Web Services Microsoft Azure Google Cloud Storage
HOT $0.023 $0.023 $0.026
COOL $0.0125/$0.01* $0.0125/$0.01*** $0.01
COLD $0.004/$0.00099** $$0.00099/$0.00299**** $0.004-$0.014

* Amazon S3 Standard I/A / Amazon S3 Standard Z-I/A

** Amazon S3 Glacier / Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive

*** Mircosoft Azure Blob Cool Tier ZRS / Mircosoft Azure Blob Cool Tier LRS

**** Mircosoft Azure Blob Archive LRS / Mircosoft Azure Blob Archive GRS

In AWS data is stored in three datacenters in one region as a standard. And this is called the Availability Zone. In Microsoft, the analog is Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS). For Microsoft Azure Archive Tier, Microsoft does not have ZRS. Therefore, we point the LRS and GRS prices. LRS means three copies of the file in one data center. GRS is three copies of a file in two different regions.

Then we have compared a volume-discounted price — here is the chart for HOT storage class (Google does not offer volume discounts).

Volume Discounts for HOT Storage Class

Amazon Web Services Microsoft Azure Google Cloud Storage
2–50 TB/month $0.0230 $0.0184 $0.026
50–500 TB/month $0.0220 $0.0177 $0.026
500+ TB/month $0.0210 $0.017 $0.026

The COOL and COLD tiers don’t contain any discounts.

Conclusion

For now, we can notice an interesting trend — all main storage providers have significantly changed their pricing policies during the last year. Google and Microsoft have similar price tags on storage in the COOL tier and AWS is slightly more expensive.

Things got more interesting in 2017 in the COLD storage market. Google Cloud has announced Coldline storage which forced Amazon to lower prices. And at the very end of 2017, Microsoft has publicly released its Microsoft Azure Archive Blob Storage with pricing starting at just $0.002/ GB stored per month.  Bear in mind, however, that storages differ not only in basic price tags but also in lots of other features, so check carefully before choosing storage provider for your needs.

Calculate estimated storage costs for your data set with AWS Simple Monthly Calculator, Azure Pricing Calculator or Google Cloud Platform Pricing Calculator.

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  • Differences between hot, cool, and cold tiers of storage
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