Object Storage Costs

How much does it cost to store your data in the cloud?

Feb. 19, 2024 by @anthonynsimon

Here's what 1 TB of object storage beyond the free allowance would cost you with each provider:

Cloud Provider 1 TB stored, 250 GB reads, 100 GB writes
imgBackblaze $6.00 / mo
imgVultr $6.00 / mo
imgCivo $10.00 / mo
imgOVHcloud $10.75 / mo
imgScaleway $15.48 / mo
imgEntrywan $17.50 / mo
imgCloudflare $19.86 / mo
imgDigitalOcean $20.00 / mo
imgLinode $20.00 / mo
imgUpCloud $21.35 / mo
imgFly.io $21.00 / mo
imgMicrosoft Azure $21.50 / mo
imgAmazon Web Services $24.63 / mo
imgGoogle Cloud $24.93 / mo
imgBunny CDN $25.00 / mo
imgOracle Cloud $25.57 / mo
imgAlibaba Cloud $43.84 / mo

Important: Prices may vary by region and other factors not listed here. For ease of comparison, I selected the region closest to North Virginia (USA) or Frankfurt (Germany), and I made several assumptions to come up with these estimates. Be sure to check the provider's pricing page for the most up-to-date information.

What is Object Storage?

You can think of Object Storage as a giant hard drive in the cloud in which each file you upload gets its own unique URL.

It's a popular choice because it offers a way to store and serve large amounts of data at a low cost and without having to worry about anything other than uploading and downloading the files you need.

This contrasts with traditional file storage systems, in which you had to worry about the underlying servers, disks, and file systems. That means you were also in charge of encryption, replication and server maintenance.

Object storage abstracts all of that away and provides a simple interface to store and retrieve files.

What to watch out for

Generally, most object storage services offer a similar set of basic features.

However, there are significant differences between providers that could make one a better fit for your use case than another. In particular, not all of them offer the same pricing and durability guarantees, so it's a good idea to compare providers before making a decision.

Here are some of the most important factors I'd consider when looking at object storage providers:

  • Cost: Object storage is usually billed per GB/month stored. However, many providers also charge for outgoing data transfer and number of requests per month (eg. GET, PUT, DELETE), so be sure to check their pricing page to get a full picture of the costs.
  • Durability: How reliable is the storage? Does the provider replicate your data across multiple data centers? You don't want your data to be lost or corrupted, so pay close attention to what guarantees the provider offers.
  • Performance: How quickly can you access your data? If a provider offers you unlimited bandwidth, it could still take you a long time to download a large file if the provider's network is slow.
  • Security: How is your data protected? In particular, you should look for encryption at rest and in transit, as well as access control mechanisms.
  • Compatibility: Most providers are S3-compatible, meaning you can use existing S3 tools and libraries to interact with them. This is useful because it means you can easily switch providers in the future if you need to without having to change all your code.

Why is durability important?

Durability measures how likely it is that your data will be lost or corrupted. It's a good idea to pick a provider with strong durability guarantees, specially if you're storing important data such as database backups or important documents.

For example, Amazon S3 offers 99.999999999% annual durability, that means even if you store one billion files with them, you're unlikely to lose a single one even after 100 years - that's not bad at all!

Object storage use cases

Object storage is a great fit for a wide range of use cases. For example:

  • Backups: You can store your database backups, server snapshots, and other important files in object storage. In many cases it's even possible to automatically replicate the backups across multiple regions or cloud providers for extra safety.
  • Javascript, CSS, and other static files: If you have a website, you can store your static files in object storage and serve them directly to your users. This is a great way to reduce the load on your web server and improve performance. You could even use a content delivery network (CDN) to cache the files closer to your end users for even better performance boost (and in many cases, lower costs).
  • User generated content: If you have a website or app that allows users to upload files, you can store those files in object storage and serve them from there. This is a great way to scale your app without having to worry about the underlying storage infrastructure.
  • Application data: You can store any kind of data in object storage, from log files to configuration files to machine learning models. It's a great way to store data that doesn't fit well in a traditional database.

Conclusion

Object storage is a great way to store data in the cloud: from backups to media files to application data. You won't have to worry about servers, durability, or performance if you pick the right cloud provider for your needs.

In this article, I've compared the costs of storing 1 TB of data across several cloud providers. However, there are many other factors to consider when picking a provider, such as durability, performance, and security.

Tip: You can use this website to compare cloud providers and their object storage costs to find which one is the best fit for your use case.