In this guide you’ll learn how the major cloud object storage vendors compare in pricing for a variety of use cases.
Calculating pricing for object storage providers can be complex. Just take a look at Amazon S3’s “simple” monthly calculator below. Rather than showing exact pricing, we compare vendors on how storage is used and rank their offerings relative to each other.
To find the best priced vendor that has all the features you need, we encourage you to go through our five minute questionnaire.
The basic cost of storing files for regular access patterns falls under the “Standard” storage tiers of most cloud providers (as opposed to archive or infrequent access).
Of the Big 3 providers, Azure Blob Storage is the most expensive for most standard storage use cases, but does have intelligent tiering and a large amount of variety (and resulting complexity) to get different pricing applied depending on zones, regions, etc...
Google Cloud Storage is the cheapest, with the simplest tier structure overall relative to AWS and Azure, and also has a more cost-effective solution to achieve extra redundancy. If redundancy across multiple regions is important to your standard storage use case, Google Cloud Storage is worth taking a hard look at.
Infrequent access (“IA”) is for use cases where objects aren’t requested often, but require fast response times. Low-cost providers like Backblaze B2 shine in this area because the pricing is comparable or better than IA while also placing fewer limitations on how often you access your data.
Archive storage has slow response times when requesting data and/or limits how much data you can access at normal speeds in a given month. Some providers, like Wasabi, Amazon and Google, call this latter part “hot” archive storage, wherein you get decently fast access speeds.
Oracle has best-in-class pricing for pure archive storage (not “hot” archive).
For rarely requested files with long storage durations, “deep” archive is the most affordable option.
When transferring data internally — like from storage to compute on the same provider — providers might apply charges for inter-regional traffic, inter-zonal traffic, traffic between storage buckets, and traffic between service types. Vendors only charge for these types of transfers under certain circumstances. Unless you’re transferring data between regions, these charges usually aren’t anything to worry about.
Egress is the cost to transfer your data to outside your provider.
According to Cloudflare, it’s not uncommon for vendors to use egress fees as a way to both increase their profit margin and create vendor lock-in.
Wasabi offers free egress, but imposes “fair use” limits that are shown in more detail in the “Considerations with Wasabi'' section.
Storj DCS offers affordable egress at only $7/TB, followed closely by Oracle in affordability.
One major consideration for Backblaze B2 users is the Bandwidth Alliance it is a party to. It’s a program championed by Cloudflare that reduces egress cost in many circumstances to zero. If you’re serving web content and have high egress charges, this may be a way to save lots of money.
Both Wasabi and Storj DCS are free of charge for write operations, but both have major considerations:
The volume of write operations (e.g., PUT, COPY, POST, LIST requests) tends to be of concern only if you’re writing lots of small files to storage and accessing them infrequently. If this isn’t you, then WRITE operations cost likely shouldn’t influence your decision.
Read heavy applications (lots of GET and SELECT requests) can see big savings with Storj DCS due to free operations and affordable bandwidth.
While Wasabi has free READ operations, their fair use policy places serious limitations on read-heavy workloads. You can read more here.
Other providers are relatively comparable in pricing for read operations.
Storj DCS applies some guardrails to projects that write high volumes of very small files to the storage service. This primarily comes in the form of a “Per Segment” fee of $0.0000088 after you've breached Storj’s 10,000 Segment per Project free tier. A Segment is any file that is under 64MB, or any 64MB parts of files greater than 64MB.
Wasabi has a minimum object retention of 90 days. Even if you delete an object after one day, you’ll pay as if that object was stored for the whole 90 day minimum period. This rule applies to object overwrites as well. If an object is overwritten on day one, then both objects are paid for over 90 days. As you can imagine, this makes use cases that change the same file several times over a poor fit for Wasabi.
Wasabi is only able to offer free egress because they impose limits. Here’s what they say:
If your monthly egress data transfer is greater than your active storage volume, then your storage use case is not a good fit for Wasabi’s free egress policy
Backblaze B2 has two CDN partners that provide free egress through the Bandwidth Alliance. This is only applicable for static web content.