back to article Microsoft joins the 1c/GB/month cloud storage caper

Microsoft's joined the market for cold storage at a cent a gigabyte a month, with something called “Azure Cool Blobs”. “Blob storage” is Redmond's special term for object storage and Azure's offered it for a while now. Now the bright blue cloud that Bill built has added a “cool” tier to the service that offers the US$0.01/GB/ …

  1. P. Lee

    Sounds good!

    Until you do the maths


    8tb (8000G) = AU$510 (WD NAS drive, retail)

    8000G on Azure = AU$104.00/month

    ROI in < 5 months

    That isn't cold storage either. I know, there are other costs, such as electricity, fancy storage management and chasses etc, but with storage this cheap, you hardly need to manage it and if its archive storage, you hardly need fancy slice & dice management layers.

    My ancient core2 mobo with dual Gig ethernet has 8 sata ports giving 64TB of raw storage (say 32G usable) which would bring in $416/month mirrored, $728 if you go raid5, for data which essentially sits there doing nothing.

    Yeah, so MS has a mountain of engineering it needs to do to offer this commercially and at large scale. The question is, why would a customer care about that? Why wouldn't they do it themselves?

    1. GrumpyOF

      Re: Sounds good!

      Now the bright blue cloud that Bill built has added a “cool” tier to the service that reaches the US$0.01/GB/month price once you store 100 terabytes in certain Azure regions.

      Once you factor in the cost of the 100TB pre-requisite storage, then the arithmetic makes an even more ugly story.

    2. MatthewSt

      Re: Sounds good!

      OK, we'll take those numbers. For redundancy (and a fair comparison) you need to be storing 6 copies of the data in two different locations. That puts us up to $3060 (or a 29 month ROI). Let's add some light IT maintenance to it of 1 day per year at $500 per day (because disks fail, stuff needs maintaining and monitoring). Also, I'm not sure what you're using the disk for, but everywhere I've worked doesn't like their disks to be running at 100% capacity so what does it do to the numbers if we run at 80% capacity (as it's pay per use)? All of a sudden you've got a 5 year ROI. As you said, this is before you start bringing in power, cooling, the hardware to run the disks on etc (but also before you factor in retrieval bandwidth costs for Azure too, as that will very much depend on the use case).

      This ROI also isn't taking into consideration the fact that we have a $3k up front cost as opposed to a gradually increasing cost (again, pay per use) that tops out (in this example) at $100/month.

      Yeah it's expensive if you're a home user wanting to keep your photos and documents safe, but for businesses where data integrity and reliability is key it's a lot closer to the cost they'd expect.

      1. Richard Wharram

        Re: Sounds good!

        I'd say the numbers completely make sense over doing it yourself for all the reasons listed by MatthewSt.

        In addition you have the fact that these prices tend to decrease year on year. You don't pay for anything you aren't using yet with cloud storage so for a typical use case where you've got an archive that will build up over 5 years and only max out at the end of the 5 years you aren't paying that maximum until the end of the period where the price will have more than halved anyway.

        Unfortunately typical in-house projects will demand you pay for the storage array requirements for at least the next 3 years in advance, at today's prices.

        Bear in mind this is just for archiving requirements, not Tier1 storage for a DB. The economics of it just make sense provided it matches your requirements.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sounds good!

          While a single drive in a vault may be a viable option for a brave SMB larger organisations can generate TB of data daily that needs archiving, and importantly it needs proper indexing so you know what is where and the knowledge you can download it. Decent tape solutions are expensive and a pain to maintain, decent tape solutions with virtual tape storage even more so.

          The main issue I can see is what is the guarantee from these products that they'll still be accessible and working in 10 years time?

    3. bpfh

      Re: Sounds good!

      The thing is that when your office burns down along with that ancient core2 mobo and 8 sata ports and your company's data accounts and other important records have gone to the big bit bucket in the sky for ever and ever, amen, $104 bucks a month suddenly starts to sound like a good deal...

      You don't need to balance the cost of storing the data yourself, you need to balance what that data is worth to you - ergo what it would cost you if it was lost forever, if you are using this sort of service for online backup...

  2. Blake St. Claire

    Don't you lot know how to type a ¢ sign?

    At least El Reg isn't as bad as that other site – er \, or something I think – and we can write such odd things as Æ and ð and þ when we post here.

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