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A guide to Microsoft Azure storage pricing

Take a deep dive into the costs of Microsoft Azure cloud storage across several different types, including Blob and Files. Compare pricing with AWS and Google Cloud.

Microsoft Azure storage pricing varies according to the type of cloud storage, from Blob to Managed Disks. Within each type, there are tiers, reservations, time lengths and other cost considerations.

Customers should review all the Microsoft Azure storage pricing before making a decision. Choose the storage type and the level of performance that most closely matches the organization's needs. Similarly, pay attention to the storage region. Compare the prices of multiple cloud providers. Finally, be aware of any extra fees that providers charge. Data egress fees, for example, can be substantial and dramatically impact the storage budget.

Azure Blob Storage

The cost of Azure Blob Storage varies widely based on the storage tier, the volume of data stored, and whether it's the pay-as-you-go model or reserved capacity.

Microsoft charges a flat rate of 15 cents per GB per month for Premium storage in pay-as-you-go pricing, regardless of the volume consumed. Similarly, Microsoft bills for the Cool and Archive storage tiers at a flat rate. Cool storage costs 1 cent per GB per month, and Archive is .099 cents per GB per month, regardless of how much storage the customer consumes. Hot storage, however, is 1.8 cents per GB per month for the first 50 TB, and the price gradually decreases for higher usage. Customers who consume over 500 TB per month, for example, spend 1.66 cents per GB.

Microsoft enables customers to reserve Azure Blob Storage in blocks of 100 TB or 1 petabyte (PB). Reservations can be for one year or for three years. The cost of reserved storage varies by tier. The monthly charge for a three-year reservation of Archive storage, for example, is $84 per 100 TB or $810 per PB, or $91 and $883 per month, respectively, for a one-year reservation. On the high end, the monthly cost for Hot storage is $1,244 for 100 TB for three years and $1,545 per month for one year; it's $11,963 per PB per month with a three-year reservation and $15,050 per month for one year.

Azure Files

Like with Blob Storage, Microsoft bills Azure Files based on the storage tier in use and if the customer reserves storage capacity. The raw Microsoft Azure storage pricing for pay-as-you-go ranges from 1.5 cents per gibibyte per month for Cool storage to 16 cents per provisioned GiB per month for Premium storage.

Customers can reserve storage in 10 tebibyte and 100 TiB increments for either one year or three years. A 10 TiB Cool storage reservation costs $101.39 per month for three years or $125.92 per month for one year. That price goes up to $1,081.34 for three years or $1,343.50 for one year for Premium storage. A 100 TiB reservation ranges from $983.03 per month for three years in Cool storage to $12,779.50 per month for one year in Premium storage.

However, there are typically ancillary fees to consider. These fees cover elements such as read/write transactions, metadata storage, snapshots and early deletion fees.

Azure Queues

The Microsoft Azure storage pricing model for Queues is simpler than that of Files and Blob Storage. Pricing ranges from 4.5 cents per GB per month for locally redundant storage (LRS) to 7.5 cents per GB per month for read-access geo-redundant storage (RA-GRS). There is also a .04-cent charge for every 10,000 Class 1 or Class 2 operations.

Azure Tables

Pricing for Azure Tables ranges from 4.5 cents per GB per month (LRS) to 12.65 cents per GB per month (read-access geo-zone-redundant storage), with several other pricing tiers also available (GRS, RA-GRS, zone-redundant storage and geo-zone-redundant storage). Microsoft also charges a .036-cent fee for every 10,000 transactions.

Azure Managed Disks

There are a dizzying number of pricing options for Azure Managed Disks. Costs vary based on the disk size, reservation period, performance, disk type and capacity. The lowest cost disk is a P1 disk, which has a 4 GiB capacity and costs 60 cents per month, plus 3 cents per mount per month. The most expensive option is the P80 disk, which is 32 TiB and costs $3,276.80 per month, plus $219 per mount. A P80 disk's price drops to $3,113 per month (plus the $219 per mount fee) with a one-year reservation.

How Microsoft Azure storage pricing compares to other clouds

Other cloud providers also offer a variety of storage options.

If an organization needs to store 50 TB of data on cloud object storage on a mid-grade storage tier, Azure is the cheapest versus AWS and Google Cloud, but that may not always be the case. The example detailed in the chart is based only on storing data at rest. Real-world costs can vary based on the fees that the providers charge for data usage.

Chart of hyperscaler cloud storage costs example

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