Microsoft Azure Data Lake is a scalable public cloud service that enables developers, scientists, business professionals and other users to gain insight from large, complex data sets. While cloud storage offers many benefits, costs can quickly rise if customers don't fully understand and track them.
Azure Data Lake Storage pricing has several variables, including two different generations of the platform.
A breakdown of Azure Data Lake Storage costs
To determine Azure Data Lake Storage pricing, choose a file structure (hierarchical or flat namespace), redundancy type (local, zone, geo-redundant, geo-zone-redundant or read access-only redundant storage), region and currency. Each of these options may change the pricing slightly.
Next, choose options such as data storage size, capacity reservations and transaction levels. Gen2 storage has additional pricing tiers of Premium, Hot, Cool and Archive, enabling customers to optimize costs. Gen1 storage only has a single pricing tier for each option but also includes some pay-as-you-go and monthly commitment storage packages.
For example, Gen1 offers the first 100 GB of storage at 3.9 cents per GB, per month, while Gen2 offers the first 50 TB per month anywhere from 15 cents per GB (Premium) to 0.099 cents per GB (Archive).
So, a company running a large IoT fleet that generates 3 GB daily would pay $3.63 monthly for Gen1 storage. It would pay from $13.95 (Premium) to 9 cents (Archive) for Gen2 storage.
Transaction prices are stable for Gen1 storage at 5 cents per 10,000 write operations and 0.4 cents per 10,000 read operations. Gen2 transaction prices vary widely depending on the storage type, running from 2.28 cents per 10,000 write operations for Premium to 13 cents per 10,000 transactions for Archive write operations. Read operations are cheaper on Gen2 overall, running from 0.182 cents for Premium to 1.3 cents for Cool and $6.50 for Archive, all per 10,000 transactions.
Azure Data Lake Gen2 storage also includes various fees not currently available on Gen1, such as iterative read/write operations, data retrieval and indexing. It also charges data replication fees for redundant storage in other Azure regions.
Customers cannot purchase Azure Data Lake Gen1 storage as a new service. Customers wishing to buy Data Lake Storage are directed to Gen2.
Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 will replace Gen1 storage as of February 2024. Current customers on Gen1 storage must migrate to Gen2 storage before then.
A brief comparison between Gen1 and Gen2 Data Lake storage
Azure Data Lake Gen1 is a hyperscale repository for big data analytics workloads, according to Microsoft. It can capture data of any size, type and ingestion speed in a centralized data store, where it's accessible for operational and exploratory analytics.
Gen1 is accessible with Hadoop and includes all Azure enterprise-grade security, management, scalability, reliability and availability capabilities. It provides unlimited storage and can store any data in its original format without transformation.
Azure Data Lake Gen2 is a service based on Azure Blob Storage, offering low-cost, tiered storage with high availability and disaster recovery capabilities. Microsoft calls it the "convergence" of Data Lake Gen1 capabilities with Blob Storage.
Gen2 storage provides file system semantics, file-level security and scalability. It manages and processes multiple petabytes of data with hundreds of gigabytes of throughput. The hierarchical namespace enables Gen2 to provide file system performance at object storage scale and prices.
How Azure Data Lake Storage pricing compares
Azure Data Lake Storage is a competitive option for any company looking for enterprise-level, scalable and secure big data storage. It offers significant savings when compared to other similar products:
- Up to 71% savings on Windows Virtual Machines compared to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) storage.
- Up to 85% savings on SQL-managed instances compared to Amazon Relational Database Service.
- Up to 45% savings on SQL server VMs compared to EC2.
Buy directly from Microsoft to get the same Azure Data Lake Storage pricing as through a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement and receive price matching for comparable AWS options.