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S3 vs Azure vs Google Cloud

Amazon S3, MS Azure and Google Cloud Storage Pricing Comparison

Amazon S3, MS Azure and Google Cloud Storage Pricing Comparison

When it comes to choosing professional cloud storage, pricing may become the deciding point. To help you better navigate on the ever-changing cloud storage market, we prepared a short article comparing prices for three of the most popular solutions: Microsoft Azure, Google Storage, and Amazon S3 cloud storage services.

Mind you, we will not only compare the price figures but will also help you to understand the specifics behind the price of these cloud storage services.

Storage Classes

In this article, we focus on the regional default pricing for each cloud storage provider, which are:

  • US Standard region for Amazon S3
  • US East for Microsoft Azure
  • US region for Google Cloud

To learn about the pricing in other regions, you can turn to the AWS website, Azure website, and Google Cloud website respectively.

To compare the different classes of cloud storage in AWS, MS Azure, and Google Cloud, we have grouped all storage services into 3 tiers:

HOT — durable, available performance object storage for frequently accessed data.

  • Amazon S3 Standard
  • Microsoft Azure Hot Blob Storage
  • Google Cloud Storage standard

COOL — storage class for data that is accessed less frequently, but requires rapid access when needed.

COLD — secure, durable, and low-cost storage service for data archiving.

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  • Amazon S3 Glacier* ( New call-to-action )
  • Microsoft Azure Blob Archive Storage
  • Google Cloud Storage Coldline

*AWS also has Amazon Glacier Deep Archive, a subclass for the Amazon Glacier storage. With the price for storing 1GB/month starting at $0.00099, it is the cheapest storage solution on the market.

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Amazon S3 vs Azure vs Google Cloud Storage Pricing

In the table below, you can see the monthly prices per GB for Amazon S3, MS Azure and Google Cloud Storage for the first 1TB stored.

Monthly per-GB Prices for the First TB Stored

Amazon Web Services Microsoft Azure Google Cloud Storage
HOT $0.023 $0.0184 (LRS) /$0.023 (ZRS) / $0.0368 (GRS) $0.026
COOL $0.0125/$0.01* $0.01 (LRS) /$0.0125 (ZRS) / $0.02 (GRS) $0.007
COLD $0.004/$0.00099** $0.00099 (LRS) / N/A (ZRS) / $0.00299 (GRS) $0.004

* Amazon S3 Standard I/A / Amazon S3 Standard Z-I/A

** Amazon S3 Glacier / Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive

By default, data in AWS is stored in three data centers in the same region, and this is called an Availability Zone. In Microsoft, the equivalent is Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS). For the Microsoft Azure archive tier, Microsoft does not have a ZRS Therefore, we indicate the prices for LRS and GRS. LRS means three copies of the file in one data center. GRS is three copies of a file in two different regions.

Also, we have compared the volume-discounted price — here is the chart for the HOT storage class (Google does not offer volume discounts).

Volume Discounts for HOT Storage Class

Amazon Web Services Microsoft Azure Google Cloud Storage
2–50 TB/month $0.023  $0.0184 (LRS) /$0.023 (ZRS) / $0.0368 (GRS) $0.026
50–500 TB/month $0.022  $0.0177 (LRS) /$0.0221 (ZRS) / $0.0354 (GRS) $0.026
500+ TB/month $0.021   $0.017 (LRS) /$0.0212 (ZRS) / $0.0339 (GRS) $0.026

There are no volume discounts for COOL and COLD storage tiers.

Conclusion

At this point, we can see an interesting trend — all major cloud storage providers have significantly changed their pricing policy over the past year. Google and Microsoft have the same COOL storage tier pricing, while AWS is slightly more expensive.

In the COLD storage tier market, things are even more interesting. Google Cloud announced Coldline storage, forcing Amazon to lower prices. Microsoft has publicly released its Microsoft Azure Archive Blob Storage starting at $ 0.001 per GB per month. However, keep in mind that not only the basic price tags differ, but also many other features, so check carefully before choosing a storage provider for your needs.

Calculate estimated storage costs for your data set with the AWS Simple Monthly Calculator, Azure Pricing Calculator, or Google Cloud Platform Pricing Calculator.

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