AWSome, S3 storage literally costs pennies

Just ignore the retrieval fees and relatively lower resilience

Cloudy shopping trolley in the sky (representing cloud sales/procurement). Photo by Shutterstock

AWS is letting punters store objects in S3 for $0.01 per GB per month. The catch? The data will be held in one availability zone, meaning there is less resiliency baked into the service in the event of an outage.

Users' object storage data is kept in virtual repositories called S3 buckets. These are physically stored in AWS data centres in a small geographic area called an Availability Zone.

These zones are grouped into larger geographic areas called Regions – storing copies of data across availability zones decreases the risk of data loss, and storing copies across regions decreases the loss risk further.

According to Amazon, S3 Z-IA stored data is held in one availability zone, whereas S-IA and S3 Standard data is housed across three.

AWS S3 standard and S3 S-IA promises 99.99 and 99.9 per cent availability per given year, respectively, and S3 Z-IA includes 99.5 per cent availability per given year. Prices per service vary according to the features.

The prices are:

$ per GB per month S3 Z-IA S3 S-IA S3 Standard Glacier
Any amount $0.01 $0.0125   $0.004
1st 50TB     $0.023  
Next 450TB     $0.022  
Over 500TB     $0.021  

Microsoft's Azure Block Blob Storage options are organised somewhat differently and overlap AWS S3 pricing:

Amount Hot Cool Archive
1st 50TB $0.0184 $0.01 $0.002
Next 450TB $0.0177 $0.01 $0.002
Over 500TB $0.017 $0.01 $0.002

Google Cloud Platform storage prices are organised more simply:

Multi-Regional Storage Regional Storage Nearline Storage Coldline Storage
$0.026 $0.02 $0.01 $0.007

With all these storage prices there may be added operational charges if customers want to move or access data. For example there is a retrieval fee per GB retrieved with S3 S-IA and Z-IA, as with Glacier.

AWS said its latest S3 Z-IA storage is for data that customers can regenerate or where they already have another copy kept elsewhere. The tier of services is also aimed at those who need to access data more frequently than the data archived in Glacier. ®

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