Unpacking Azure Storage Pricing: A Guide to Understanding Costs

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Microsoft Azure offers a variety of storage services, each designed to meet unique data needs and accompanied by its pricing structure. Let’s take a closer look at the key storage services.

The Scalable Solution: Azure Blob Storage

Azure Blob Storage offers object storage that is infinitely scalable, much like Amazon S3. This service is particularly useful when you need to store large amounts of unstructured data. The pricing for Azure Blob Storage varies according to the tier selected.

For the hot tier, which is designed for frequently accessed data, pricing begins at $0.0184 per GB-month. For the cool tier, which is optimal for less frequently accessed data, prices start from $0.01 per GB-month. For long-term data archival where immediate access is not required, the archive tier is available, with prices starting from $0.00099 per GB-month. These prices apply for the first 50TB and decrease progressively as the volume of storage increases.

The Shared Solution: Azure Files

Azure Files provides cloud-hosted file shares that can be mounted on Azure VMs or on-premises machines, offering a seamless transition from local storage solutions to the cloud. The pricing for Azure Files differs according to tier and is based on the actual storage used.

For the transaction-optimized tier, the cost is $0.06 per GB month. For the hot tier, the price drops to $0.0255 per GB-month, and for the cool tier, designed for infrequently accessed data, it further drops to $0.015 per GB-month.

Azure Files also offers a Premium tier where users pay for provisioned storage, even if it’s not fully utilized. This comes with a price tag of $0.16 per GB provisioned. Do note that additional charges apply for features such as snapshots, transactions on data, and data transfer volume.

Please note that the prices provided are illustrative, based on the West US 2 region with Locally Redundant Storage (LRS) redundancy. As such, prices may fluctuate and you should refer to the Azure website for the most up-to-date pricing.

In conclusion, understanding Azure cloud storage pricing can help businesses better forecast their cloud expenses and make the most out of Azure’s diverse storage cost solutions.

Rodney Joyce

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