12 for ‘21 Cloud Optimization Series - Number 9: Storage Classes

Cloud spend is anticipated to continue its massive growth trajectory for the foreseeable future.  However, the spend does not have to match that same growth curve!  To help our Clients maintain sound Cloud Optimization programs, we've assembled a series of articles and tips called: 12 for '21 Cloud Optimization Series (note: request a download of all 12 here).

AWS, Azure and GCP offer data storage services that include a range of options in term of cost and performance. You can choose from several different storage classes (and pricing) depending on how frequently the data will be accessed, how long you need to store the data, and the redundancy and availability required. In the ideal settings, you should have the storage classes that are best for your business, and for the best price.

Storage Classes

Below are generic storage classes:

  • AWS S3, Azure Blob Storage (no minimum storage duration): Best for data that is frequently accessed and/or stored for only brief periods of time.
  • AWS S3-SIA, GCP nearline (30-day storage duration/cool storage): Low-cost, highly durable storage service for storing infrequently accessed data. Customers generally use this class for storage, backups, and for disaster recovery files.
  • GCP Coldline (30-to-90-day storage duration): Very-low-cost, highly durable storage service for storing infrequently accessed data. Ideal for data you plan to read or modify once a quarter (e.g. secondary backup data).
  • GCP Archival/ AWS glacier/Azure Archive (90-to-180-day storage duration/cold storage): It is the lowest-cost, highly durable storage service for data archiving, online backup, and disaster recovery. This class offers different data retrieval options (5-10mn for active retrieval up to 12 hrs for bulk retrieval) to fit your use case.

Storage Class Optimization

Paying attention to storage utilization and configuration can result in substantial cost savings. You should categorize your storage needs from warmer to colder classes according to actual and projected consumption. It’s possible that the storage class that you have chosen when you first set up your environment may no longer be appropriate. Storage consumption analysis could be complex and time-consuming: you should leverage native tools to manage your storage lifecycle. AWS S3 Lifecycle Policy ensures automatic data transfer to different storage classes by defining duration threshold to move data to cooler storage option. GCP and Azure offer similar services with GCP Object Lifecycle management or Azure Storage Explorer.

Data Deduplication

Files or volumes that are backed up weekly create a large amount of duplicate data hence impact your storage costs. This is where the deduplication process make sense: by eliminating multiple blocks of the same data, you reduce your data footprint, and concurrently, your storage requirements and costs. This process requires set up of specific commands within native services. Azure offers a data deduplication set up through server manager, AWS has a managed service FSx for window files and GCP has commands to deduplicate data in BigQuery.

The Optimization and Deduplication steps should be implemented on a regular frequency as your cloud consumption and your storage needs evolve over time.

As with any strategic technology issue, problem, question, or concern, give NET(net) a call to help you better understand and optimize your supplier agreements, relationships, and investments. Contact us today, and we’ll get you in touch with the appropriate subject matter experts to help you.

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Founded in 2002, NET(net) is the world’s leading IT Investment Optimization firm, helping clients find, get and keep more economic and strategic value. With over 2,500 clients around the world in nearly all industries and geographies, and with the experience of over 25,000 field engagements with over 250 technology suppliers in XaaS, Cloud, Hardware, Software, Services, Healthcare, Outsourcing, Infrastructure, Telecommunications, and other areas of IT spend, resulting in incremental client captured value in excess of $250 billion since 2002. NET(net) has the expertise you need, the experience you want, and the performance you demand. Contact us today at info@netnetweb.com, visit us online at www.netnetweb.com, or call us at +1-866-2-NET-net to see if we can help you capture more value in your IT investments, agreements, and relationships.

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