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Best Methods to Optimize Cloud Storage Costs in 2021

Cloud storage costs can accumulate if you are not cautious rapidly. Moving data to the cloud may be a cost-effective method to reduce costs. Cloud storage may be much less costly than on-premises storage infrastructure, with expenses measured in cents per gigabyte rather than dollars. It may also be more dependable and more straightforward to maintain than on-premises storage equipment. That pennies-per-gigabyte, on the other hand, pile up over time. If you are not cautious about keeping your cloud storage expenses under control, you may wind up with a total storage charge that is much more than you anticipated.

In light of this issue, here is a summary of recommended practices for reducing cloud storage expenses while maintaining storage reliability and performance standards.

First, choose an inexpensive online data storage provider.

The most efficient way to minimize your cloud storage costs is to guarantee that you pick the cheapest storage platform from the start of your storage journey.

Note that other cloud storage providers may not supply all of the capabilities you need in your cloud storage solution. They usually provide object storage comparable to services such as AWS S3 and Azure Blob Storage, among others. The lack of block storage and a limited selection of databases that you can find on a Big Three cloud platform, as well as other types of cloud services such as virtual machines.

The bottom line: If you need object storage, be careful to compare the features and prices offered by smaller-name cloud providers before deciding. In certain instances, these providers may be able to offer the storage you need at a much cheaper cost than AWS, Azure, or GCP, but this will depend on your requirements and use cases.

Select the most appropriate storage service.

If you decide to store data in a cloud that provides a variety of storage options, be sure to choose the most cost-effective storage option for your requirements from the available options.

Object storage is a cost-effective and straightforward way to store data on the cloud. Depending on what you intend to do with the data, a different kind of storage may be less expensive in the long term. Sometimes it is preferable to keep data in a database, which can be structured to save your apps time (and money) importing and processing it. Object storage’s lack of flexibility may make data analysis more expensive and time-consuming.

Make use of storage types or tiers to your advantage.

Object storage services are offered in a variety of “classes” (as defined by AWS and Google Cloud Platform) or “tiers” (as defined by Microsoft Azure) on various public cloud platforms. The costliest storage class or tier is the standard storage class or tier. Choosing a lower-cost storage tier allows you to save money on storage costs. Essentially, the idea is the same as that used in on-premises storage tiering methods.

The trade-off is that lower-cost storage choices often provide lower levels of performance than higher-cost storage options. The data on these tiers is not immediately accessible; it may take a few minutes to many hours to view the information. If you use the data regularly, you may also have to pay additional costs to access it.

Lower cloud storage costs tiers or classes, on the other hand, may or may not be an intelligent method to reduce your cloud storage expenditures, depending on what you want to do with your data. Archival data that you do not anticipate being accessed frequently makes an excellent choice for low-cost storage tiers. Data that your apps need to read or write regularly is not protected against unauthorized access.

Implement data lifecycle policies in the cloud.

When do you need your data stored in a typical storage class on certain occasions but not on others? It is at this point that data lifecycle rules come into play. Creating rules that automatically migrate data from one storage class or tier to another is possible on most large public clouds. These rules help you save money by ensuring that data is not kept in a higher-cost class for longer than necessary.

It is possible to reduce your cloud storage costs by using lifecycle rules. For instance, log data that you initially need to retain available in case you need to reference it for troubleshooting reasons may be reduced using lifecycle policies. You may automatically transfer logs to a lower-cost tier as they get older and less likely to be required by using a lifecycle strategy to manage the process.

Be cautious when it comes to data dependability.

Every company/organization’s primary concern is to protect data from temporary or permanent loss. It can be one of the reasons for data migration to the cloud: You are correct that the cloud will outperform your on-site infrastructure.

A balance between data dependability and cost has to be found. Most cloud services have excellent standard availability levels; for example, Amazon guarantees availability for “119s” after uploading data stored in its S3 services. In general, the default strength in S3 should be sufficient for most clients as long as they are ready to tolerate a 0.000000001% risk of data loss.

You may need even greater reliability. So you may want to explore replicating your data across cloud availability zones or perhaps keeping redundant copies elsewhere. This increases the chances of your data being safe and accessible in the event of a cloud infrastructure failure. However, it will substantially raise your storage costs.

Do not keep any more data than is necessary.

Finally, you may reduce cloud storage costs by ensuring that only data is stored in the cloud when necessary.

However, given how simple it is to transfer data to the cloud—and how difficult it is to maintain track of it after it has been uploaded—you may unintentionally wind up with bloated cloud environments packed with data that you no longer need or that should be relocated back on-premises to avoid data loss.

To avoid such threats, ensure you understand your cloud storage strategy’s architecture and where your data is kept. You may also tag data to make it easier to find using most cloud storage services’ tagging features. For example, if you must keep some data for a certain period due to regulatory constraints, you may tag the data and delete it after the specified retention period.

Cloud storage may be very inexpensive, but only if you approach it in an educated manner. For maximum cost savings, ensure that you choose the right cloud platform, data storage providers, and data management methods before beginning your cloud storage migration project.

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