Storing massive data in a traditional environment is expensive. Let’s explore the cost-effective unstructured data storage solution we have in the market.
Thanks to cloud storage, which makes it easy and lowers the cost without compromising the quality & security.
Object storage can be used to store any object like photos, video, audio, pdf, documents, static files, etc. This can also be used to host a static website or backup purpose.
A good thing about cloud storage is you can upload and download the data from anywhere on the Internet and also give you an option to restrict it. So you have both options to choose from based on your requirement. Another worth mentioning you pay for what you use.
If you are looking for self-hosted S3-compliant storage then you should try MinIO.
Let’s take a look at some of the best cloud storage services.
BTW, in this article, I am going to cover object storage solutions for applications. For personal and business use, you should check out Dropbox, Google Workspace, or other cloud storage solutions.
If you are working in the cloud already, then this is pretty much guessable. One of the famous and pioneer’s in providing object storage.
Don’t bother about storage limitations; you can upload any amount of data.
AWS S3 provides 99.999999999% durability and give you an option to upload/download data using a browser, API.
There are three types of storage classes offered.
Standard – a low-latency general-purpose storage type, perfect for content distribution, big data analytics, etc.
Standard IA (infrequent access) – You can go for IA if the content isn’t accessed frequently. IA costs less than standard and suitable for keeping long-term data, which is not accessible daily.
Glacier – lower cost than IA and suitable for data archive.
AWS provides lifecycle management to transition objects from one storage class to another. S3 is a region basis that means you can keep your data near to your customer, visitor for faster content distribution, and uploads.
And if you are thinking about DR, then it’s covered. It supports cross-region replication, which can be used for backup. Don’t forget to check out security best-practices if you decide to go with AWS S3.
StackPath is fully-integrated object storage with no hidden tricks. Instead, it is available at a lower cost and offers higher performance.
Its performance is, in fact, better as compared to other cloud storage alternatives. And once you pair it with Edge computing or CDN of StackPath, the performance gets even more enhanced. The reason behind its robust performance is its system architecture, which enables around 6x faster and durable performance.
StackPath is 100% compatible with Amazon S3, which requires the same API constructs for identity management and storage. Hence, it reduces the need for you to change the existing application. It also exhibits superior performance for Time-to-First-Byte (TTFB), which is lower than 15ms, way lesser than TTFB offered by others.
After writing an object to the buckets, you can read it immediately, eliminating a well-known issue that AWS developers face frequently. It costs you no extra fees for data transfer or API calls or requests while delivering over its CDN. As a result, you can save almost 50% on choosing StackPath.
Google Cloud Storage
Low-latency storage by Google for small to enterprise-level of business. Google offers four types of storage.
Similar to S3, GCS offers a data life-cycle too for moving data from one storage type to another. or you can also configure to delete it.
There could be a scenario when you want to keep data only for a specific period.
Ex, the below condition will delete any data older than 30 days in a bucket.
Considering Google Cloud got multiple data centers across the world, you can keep your data in various cities in Asia, Europe, and the USA.
Recently GCS has introduced the requester pays feature where the requester bears the data requests cost. Under the GCP free tier, you get 5 GB regional storage to play around with.
A newly introduced storage service by DigitalOcean called Spaces has an in-built CDN.
Currently, it is available in the following four locations.
- New York
- San Francisco
You can either use a drag-n-drop interface or programmatically through API or CLI to control the data.
Some of the common usages of spaces are:
- Web resources like HTML, image, CSS, js or to host the static site
- Logs storage
- Keeping a backup, data archive
DO Spaces is S3 compliant and supports CORS. If you are looking for a fixed-rate monthly, then DigitalOcean would be one of the cheapest ones.
Vultr offers high-performance object storage at $5 per month that includes 250GB storage and 1000GB bandwidth. It leverages NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) caching to ensure the frequently-access data is available at a faster speed.
Scale up or down as you grow and manage through API or S3-compliant tools. Vultr clone the data three times for better reliability.
Cloud Files by Rackspace is powered by OpenStack to provides scalable cloud storage. It tightly integrates with AKAMAI CDN to serve content faster worldwide.
You can keep the file private or public.
Rackspace provides unique features like a temporary URL, which is valid only for a specific period. A perfect solution where you want to sell digital media and want a user to download within a defined time.
Cloud storage by IBM offers server-side encryption and SSL/TLS in transit. Data can be controlled using a web interface, RESTful API, SDK.
By using SDK, it enables you to use storage not just with IBM cloud services with another platform too. There are two resiliency options.
- Regional – store data in multiple data center but same region
- Cross-region – store data in multiple regions, useful if you are looking for region-based HA.
IBM offers four types of storage.
- Standard – general-purpose data, accessed frequently
- Vault – data accessed once a month or less
- Cold vault – Occasionally accessed data, for long-term data retention
- Flex – Dynamic data, a mix of data accessed frequently and infrequently
Under the lite plan, you can get it started with 25 GB of data for FREE.
Alibaba Cloud OSS (Object storage service) offers a 99.9% availability guarantee. Costing is based on what you use, without upfront or long-term commitment.
Alibaba storage is capable of handling more than 50,000 requests per second, and it got in-built multi-level security to protect from DDoS, unauthorized login attempts.
Azure Blob Storage
Store any unstructured data with Microsoft Azure blog storage. One of the more considerable advantages of Azure is its location.
Ex: if you are looking for multiple datacenter locations in India, then at the moment, Azure got better coverage.
Azure blog storage is optimized for data lakes. They also got other types of storage, like File & Archive, to suit additional requirements.
Cloud storage by Oracle lets you store unlimited unstructured data per bucket. Some of the features are:
- Multiple ways to connect – OpenStack swift API, HDFS plug-in, REST API, Java SDK, Python CLI, and console
- Scalable – don’t worry about data size, it scales automatically.
- Encryption – server-side encryption with 256 AES algorithm
I know there are multiple-choice to store data in the cloud. The best way to choose is by trying them. Most of the above-listed cloud storage service providers offer a FREE trial.
Alternatively, if you would like to host them on-premises, you can try self-hosted S3 compliant software.