Storing extensive data in a traditional environment is expensive. Let’s explore what the cost-effective unstructured data storage solution we have in the market.

Thanks to cloud storage which makes it easy and lower 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.

Let’s take a look at some of the best cloud storage services.

1. AWS S3

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 limitation; 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 class 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 cost 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, DR.

If you are looking to explore the S3 (simple storage service) solution, then you can get it started with FREE tier which includes 5GB storage.

2. Google Cloud Storage (GCS)

A low-latency storage by Google for small to enterprise level of business. Google offers four types of storage.

Similar to S3, GCS offer 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, below condition will delete any data older than 30 days in a bucket.

Considering Google Cloud got multiple data center across the world, you can keep your data in various cities in Asia, Europe, and the USA.

Recently GCS have introduced requester pays feature where requester bears the data requests cost.

Under GCP free tier, you get 5 GB regional storage to play around.

3. Spaces

Newly introduced storage service by DigitalOcean called Spaces offers two months FREE trial.

Currently, its available in New York and Amsterdam data center and cost $5 per month for 250GB and additional $0.20 per GB.

You can either use 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

If you are looking for fixed rate monthly, then DigitalOcean would be one of the cheapest one.

4. Cloud Files

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 cloud files container as a private or public.

Rackspace provides unique features like 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.

5. IBM Cloud Object Storage

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.

  1. Regional – store data in multiple data center but same region
  2. Cross region – store data in multiple regions, useful if you are looking for region-based HA.

IBM offers four types of storage.

  1. Standard – general purpose data, accessed frequently
  2. Vault – data accessed once a month or less
  3. Cold vault – Occasionally accessed data, for long-term data retention
  4. Flex – Dynamic data, mix of data accessed frequently and infrequently

Under the lite plan, you can get it started with 25 GB data in FREE.

6. Alibaba OSS

Alibaba Cloud OSS (Object storage service) offers 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 seconds, and it got in-built multi-level security to protect from DDoS, unauthorized login attempts.

7. Azure Blob Storage

Store any unstructured data with Microsoft Azure blog storage. One of the more considerable advantages of Azure is locations.

Ex: if you are looking for multiple datacenter locations in India then at the moment, Azure got better coverage.

Azure also got other types of storage like File & Archive to suit additional requirements.

8. Oracle Storage

Cloud storage by Oracle let 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. Best way to choose is by trying them. Most of the above-listed cloud storage service provider offer an FREE trial.

I use GCS and happy with the performance and pricing.