Azure Hot, Cool & Archive Storage

So Azure has a few different types of storage offerings. The main one being Blob storage (Block-level object storage). Object storage is accessed over https, making it a cloud-friendly protocol and by far the preferred method for storing files in the cloud. While you can use in Azure CIFS storage, AKA Azure file Share, you’re better off using blob and this is also by far the cheapest option.

In Azure blob storage is broken down into three tiers: Hot, Cool & Archive.
There are also three replication options: RA-GRS, GRS and LRS.

LRS guarantees that Microsoft will store 3 copies of your data in a single datacenter. GRS adds an additional 3 copies to a 2nd datacenter in a paired region and RA_GRS makes that second copy readable.
LRS comes with 12 9’s data redundancy guarantee while GRS & RA-GRS have 16 9’s of data redundancy guarantee.

Hot is aimed at production use. Offers a 99.9% SLA for LRS and %99.99 for RA-GRS.
Prices for Hot storage start at $18.85 per TB for LRS.

Cool is aimed for backup & archive use and offers a %99 SLA for LRS and %99.9 for RA-GRS.
Prices for Cool Storage start at $10.24 per TB for LRS.

Cool also has a data retrieval fee of $10.24 per TB that is free in the hot tier.
There are also write, list & read costs associated with both hot & cool that cost slightly more on the cool tier. SO don’t try and use the cool tier for production data as you may end up paying more.

Finally, there is the fairly new archive storage. This is priced at an extremely low price of $2.048 per TB. The main catch is that the data is inaccessible, so when you want to access your archived data you need to convert it to either Cool or Hot and then access it, the conversion time can take up to 15 hours.

Converting between tiers is simple and can be performed using the Azure portal, Powershell or the Azure CLI.
In the Gui, you simply select your blob (file) and choose the desired tier.

For full pricing details please see the Azure blob storage pricing site over here

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