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Cloud Data Egress: How to Reduce Azure and AWS Storage Costs

How to lower cloud egress chargesPublic cloud providers charge every time you move data from their cloud storage to your on-premises storage. These cloud data egress fees can add up. If you’re just starting out with cloud storage, you won’t feel the sting of egress costs. But enterprises pushing terabytes of data to Amazon (AWS) S3 and Azure storage and pulling them back will end up with a significant egress bill.

Here are 5 ways enterprises can take advantage of the scalability and low cost of cloud storage while minimizing the price you pay for cloud data egress.

1. Use Cloud Storage for File Data First

Unstructured file data today represents about 80% of all data in an enterprise. The other 20% is structured data that lives in some type of database, e.g. SAP, Exchange email, custom Oracle apps, etc. The structured data is highly transactional and changes frequently, which will quickly drive up your cloud data egress costs. Files are less transactional, and a lot file data doesn’t change at all, making it the smarter place to start when you’re looking at using cloud storage.

2. Use Cloud Storage for Archiving

Archive data is, by definition, data you don’t need to access very often. It’s the kind of data you need to keep around for possible future reference or compliance. That makes it a great use case for cloud storage. You won’t have to pay Azure or Amazon egress fees if you’re not pulling your data back on-premises. And if you’re using cloud storage for archiving, you won’t be doing that very often.

3. Implement a Hybrid Cloud Solution for Active Files

A fast-growing class of hybrid cloud solutions offer the ability to cache your active file data on-premises so you can avoid cloud data egress fees. Enterprise file services and cloud NAS (Network Attached Storage) solutions like Nasuni use Amazon and Azure cloud storage as the main place to store all your files, but then use small appliances to cache active files and file system metadata on-premises.

You can put these edge appliances anywhere you need fast and frequent file access – main data center, remote and branch offices, even temporary job sites. They support the same CIFS and NFS file sharing protocols as traditional file servers and NAS devices, and use intelligent caching algorithms to ensure about 98% of your file access is local, even though the amount of local storage is very small.

Since you’re rarely retrieving your files from public cloud storage, a hybrid cloud approach can give you the combined benefits of traditional file storage and cloud storage, without paying high cloud data egress fees.

4. Compress and De-Dupe Your Data Before It Goes to Cloud Storage

This one is simple: the less data you put in cloud storage, the less you’ll have to pay to get it out. So before you push your data to the cloud, de-duplicate it and compress it. Hybrid cloud solutions like Nasuni Cloud File Services take care of this automatically. Whenever you save a file, the local edge appliance de-duplicates and compresses the data before sending to Azure or Amazon cloud storage. This reduces the overall amount of cloud storage needed to store file data by about 40%. Cloud data egress costs will be lower because there is simply less data to pull back on-prem.

5. Put Auditing and Chargeback in Place

One way to control cloud data egress costs is to understand what you’re paying and why. By putting automated cost usage, governance, and chargeback tools in place, you’ll understand what fees you’re paying and be able to tie it back to the business units who are incurring the costs. Those in your organization who are using the most storage and driving the most egress should get the bills for it. That will also encourage them to be more efficient in their use of storage. Enterprise file services solutions like Nasuni that offer reporting can help in this area, too. 

Does this give you a better blueprint for using Amazon or Azure cloud storage without having to pay high egress costs? Are there any other tips or hints I missed? Send us a comment and let me know!

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