Cloud Storage and Data Egress Fees; A Primer on Cloud Cost and Complexity Creep, Part I

The concerns that companies have about the cost and complexity creep associated with cloud adoption are well-founded. To control and minimize them, companies that experience the most success with cloud adoption have a solid grasp of the costs and complexity associated with backing up and recovering their data in the cloud. In this first of three installments, I examine how the types of cloud storage and data egress fees that companies can expect when using a general purpose cloud service provider for their cloud backup and recovery initiatives.


A monthly cost that companies likely expect when using a cloud service provider such as AWS or Azure are those fees associated with storing their data. However, the amount they pay monthly will vary based upon the amount and type of storage they use.

For example, AWS offers multiple storage tiers with the price per GB per month that companies pay for each tier relatively low regardless of which storage tier they use. However, companies that take the time and allocate resources to manage the storage tiers on which they store their backup data on Amazon’s S3 storage offering can see significant savings.

A company that stores 10TB of backup data with AWS will, by default, store this data on Amazon’s Standard S3 storage offering. This will cost $250/month. However, if that same company tiers its data across Amazon’s Infrequently Accessed and Glacier storage tiers, they could reduce their monthly storage costs by over 50 percent. This storage tiering feature is available at no charge which behooves company to utilize this feature if they can, especially if they will use the cloud for long term backup data retention.

Amazon S3 Standard Storage Costs

First 50 TB/month $0.025/GB
Next 450TB/month $0.024/GB
Next 500TB/month $0.023/GB
Infrequently Accessed – All Storage $0.019/GB
Glacier – All Storage $0.005/GB

Source: Amazon Web Services; September 2018

Data Egress Fees

A cost that may catch companies unawares who use AWS to store their backup data and then go to recover it are the fees associated with data transfer out, or what is commonly known as data egress. Since providers such as AWS do not charge companies to upload their data into their cloud using the Internet, companies may be unaware they get charged data egress fees when they retrieve the data to do restores.

Almost as soon as companies retrieve their data from the AWS cloud to bring it back to their site, the costs begin to appear. While companies can currently retrieve the first gigabyte (GB) of data at no charge, the cost per GB per month goes to eleven cents per GB. After they retrieve the first 10TB of data, the cost per GB cost declines slightly. Companies will incur these data egress fees for each event and these charges can re-appear for repeating events such as multiple recoveries or if data is moved between different regions with the provider’s own cloud.

Data Transfer Rates OUT from Amazon S3 to the Internet

Up to 1GB/month No Charge
Next 9.999TB/month $0.114/GB
Next 40TB/month $0.098/GB
Next 100TB/month $0.092/GB

Source: Amazon Web Services; September 2018


In part II of this series, I examine the costs and complexities that companies incur when they use a general purpose cloud service provider’s compute and virtual private cloud resources.



Discover how Unitrends can help protect your organization's sensitive data