4 Common Fees When Storing Data in the Cloud

When shopping for a cloud storage service provider, you need to find out what additional fees might be charged in addition to the base rate. Learn about four fees that cloud storage providers often charge.

Over the years, the popularity of cloud storage has increased while its base pricing has decreased. However, like many banks and airlines, cloud storage service providers often charge additional fees beyond their base pricing, which can raise the cost. Thus, it is important to know about the possible additional charges you might incur when storing your company’s data in the cloud. Here are four common fees that cloud storage service providers often charge:

 

  1. Cloud Seeding Fees

To use a cloud service, you need to get your company’s data into the cloud, which is referred to as ingress. A common way to do this is to use a wide area network (WAN) connection. Typically, cloud storage service providers do not charge for ingress when a WAN connection is used.

However, a business might have a massive amount of data to ingress, and transferring it though a WAN connection would take a very long time. To handle this situation, some providers offer another option known as cloud seeding — a company copies its data onto portable media, which it ships to the provider. The provider then uploads the data into the cloud storage facility. Providers that offer this service usually charge a fee for it because staff members need to manually load the data into the cloud.

 

  1. Egress Fees

Moving data out of a cloud is known as egress. Common reasons for egress include:

  • Companies need to transfer some of their data to a different region within the current cloud storage service provider’s network.
  • Companies want to move some of their data back on-premises.
  • Companies decide to adopt a multi-cloud strategy, so they want to move some of their data to different providers’ clouds.
  • Companies decide to switch providers, so they need to move all of their data to different providers’ clouds.

Most providers charge an egress fee for moving data. These fees can add up if a company moves data often (e.g., regularly transfers data between regions).

 

  1. Retrieval Fees

Cloud storage service providers often add retrieval fees when companies access (i.e., read from or write to) their data. Retrieval fees often come into play with tiered storage. Many providers structure their storage services into tiers delineated by how often the data will be accessed. For example, a provider might offer three storage tiers:

  • Tier A for frequently accessed data, which has the highest base pricing but is not subject to retrieval fees
  • Tier B for occasionally accessed data, which has moderate base pricing and moderate retrieval fees
  • Tier C for is rarely accessed data, which has the lowest base pricing but the highest retrieval fees

Selecting a tier without being aware of the retrieval fees can result in higher bills than anticipated.

 

  1. Early Deletion Fees

Cloud storage service providers that use tiered storage sometimes stipulate that the data stored in the tiers reserved for infrequently accessed data must remain there for a minimum amount of time. This is referred to as the minimum storage duration. For instance, the provider in the previous example might specify a minimum storage duration of 30 days for the data in Tier B (occasionally accessed data) and 60 days for the data in Tier C (rarely accessed data). Companies that delete or move their data sooner than the specified time frame will encounter early deletion fees.

 

Avoid Being Unpleasantly Surprised

Besides the basic pricing, it is important to know about possible additional charges that you might incur when storing data in the cloud. Otherwise, you might be unpleasantly surprised when your first bill arrives.

However, you should not pick a cloud storage service provider based on price alone. There are equally important criteria, such as the security measures a provider takes to protect its infrastructure and customers’ data. We can help you select a cloud storage service provider that is a good fit for your company based on cost, security, and other measures.

Fees Key flickr photo by CreditDebitPro shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license