Comparing storage on Azure and AWS

S3/EBS/EFS and Azure Storage

In the AWS platform, cloud storage is primarily broken down into three services:

  • Simple Storage Service (S3). Basic object storage that makes data available through an Internet accessible API.

  • Elastic Block Storage (EBS). Block level storage intended for access by a single VM.

  • Elastic File System (EFS). File storage meant for use as shared storage for up to thousands of EC2 instances.

In Azure Storage, subscription-bound storage accounts allow you to create and manage the following storage services:

  • Blob storage stores any type of text or binary data, such as a document, media file, or application installer. You can set Blob storage for private access or share contents publicly to the Internet. Blob storage serves the same purpose as both AWS S3 and EBS.

  • Table storage stores structured datasets. Table storage is a NoSQL key-attribute data store that allows for rapid development and fast access to large quantities of data. Similar to AWS' SimpleDB and DynamoDB services.

  • Queue storage provides messaging for workflow processing and for communication between components of cloud services.

  • File storage offers shared storage for legacy applications using the standard server message block (SMB) protocol. File storage is used in a similar manner to EFS in the AWS platform.

Glacier and Azure Storage

Azure Archive Blob Storage is comparable to AWS Glacier storage service. It is intended for rarely accessed data that is stored for at least 180 days and can tolerate several hours of retrieval latency.

For data that is infrequently accessed but must be available immediately when accessed, Azure Cool Blob Storage tier provides cheaper storage than standard blob storage. This storage tier is comparable to AWS S3 - Infrequent Access storage service.

Storage comparison

Object storage

AWS service Azure service Description
Simple Storage Services (S3) Blob storage Object storage service, for use cases including cloud applications, content distribution, backup, archiving, disaster recovery, and big data analytics.

Virtual server disks

AWS service Azure service Description
Elastic Block Store (EBS) managed disks SSD storage optimized for I/O intensive read/write operations. For use as high-performance Azure virtual machine storage.

Shared files

AWS service Azure service Description
Elastic File System Files Provides a simple interface to create and configure file systems quickly, and share common files. Can be used with traditional protocols that access files over a network.

Archiving and backup

AWS service Azure service Description
S3 Infrequent Access (IA) Storage cool tier Cool storage is a lower-cost tier for storing data that is infrequently accessed and long-lived.
S3 Glacier, Deep Archive Storage archive access tier Archive storage has the lowest storage cost and higher data retrieval costs compared to hot and cool storage.
Backup Backup Back up and recover files and folders from the cloud, and provide offsite protection against data loss.

Hybrid storage

AWS service Azure service Description
Storage Gateway StorSimple Integrates on-premises IT environments with cloud storage. Automates data management and storage, plus supports disaster recovery.
DataSync File Sync Azure Files can be deployed in two main ways: by directly mounting the serverless Azure file shares or by caching Azure file shares on-premises using Azure File Sync.

Bulk data transfer

AWS service Azure service Description
Import/Export Disk Import/Export A data transport solution that uses secure disks and appliances to transfer large amounts of data. Also offers data protection during transit.
Import/Export Snowball, Snowball Edge, Snowmobile Data Box Petabyte- to exabyte-scale data transport solution that uses secure data storage devices to transfer large amounts of data to and from Azure.

Storage architectures

  • HPC Media Rendering

    Optimize the media rendering process with a step-by-step HPC solution architecture from Azure that combines Azure CycleCloud and HPC Cache.

  • Medical Data Storage Solutions

    Store healthcare data effectively and affordably with cloud-based solutions from Azure. Manage medical records with the highest level of built-in security.

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See also