One of the most popular use cases for using cloud services is storage. Organizations, instead of spending money on hardware and resources to manage them, they leverage cloud services to upload their files at much cheaper rates (Butler, 2017). The most significant public vendors, such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, offer a wide range of storage alternatives. The services that these vendors provide has its strengths and weaknesses depending on the specific requirements that each organization has.

The following analysis was done doing research on storage services for objects, files, and blocks:

  • File storage. Azure Files is the service that is provided to manage file shares in the cloud, and they can be accessed using the standard server message block (SMB). These shares can be mounted by using cloud or on-prem deployments of Windows, Linux, and macOS (Azure, 2018). Google offers a service called Filestore, which is a ready-to-use NFSv3-based NAS storage in the cloud and has two options: standard and premium for extreme performance (Perry, 2019). The service on the AWS platform is called Elastic File System (EFS) and also provides the option to the users to mount file systems from the virtual machines from anywhere. Also, it can scale automatically, a choice that Azure, for example, does not have (Butler, 2017).
  • Object Storage. Azure provides a service for object storage called Azure Blob. This service was built for storing vast volumes of unstructured data and is designed for images, stream video and audio, supporting log files, backups, and much more (Azure, 2020). Moreover, Google also offers a similar service called Cloud Storage. They offer several options for hot and cold archival called Nearline, Coldline, and Archive (Google Cloud, no date). The main difference is that Azure limits the size of the container with a maximum of 500TB per account, while Google, the only limit they have is per object up to 5TB, same as Amazon AWS S3 (Perry, 2019). Regarding durability, AWS and Google both advertize the eleven 9’s for objects stored using their services. Still, Azure has twelve 9’s over a given year if using Zone-redundant storage and the same eleven 9’s in case the service the Locally redundant storage (Azure, 2020).
  • Block Storage. The three leading vendors separate their block storage services into two classes: conventional hard-drive disks (HDD) and solid-state disks (SDD). Azure service for block storage is called Managed Disks, and they offer two levels, standard or premium, using SSD disks (Butler, 2017). Google service for block storage is called Persistent Disk and provides a cheaper price/performance for HDD/SDD than Azure (Perry, 2019).

References

Azure (2018) What is Azure Files? [Online] Available at: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/files/storage-files-introduction (Accessed 4 April 2020)

Azure (2020) Introduction to Azure Blob storage [Online] Available at: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/blobs/storage-blobs-introduction (Accessed 4 April 2020)

Azure (2020) Azure Storage redundancy [Online] Available at: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/common/storage-redundancy (Accessed 4 April 2020)

Butler, B (2017) Deep dive on AWS vs. Azure vs. Google cloud storage options [Online] Available at: https://www.networkworld.com/article/3191520/deep-dive-on-aws-vs-azure-vs-google-cloud-storage-options.html (Accessed 4 April 2020)

Perry, Y (2019) Azure vs Google Cloud: How They Compare [Online] Available at: https://cloud.netapp.com/blog/azure-vs-google-cloud-how-they-compare (Accessed 4 April 2020)

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