By: Bob Spurzem on October 14th, 2016

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The Switzerland of Cold Cloud Storage

Azure | Microsoft | Archive2Azure | cold cloud storage

Blog10142016.jpgLast week I was on the phone with a partner discussing ‘cold’ cloud storage and what is best for the customer.  In the middle of the discussion I declared, “we are the Switzerland of cloud storage”, meaning ultimately, it is always up to the customer to decide whether or not they wish to move their data into cloud storage.

Before I continue, I have to admit I did not coin the phrase “Storage Switzerland”.  This credit goes to my good friend George Crump and the great team at Storage Switzerland.  They are a leading source of storage information and I recommend them as a great source of information.

The decision whether or not to move on premises data to the cloud is a decision facing every IT Manager.  Setting aside the obvious concerns for access, control and security – there exists HUGE storage cost savings when ‘cold’ cloud storage is utilized.

Cold Cloud Storage

Cold Cloud Storage is the perfect solution for the TBs of low-touch, unstructured data (files, documents, media) that exist in every organization.  We call this content ‘Grey’ data.   

Grey data refers to data that usually belonged to departed employees that was stored in desktops, email systems, file shares and the like.  Typical examples are Office documents, email, PSTs, eDiscovery data sets, work files, sales reports, engineering files, and the list goes on.

A Quick Cost Savings Calculation 

With that explanation let’s return to the topic of cost.  Cold storage products are available from all the leading public cloud providers – Google, Amazon, Microsoft (Azure) and others.  Published prices are in the $0.01 - $0.02 per GB per month range.  This translates to $10 - $20 per TB per month. 

I recently spoke with a customer who told me he was paying $350,000 annually for 30 TB of enterprise storage from a leading enterprise storage company.  This was the total cost of service, maintenance and personnel to manage. Consider the savings he could realize if he switched to cold cloud storage - $10 per TB per month x 30 TB x 12 months = $3,600 annual.  That translates to almost a 100X savings!

Setting Up the Deal to Benefit You

If you are considering cloud storage, I recommend you look for a deal where you (the customer) pays for the cloud storage account directly.  Additional application license fees should be billed separately. The reason is that the cloud application vendor you choose may bundle the application fee with the cloud storage fees making it difficult to see the exact cloud storage costs you are incurring.  If you keep cloud costs and application costs separate, which is what we recommend, then you can see your actual storage cost clearly and manage accordingly.


Archive2Azure is Archive360’s Compliance Storage Solution targeting long tern storage and management of unstructured grey data into the Microsoft Azure platform. The Archive2Azure solution leverages Microsoft Azure’s low-cost ‘cool/cold’ storage as an alternative to expensive on premise enterprise storage.  Azure costs as little as $0.02 per GB per month and eliminates all the expensive overhead costs of traditional on premise storage.

Archive2Azure importantly provides automated retention, indexing on demand, encryption, search, review, and production – all important components of a low cost, searchable storage solution. Given the clear cost advantages of the Microsoft Azure cloud, it’s no surprise many companies are looking to Microsoft Azure and Archive2Azure for grey data management and storage.

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