Microsoft launches Azure Archive Blob Storage to rival Amazon and Google

Microsoft has introduced a new low-cost storage option for its Azure cloud computing platform- the Azure Archive Blob Storage. The new service is intended to rival Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. This new tier joins the existing hot and cool blob storage tiers on Azure.

Azure Archive Blob Storage, launched in public preview, will be the cloud giant’s cheapest tier, intended to preserve data that’s so rarely accessed that in the past it might have been discarded, said Kumail Hussain, senior program manager for Azure, in a Microsoft blog post.

The main difference between the cool and archive tier is that while archival storage is cheaper, the data retrieval costs are higher. Data that is stored in the archive tier is also not immediately available for retrieval. The blobs first have to be “rehydrated” and that can take up to 15 hours for the ones that hold less than 50GB of data.

Archive Blob Storage builds on Cool Blob Storage, an option Microsoft introduced last year to reduce costs for customers looking to preserve data they rarely touched. The new option presents the common cold storage tradeoff of even greater latency—on the order of hours to retrieve data, according to Hussain.

All data in the tier is stored under encryption. If you ever need to change what tier your data sits in, Microsoft also announced the launch of blob-level tiering. With this, you can easily change the access tier of a blob with a single command.

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