Managing ever-growing volumes of data is a continuous challenge for businesses. With data growing as much as 65% annually, many turn to the cloud in order to access storage on demand.

Cloud storage means businesses don’t need to invest in storage devices, and the on-demand feature means there’s no need to pay for spare capacity before it’s needed. In addition, support and maintenance costs are reduced because those functions are handled by the cloud provider. Yet cloud storage costs can balloon anyway.

Sources of Cloud Storage Costs

The cost of storage in the cloud is derived from several different factors:

1. Capacity. Basic storage charges are typically charged by the capacity used, generally quoted in gigabytes per month. Different types of storage may have different rates, with faster storage more expensive than slower archival storage.

2. Usage. In addition to being charged for storing data, there is usually also a charge for the transactions that use the data. These costs are generally priced as a fraction of a penny for 10,000 transactions.

3. Network. Transactions are the individual reads and writes of your data. There are separate, additional charges for network utilization when moving data out of the cloud (moving data into the cloud is almost always free).

Reasons Cloud Storage Costs Grow

You can estimate the initial cost of your cloud storage, but it’s harder to estimate and plan for growth. This growth occurs for multiple reasons, some of which are unnecessary:

• additional data stored as more workloads migrate to the cloud

• additional data stored for development and test environments

• additional data usage as application usage grows

• storage costs associated with backups and archives that accrue over time

• increased network costs due to multicloud and hybrid architectures

• additional data collected due to business growth

• ineffective storage management using wrong tiers, retaining data too long, and lacking deduplication and compression.

Getting Cloud Storage Costs Under Control

As with so many IT problems, controlling cloud storage costs begins with understanding your data, how it’s used, and whether it’s actually needed. By understanding your data, you can select the most effective storage tier and apply appropriate retention policies.

Better data management also helps, but requires tools. Copy data management can help limit the creation of unneeded copies of data that then need to be stored. Backup tools and policies that limit the preservation of snapshots and move older data to lower-cost tiers also reduce costs.

Application design also affects costs. Businesses can avoid many network costs by limiting multicloud data sharing to workloads where there is a clear benefit.

Controlling cloud costs requires understanding your cloud spending for both server instances and storage. VAST View provides a comprehensive look at your cloud utilization. Contact VAST IT Services to learn how VAST View and our cloud services can help you control your cloud costs.