Cloud is pay per use, so if you don’t use much, you won’t pay much. That’s the theory, anyway. In reality, cloud costs can quickly mount up. Take a look at how usage is charged for AWS storage and it’s clear why there’s no such thing as just a little cloud usage.

S3 Storage Costs

The Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) says it’s “built to store and retrieve any amount of data from anywhere.” The exact amount to be paid depends on the storage class you use, ranging from the standard class through deep archival and reduced redundancy storage types. Whichever S3 category you use, you’ll pay for the following services:

Object storage. The cost for storage depends on object sizes.

Adding objects. Fees are charged for each request that moves data into S3 storage.

Using objects. There are charges for using data, whether browsing via the Amazon console or accessing via API. Charges depend on the type of request.

Retrieving objects. There are charges to retrieve any data stored in the reduced access tiers.

Bandwidth into and out of Amazon S3. Data sent into Amazon over the internet is free, as are some transfers between Amazon clouds, but you’ll pay for all other data traffic between your site and Amazon’s.

Replication. There are various costs associated with replicating data, including the costs for storing and accessing data at the replication site, as well as transfer fees.

Management costs. Amazon charges for storage management and analytics tools such as S3 Inventory and S3 Object Tagging. Monitoring via CloudTrail and CloudWatch incurs charges. If you use S3 Intelligent-Tiering to move data between storage tiers, you’ll pay a monthly fee for monitoring and automation.

EBS Storage Costs

Another storage type, Elastic Block Store, is meant for high-performance workloads. Pricing for this storage includes these charges:

Space used. There’s a free tier, and beyond those capacity and usage limits charges apply based on the volume type used.

Snapshots. Fees for snapshots are based on size.

Restoring from snapshots. If you enable Fast Snapshot Restore, you are charged for each snapshot and each zone. API usage of snapshots also entails fees.

Keeping storage costs under control requires assigning data to an appropriate storage class based on how the data will be used. A careful assessment should be made before the data is migrated to the cloud. In addition, ongoing cloud cost monitoring should be used to manage cloud costs.

VAST IT Services provides support and management services for AWS, and our VAST View provides insights into cloud usage to help keep costs under control. Contact us to learn how you can manage cloud storage costs, whether you haven’t received your first cloud bill yet or need to tackle bills that have grown beyond your budget.