- On Wednesday, Microsoft announced the public preview of Azure Archive Blob Storage, a new storage option for its Azure cloud computing platform, according to a Microsoft blog.
- The purpose of Azure Archive Blob Storage is to stow away records organizations do not need to access often, such as employee data, medical records, backups and financial records. To reduce costs, Microsoft is offering to store that data in it's lowest-price tier.
- Microsoft recognizes the growing need for long-term storage, especially as artificial intelligence and data analytics grow. Stored data once discarded by organizations could have value revealed by AI and advanced analytics, according to Kumail Hussain, Microsoft senior program manager. In response, customers are asking for long-term, cost-effective storage options.
Azure Blob storage acts as a junk drawer for the cloud. No one wants to pay big money to store data that’s rarely used or accessed, but tech leaders also don’t want to throw away data that may one day prove useful. Now Microsoft customers can push those things further out into the cloud abyss and access them only when, and if, needed.
Archival storage may be cheaper, but it has a few downsides of its own, such as higher data retrieval costs and longer retrieval times. But it still works as a better option than deleting the data for many organizations.
Cloud companies are constantly working to ensure they match and surpass services offered by their competitors — and at cheaper prices. But Microsoft is a tad late to the game on this one. Amazon Web Services and Google already have storage options that operate in a similar way as Azure Blob.