How Much Does a Petabyte of Storage Cost?

The reason I wrote this article was from a customer who wanted to know whether the cost to store a petabyte of storage in the cloud or on premise for 3 years.  My first thought was the cloud, and I am only talking about storing the data, the pricing excludes the Egress and Ingress charges that would make cloud storage much more expensive.

The cost of storing a petabyte of data

What does a Petabyte of Storage Cost? The Cloud

In order for us to compare an on-premise solution vs a cloud solution we need to establish a few criteria. We chose to use Microsoft Azure Blob Storage for both Hot and Cool pricing and purchased a 3-year reserved blob – Flat Namespace – LRS – UK South:

  • Hot £10,287 per month x 12 x 3 = Total cost £370,332
  • Cool £5,626 per month x 12 x 3 = Total cost £202,536

The quoted price surprised me as it was considerably more than I had been expecting.  I then compared this to a Seagate Exos® CORVAULT™ populated with a total of 106 Exos drives!

Seagate Exos CORVAULT

Exos® CORVAULT™ is a high-performing, efficient, durable multi-petabyte capacity block storage system that is self-healing and brings five-nines availability to scale out storage for data centre deployments. CORVAULT breakthrough technologies provide hyperscale efficiencies, rapid deployment, and automatic hard drive renewal for less e-waste and operational costs.

What does a Petabyte of Storage Cost? On-Premise

Now we get the surprising part, the price for the Seagate Exos CORVAULT with 3 years 24x7 support and maintenance is £50,000 and it fits in 4U!

So how much does it cost to store a petabyte of data on-premise including energy consumption?

2000W x 24 hours x 365 days x 0.35 kW/h x 3 years = £18,396

The total cost is a £68,396 for 3 years!


No infrastructure to worry aboutIncreasing costs
Easy to scaleAdditional Charges
No energy bills to payWAN Performance
Vendor Lock-In
Data Security


PerformanceRack space, power, cooling
Fixed costsBack-end infrastructure
No additional charges
No WAN costs

The Surprise

On-premise storage worked out to be.

  • 540% cheaper than Microsoft Hot Storage
  • 337% cheaper than Microsoft Cool Storage

This comparison really did throw up an unexpected result as unlike the cloud you don’t pay any additional charges data transfer charges.


Do you want to know the best bit about this price comparison?  The Seagate CORVAULT pricing was for 2PB of data storage 😉.

If you want to know more about the Seagate CORVAULT then contact us using the details below.

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