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Whenever your company starts a new project, it generates gigabytes of data you need to store. Azure Archive is the top cloud storage tool to do just that. But the trouble is that you, and many other people, somehow got the idea that it isn’t sustainable for long-term data storage.

That argument isn’t true and it’s holding you back from productive long-term cloud archiving.

Here’s how Azure Archive actually works, and why it outclasses its competitors in data storage.

What is Azure Archive?

Azure Archive Blob Storage is a storage option for Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform.

Remember all those wasted papers shoved in filing cabinets taking up space in your office? Azure Blob acts as your digital junk drawer and filing cabinet, the online home for the project information that you no longer use daily but might need in the future.

How Does It Work?

Stored data once discarded by organizations could prove useful at a second glance from AI and data analytics. That makes this information valuable, but not valuable enough that companies are eager to shell out big bucks to store it when it’s rarely used or accessed.

Azure Blob, a new addition to Azure storage, gives organizations the ability to store rarely-accessed data (like medical records, backup data, and financial records) in a durable, low cost, highly available cloud storage system. It does this with the Archive tier, as well as the Hot and Cold access tiers.

Archive Tier

Of the three tiers, Archive tier is the lowest cost option. This is for data that you don’t expect to access but cannot discard.

Because of this, data in the Archive tier cannot be read, copied, overwritten, or modified. To do that, you would have to retrieve it and move it to the Cold tier, a process referred to as rehydration.

Cold Tier

This includes short-term backup data, older media content that isn’t viewed on a regular basis but must be readily available, and large data sets that need to be stored while more data is being collected.

Hot Tier

This is information you need to store and access on a regular basis, as well as data that is staged for processing and will move to the Cold tier.

Why Is It Better Than Other Cloud Services?

Azure Archive is built on the principle that data stored within the service should be easy to place and easy to retrieve as needed. Here’s how it outclasses its competitors.

Cost Effectiveness

Archive Blob is the lowest cost option of the storage tiers, which means that storing information that will likely rarely or never be accessed is cheaper.

Seamless Integration

All the operations in Archive Blob are the same as the pre-existing tiers, allowing easy integration of long-term storage as part of customer plans.


Like the Cold tier, the Archive tier offers the same 99% availability, which means data can be found easily without cluttering the Cold tier when you don’t need to access it as often.


The Archive tier will provide the same durability that loyal Azure consumers have come to expect from the Hot and Cold tiers, with all the same data replication options.


At rest, all data stored in the Archive tier is encrypted.

What Does It Cost?

Then there’s the big question: what does it actually cost? It’s a common rumor that public storage is cheap but the associated data transfer costs make it unsuitable for the long haul.

Here’s what data storage with Azure Archive through HubStor actually costs – and why that rumor about data retrieval costs isn’t true.

Sticker Price

HubStor makes it as easy as Azure Blob to store your data without difficulty. It’s simply a markup on the cloud costs incurred to run the cloud service in your dedicated tenant configuration.

The minimum monthly subscription price is $400 USD. After that, it’s up to you.

With HubStor, you only pay for what you use – no startup costs, no term commitments, just month-to-month consumption price based on the metered Azure cost of your tenant.

We also offer price protection – any price reductions in Azure go straight to you, and we contractually commit to restrict future changes to our markup for your subscription, so you won’t get surprised by price hikes.

The Myth of Retrieval Costs

We know what you’re thinking: sounds great, but what will it cost me if I estimate wrong and have to retrieve a lot of data from Archive?

The myth of high retrieval costs isn’t true as long as you’re smart about how you store your data.

Factors to Consider about Storing Data

  • Remember when estimating how much data you’ll archive that most data goes low touch or inactive after 30 days.
  • How aggressive is your archiving? If you archive data sooner than 30 days, you’ll likely have higher retrieval costs.
  • The more users accessing your archive, the more retrieval costs you should expect.

Transfer Costs

Now, let’s look at retrieval costs based on 100 terabytes (TB) stored on HubStor – and keep in mind we’re a consumption-based cloud archive designed on public cloud economics.

Starting at 5 TB, data retrieval costs are around $835, up to $13,050 for 100 TB.

Don’t go into sticker shock. There are a few things to keep in mind about those numbers.

  1. Those costs are for data retrieval alone – not the full price of the service itself. Each month with HubStor provides 5 gigabytes (GB) of data transfer at no cost. Beyond 5 GB, there’s a cost of around 10 cents per GB retrieved.
  2. Exceeding more than 5% retrieval in a month is rare, especially at 100 TB. Remember that we’re talking about archiving – as your organization evolves, you’re going to generate a lot of data that isn’t touched.
  3. A 100% retrieval would only come into play if your organization was migrating all of your stored data off HubStor’s services. And while these might seem high for the full 100 TB, typical data migration by professional services often run between $500 to $1,000+ per TB.

azure archive

Data Storage with HubStor

Your organization needs room to grow – HubStor wants to it a stress-free process. We’re the only enterprise-grade cloud archiving platform built on a pay-as-you-go basis, and we never lock you in.

Ready to get started? Schedule a demo and see for yourself what our clients love about HubStor.

And if you still have questions, don’t worry. We’ve got answers. Check out our blog for more reading on cloud archiving.

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