Data egress cost analysis

Understand the impact of data transfer and egress costs across Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.
November 4, 2021

Cloud-savvy, price-aware decision makers are asking for more than a tool that makes it easy to integrate their cloud storage and databases into their centralized data warehouses. They also care about, and are responsible for, total cost of ownership (TCO) — including Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) data egress pricing.

It’s no surprise that moving storage from data centers into a cloud based storage environment can result in substantial cost savings. What cloud providers charge for data is measured in pennies per gigabyte. S3 standard storage rates, for example, are a little more than 2 cents per GB, with the rate declining the more data you store.

Once they’re convinced a storage solution will work, the next big question decision makers will ask is: “How much are data transfer costs?”

For uploading data to the cloud, the data transfer cost is generally low or zero. Cloud storage providers don’t want to put any barriers between you and your utilization of their storage services.

But once the data is in the cloud storage system, you may need to pay to get it back out, and that’s where data egress charges come into play.

What is data egress?

Data egress, in the context of cloud charges, refers to data transfer fees for moving data out; that is, when you export data out of a cloud provider. You may need to do this for disaster recovery purposes, to transfer data to another storage provider, to move data from an application into a data warehouse, or for other reasons.

The opposite of this would be data ingress, when data is imported into a cloud provider. In the case of data ingress, there is typically no charge.

Cost analysis: AWS vs. GCP vs. Azure

The simple answer to the question of how much data egress costs is “not much," but it is a bit more than the basic storage costs. The S3 data egress cost, for example, is about 5 to 7 cents more per GB more than basic storage cost.

Let’s take a look at the actual egress costs for AWS, GCP and Azure. (These figures were last updated in November 2020.)

Cloud data egress cost comparison

  • Amazon Web Services: $0.09 per GB up to 10 TB/mo, $0.085 per GB for the next 40 TB
  • Google Cloud Platform: $0.12 per GB for the first TB, $0.11 per GB up to 10 TB, $0.08 per GB after 10 TB
  • Microsoft Azure: $0.087 per GB for up to 10 TB, $0.083 per GB for up to 40 TB

*Respective website defaults are used for the costs above.

Egress charges typically average around a dime per gigabyte (GB), with exponentially scaled pricing that makes it cheaper to export more data per GB after a cloud-specified terabyte (TB) cliff.

Reduce data egress fees with Fivetran

When you set up a new connector in Fivetran, we do a full import of existing data (historical sync). From then on, we only capture changed data (updates, deletes, inserts and schema changes).

What that means is that you can typically expect a small, one-time uptick in your egress costs during the historical sync, immediately after setting up a Fivetran connector, depending on how large the data set is.

Later, incremental syncs will have even lower egress costs because our connectors use cursors to pull only updated data.

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