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Top Cloud Archival Data Services

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Cloud archival services are essential because not all data needs to be  – or should be – kept readily accessible within an enterprise or within a cloud. That’s the domain where cloud archival storage technologies fit in: it provides a lower-cost cloud option for data that is rarely accessed, but still needs to be stored for indefinite periods of time.

Archival data is defined as data that is put into an archive – a storage facility where data can be stored and retrieved, albeit not as quickly as normal, readily accessible storage systems. For on-premises deployments, archival data historically was often stored on magnetic tape, which was based on backups up from spinning disk systems and then hauled away to a physical cold storage facility.

Cloud Storage and Backup Benefits

Protecting your company’s data is critical. Cloud storage with automated backup is scalable, flexible and provides peace of mind. Cobalt Iron’s enterprise-grade backup and recovery solution is known for its hands-free automation and reliability, at a lower cost. Cloud backup that just works.


In the cloud computing era, multiple options for cloud archival storage have emerged, providing a lower tier of accessibility and cost, without the complexity and management overhead of traditional on-premises tape based archival systems.

How to Choose a Cloud Archival Data Source

When looking to choose a cloud archival data service there are several things that users should consider:

Data Durability. The quality of a cloud provider’s service and guarantees that data won’t be lost or corrupted, is a critical aspect.

Compliance Management. One of the primary use-cases for archival data is for compliance and as such, having an integrated compliance management capability can be very useful.

Storage Regions. For some regulatory compliance issues, there is a need to store data in a certain part of the world. Having the right storage region that matches regulations is critical.

Integration. Integration with existing backup and archival software, including tape, makes a transition to a cloud archival data service less painful.

Access Time. The different services all have various access and retrieval times associated with their respective services.

In this Datamation top companies list, we spotlight the vendors that offer the top cloud archival data services.

Alibaba Archive Storagealibaba

Value proposition for potential buyers. Alibaba has emerged in recent years as a global player in the cloud services market, with a growing presence in the US. It’s a good option for archival storage in firms that have a global footprint, especially those that have a need to archive data in Asia.

Key values/differentiators:

  • A key differentiator for Alibaba is how it automatically handles archival storage costs, based on access and storage period. Archival data has to be stored for a minimum of 60 days, otherwise data will revert to a non-archival storage tier.
  • Data restoration speed is also a key benefit of Alibaba Cloud with data moving from cold storage to active in approximately one minute.
  • Getting data into the archive is easy for user as the system supports HTTPS-based transmission options.
  • The Archive storage class on Alibaba Cloud also benefit from an extremely high level of durability with Alibaba promising eleven 9’s (99.999999999%)of data durability

AWS S3 GlacierAWS

Value proposition for potential buyers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the leader in the public cloud and its S3 Glacier services are the standard against which other services are often measured and compared. Glacier provide multiple tiers and options for archival use-cases for organizations of any size.

Key values/differentiators:

  • The Glacier and Glacier Deep Archive services are now categorized as storage tiers of the Amazon S3 cloud storage service, that are structured specifically for archival data.
  • For Glacier, different options for access include expedited (1 to 5 minutes), standard (3 to 5 hours) and bulk (5 to 12 hours).
  • Glacier Deep Archive is intended of data that is only accessed once or twice in a year, for data that will be stored for up to 10 years. Retrieval time for Deep Archive is 12 hours.
  • Glacier works with other AWS storage services and S3 lifecycle management can move unused data to from regular S3 to Glacier based on user defined policies
  • Integration with existing enterprise backup software is achieved with the AWS storage gateway in virtual tape library mode, that provides a storage target that connects to applications that have been designed to store backup data to tape.

Google Archival Cloud Storage google

Value proposition for potential buyers. Google’s Archival Cloud services are a good option for organizations already using Google’s other cloud services, that are looking for a high performance option for archival data storage.

Key values/differentiators:

  • The Nearline Archival Cloud Storage is for archival data that might be accessed multiple times in a year.
  • Coldline is for even less frequently accessed data, that is only requested once a year or less.
  • A key differentiator for both Nearline and Coldline is that Google is providing fast, real-time access to the data, rather than asking users to wait hours.
  • Another key feature is the ability to import data from other cloud services, including Amazon S3.
  • Data import can be scheduled and the Object Lifecycle Management enables automatic selection of the right type of storage tier based on policy.

IBM Cloud Object StorageIBM

Value proposition for potential buyers. IBM has a long history in the data archive business with a strong legacy in tape, that is now being brought forward to help organizations move to the cloud.

Key values/differentiators:

  • IBM’s service is a policy-based archive that works on all of IBM’s storage class tiers including Standard, Vault, Cold Vault or Flex. Users can set a policy to archive data after a period of inactivity.
  • Vault is for data access once a month or less, Cold Vault is intended for data that is rarely accessed and needs to be stored for the long-term.
  • IBM Cloud Object Storage Cold Vault is a good option for organizations currently using IBM tape solutions that are looking for a cloud option either for new archive needs or as a potential replacement for tape.
  • A key differentiator is IBM’s REST APIs for cloud storage that enable easy integration with existing backup and storage systems.
  • The API can also be extended to enable organizations to write their own applications that make use of the IBM archival storage tiers.

Microsoft Azure Cloud Archivemicrosoft

Value proposition for potential buyers. Microsoft Azure Cloud Archive is well suited for organizations using Microsoft tools and already using Azure. There are two tiers including cool and archival that are useful for long term storage.

Key values/differentiators:

  • The Cool tier is for data that will be stored for at least 30 days and is infrequently accessed, while the Archive tier is for data that will be stored for at least 180 days and will be infrequently accessed.
  • The retrieval of archive tier, a process that Microsoft refers to as ‘rehydration’ has two service tiers as well, with standard priority rehydration taking up to 15 hours and high priority offering retrieval in one hour.
  • A key differentiator for Azure is the default encryption for data at rest using 256-bit AES keys.
  • Integration with leading data management partners including Netapp, Commvault and Cohesity among others is another core attribute of the Microsoft offering.

Oracle Archive StorageOracle

Value proposition for potential buyers. Oracle Archive Storage is a good option for organizations that have strict compliance needs and are already making use of Oracle cloud technologies.

Key values/differentiators:

  • A key differentiator for Oracle are the easily configured policies for WORM (write once, read many) compliance, which ensures that archived data is not tampered with or changed.
  • Oracle enforces server-side encryption for data at rest, providing security assurance for users.
  • In terms of data retrieval, Oracle claims that the time it take to retrieve the first byte of data from archive is approximately four hours, with additional time depending on the size of the data being requested.
  • Archived data is replicated automatically by Oracle for durability ensuring the long-term integrity of data.


Value proposition for potential buyers: OVHcloud is a great choice for organizations of any size looking for an OpenStack cloud-based option for data archiving.

Key values/differentiators:

  • A key differentiator for OVHCloud is that it is based on the open source OpenStack cloud platform, benefiting from the platform’s open APIs and standards based approach to data management and access.
  • Another key feature that OVHcloud provides is an anti-DDoS (distributed Denial of Service) attack protection security capability, to help further guarantee access to the cloud archive data.
  • Retrieval of archived data occurs within 12 hours.
  • OVHcloud has 28 data centers across 8 countries and currently claims to have over 1.5 million customers globally.

Cloud Archival Data: Comparison Chart


Retrieval Speed

Pricing for data at rest



High data durability guarantees

1 minute


AWS Glacier

S3 lifecycle management for automatic data archival

Glacier expedited: 1 to 5 minutes

 standard: 3 to 5 hours bulk: 5 to 12 hours

Glacier: $0.004 

Glacier Deep Storage:$0.00099

Google Archival Cloud Storage

Can import data from S3

Real-time access

Nearline:$0.010 Coldline:$0.007

IBM Cold Vault

REST APIs for easy integration with data management software.

Up to 12 hours

Vault : $0.0110

Cold Vault: $0.0066

Microsoft Azure Archive Storage

Default encryption for data at rest

standard: up to 15 hours

high priority: 1 hour.

Cool: $0.01 

Archive: $0.00099

Oracle Archive Storage

WORM (write once, read many) compliance

Four hours

Archive: $ 0.0026

OVH Cloud Archive Storage

OpenStack cloud based archival storage.

Within 12 hours

Archive: $0.0026 GB 

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