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One of the cloud’s most oft-cited appeals is cost savings. Many enterprises are able to cut down their IT budget and gain flexibility by moving infrastructure, services and application development to the cloud. But there may come a time when things change. An enterprise could decide to change their IT infrastructure model or a cloud provider’s offerings may no longer align with a client’s needs. What’s more, a cloud vendor’s pricing or SLA may become an issue. In the event an enterprise wants to migrate away from its cloud platform, that client might find it much more costly to do so than originally thought.

Breaking Down Egress Charges

It’s not surprising that putting data and applications in the cloud (ingress) is usually free. However, when enterprises move anything out of the cloud (egress) or decide to leave the cloud altogether, they may find the required costs to get out of the cloud are egregious. Egress charges, or the costs organizations pay to move data from the cloud to another area, vary by provider. More importantly, they’re almost always more expensive than the price to move data into the cloud.

When searching for the right cloud vendor, enterprise IT planners should compare providers’ ingress and egress rates. Typically, ingress and egress charges are billed monthly in a tiered structure, meaning that the more a customer transfers data into and out of the cloud, the lower the GB price. The following table shows the cloud ingress and cloud egress pricing for the major public cloud providers.

Domestic Ingress and Egress Rates

Provider Ingress Price (Per GB) Egress Price (Per GB)
amazon Free
  • 1 GB-10 TB – $0.09
  • 10-50 TB – $0.085
  • 50-150 TB – $0.07
  • 150-500 TB – $0.05
  • 500+ TB – Contact Amazon
 microsoft Free
  • 5 GB – 10 TB – $0.087
  • 10-50 TB – $0.083
  • 50-150 TB – $0.07
  • 150-500 TB – $0.05
  • 500+ TB – Contact Azure
 google cloud Free
  • 0-1 TB – $0.12
  • 1-10 TB – $0.11
  • 10+ TB – $0.08

As you can see, three of the biggest names in cloud services – Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform – charge nothing for monthly ingress, but $0.05 per GB or more for egress. However, the price to transfer 30 TB per month would be $2,550 with Amazon, $2,490 with Azure, and $2,400 with Google. Pricing to move data in and out of different international locations can also be higher than to transfer data domestically. Companies moving the same 30TB of data to China, for example, would pay $4,050 with Azure and $6,000 with Google.

When companies are ready to retract data from the cloud, that process will likely involve the transfer of a large amounts of data. Some 31% of surveyed enterprises had over 25TB in the cloud as of May 2015, and 8% had storage commitments exceeding 100TB.[1] That number is likely to increase as more and more data is created and distributed.

Egress – A Key Cloud Component to Vet

It’s interesting to note that Amazon Web Services recently waived egress charges for academic researchers (with some fine print). But while academic researchers are having their egress charges lessened, others are not so lucky. Before getting into the cloud, it’s important to vet the egress rates of providers.

Have you thought of a cloud retractability plan for when you want to get data out of the cloud? This short article breaks down the importance of creating a plan for exiting the cloud well before having to move critical data and resources. Download it here to learn more.

[1] TechTarget