Microsoft officially launches Archive Blob Storage

The service is Microsoft's lowest-cost archival storage service yet

Microsoft HQ

Microsoft has officially unveiled its Archive Blob Storage for storing infrequently-used data in a more cost-effective way, as a direct competitor to Google Coldline and AWS Glacier.

The service will compliment Microsoft's Cool Blob Storage that was launched last year as a way for customers to store their infrequently accessed data. Archive Blob storage takes this one step further, by reducing the cost of storing data such as employee data, medical records, customer information, financial records and backups on Microsoft's lowest-cost tier.

Before data storage legislation came into force, specifying businesses must store data for a certain amount of time, it would have been discarded.

"A significant amount of this data is rarely accessed but must be stored for a long period of time to meet business continuity and compliance requirements," Kumail Hussain, senior program manager at Microsoft, said. "Additionally, recent and coming advances in artificial intelligence and data analytics are unlocking value from data that might have previously been discarded."

"Customers want to keep more of these data sets for a longer period but need a scalable and cost-effective solution to do so."

Microsoft also announced the public preview of Blob-Level Tiering that allows customers to manage the tiers (hot, cool and archive) on which their data is managed at an object level.

Microsoft explained Archive Storage and Blob-level Tiering will be available on all Blob Storage accounts, and will allow customers with General Purpose accounts who have large volumes of data to upgrade their accounts, allowing them to access cool, archive and blob-level tiering at general availability.

Although pricing for the new archive data storage service hasn't been announced, it will be reduced during the public preview, Microsoft said.

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