Cloudflare hopes lack of outbound data fees will convert AWS S3 users to its R2 storage service


Cloudflare is seeking to entice enterprises to use its new R2 object storage service instead of dominant rival Amazon Web Services’ S3 service. The enticement: no “outrageous” charges to move data out of its storage to external services. AWS S3 is known for such egress charges, which can lead to some pretty shocking bills if you aren’t careful.

Rival cloud giants Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud charge similar egress fees for data as AWS does. But—unlike AWS—both Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud substantially discount egress charges for their mutual Cloudflare customers, Cloudflare executives wrote in a July 2021 blog post.

In response to InfoWorld’s request for comment, an AWS spokesperson provided this statement: “We agree that Amazon S3 has been a game changer for developers. With the deepest feature set and industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance, customers are storing well over 100 trillion objects there today. While we can’t comment on a product that has been announced but not released, we welcome competition generally across our businesses because we believe it is healthy and helps grow markets.”

The big cloud providers don’t charge a similar fee for bringing data in to their cloud, so critics see the egress charges as a means of vendor lockin.

With the announcement of R2—which isn’t a Star Wars reference but is actually just one letter and number before S3—Cloudflare promises to give customers the ability to store data “at Cloudflare’s edge,” meaning data is stored across more than 250 global locations.

“That enables us to drive down the cost of bandwidth and pass that on to customers to completely eliminate egress costs from the object store,” Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told InfoWorld. He said Cloudflare R2 would cost 10% less than AWS S3 across the board.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.



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