Combined with the general availability of blob tiering (hot, cool, and archive), Microsoft has launched a new version of storage account, called the General Purpose v2 Storage Account.
Before, we had two kinds of storage account:
- General Purpose: Now called the General Purpose v2 storage account, this offered blob, page blob, queue, and table storage. It was the main place for storing virtual hard disks (un-managed disks) until managed disks were launched.
- Blob: Blob storage accounts could be deployed as hot or cool tiers. Hot tier offered the cheaper access rate, but per-GB capacity billing was priced between General Purpose V1 storage accounts and cool blob storage accounts. Cool blob storage accounts offered the cheapest per GB capacity, but had the highest charge for accessing blobs. Blob storage accounts can only store blobs.
Now we have the v2 General Storage account which takes the features of the blob storage accounts and combines then with the general storage account, plus tiering.
Tiering means that we can move a blob between 3 tiers within the same storage account (not automatic tiering today):
- Hot: Lowest access rates, most expensive per GB capacity.
- Cool: Still low latency, but cheap per GB capacity at higher access rate.
- Archive: The cheapest per GB capacity (~$2.05 per TB per month!), but it takes up to 15 hours to move a blob back to cool/hot where it can be accessed again.
Today, when you create a new storage account, the General Purpose v2 is the default option and is what you should choose, according to Microsoft. Your blob storage accounts live on, but you should stop deploying them. You can choose to upgrade from General Purpose v2 to v2 (open the storage account, go to Configuration, click Upgrade), but you should understand what affect this will have on your bill.
The per GB cost of blobs will decrease. For example, LRS in v2 costs $0.024 per GB in East US for the first 1 TB. In v2, the cost is $0.0208 per GB. However, the blob access rates are going up. For all of my customers today, these access rates barely even register in the monthly bill! For example, Write Operations in v1 are $0.0004 per 10,000 and this goes up to $0.05 in v2. If you do the math, a customer with $1 of blob write charges in v1 will have a bill of $125 in v2.
Note that un-managed disk prices (page blobs) don’t appear to be changing.
A new charge called “early deletion” is being introduced for cool (GPv2) and archive tiers. This is also known as “minimum storage duration”. If you delete/move a blob from cool (GPv2) or archive before this minimum time, then there is a pro-rated charge. For example, if you move a blob from archive tier after 170 days, then there is a prorated charge for 10 days of storage in that tier (180 minimum – 170).
This should be “fun” to estimate for customers
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