AWS S3 and Azure blob storage compared- same same but different

At first glance Amazons Simple Storage Service and Windows Azure blob storage appear to offer the same functionality but there are a few  subtle between these  two storage abstractions in the cloud. In this post I’ll explain what the differences are.

Here’s a quick refresher on the terminology

Amazon simple storage service (S3)

In Amazon speak every object stored in S3 is contained in a top level bucket. Bucket names are unique across all of Amazon S3. Within a bucket  you can use any names you like for your objects. Although the hierarchy is two levels deep you can fake deep object graphs suing a naming prefixes. Plenty of folks store static content for their websites in S3 and back the data store with a CDN to ensure fast delivery to the browser. S3 is great for WORM data ( write once read many times).

Azure’s blob storage

In azure speak objects are stored in blob storage. Every object stored in blob storage is  associated with one top level container. The container partitions everything by a unique namespace across all of azure blob storage. Within a container  you can use any names for your objects.Again its common to store static content and back it with a CDN to serve out static data to your website.

What they have in common

  • cheap, durable, reliable storage
  • REST API to get at the data
  • Hierarchy 2 levels deep
  • Versioning
  • ACL’s to lock down who can see what
  • Multi-part upload

The main differences

Blob Storage S3
 REST API Protocols  HTTP  HTTP & SOAP
 Bittorrent P2P N Y
(optional) delete item after a specified amount of time N Y
Encrypt data at rest N Y

hope this helps!

Aidan

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