Azure Blob Storage vs AWS S3 – Which is Better? (Pros and Cons)

Azure Blob Storage vs AWS S3 – Which is Better? (Pros and Cons). Azure Blob Storage and AWS S3 provide secure, scalable, and reliable cloud storage for data and workloads. They are designed to provide storage for unstructured data. With either Blob Storage or S3, you can store massive amounts of data and build powerful cloud native applications.

This article discusses Azure Blob Storage vs AWS S3 to help you determine your best option. Read on Azure Blob Storage vs AWS S3 – Which is Better? (Pros and Cons)to discover how each cloud storage works, its features, and its pros and cons!

What is Azure Blob Storage?

With Azure Blob Storage is an object storage solution in Microsoft Azure. It’s ideal for storing unstructured data such as files, queues and tables. 

Additionally Azure Blob Storage stores large amounts of data and feeds it to users over HTTP and HTTPs. This storage service can store text, images, and files or serve streaming videos.

How Does Azure Blob Storage Work?

To store data in Azure, you should first create a storage account and then create Blob Storage. The Blob storage can have multiple containers in it. Azure allows cloud users to manage blobs in containers. A single blob may be dedicated solely to storing image files, while another might store videos. 

Blob objects in Azure can be stored in three types of blobs: page, append and block blobs. 

Block Blobs

With Azure Block Blobs are suitable for storing data that needs frequent accessibility with high performance. A single block can store 100 MB of data. A single storage account has a maximum of 50,000 blocks, meaning you can store up to 4.75 TB. 

Ideal for binary files and texts.

Append Blobs

Append are designed for log files as they support append operations. They are almost similar to Block Blobs, the only difference is storage capacity. A single Append Blob can store up to 4MB of data. A single storage account can have up to 50,000 blobs. With each blob containing a maximum of 4 MB of data, the maximum possible store is 195 GB. 

Page Blobs

Page blobs are ideal for storing data that require frequent read and write operations. They can store up to 8 TB and are useful for Azure Virtual Machines storage disks. You can create and access them with .NET code. 

So the Azure Blob Storage has three storage tiers:

  • Hot Tier. The Hot tier stores frequently accessed data with low latency. Gives optimal performance and is ideal for storing data for transactional workloads.
  • Cool Tier. Here in the Cool tier it stores infrequently accessed data. This tier is less costly than the hot tier and is ideal for documents and backups that your workloads don’t access frequently.
  • Archive Tier. Last tier and it is the least costly of the three. Best suited for storing archival data that you need to retain for a long period. Data stored in this tier cannot be read or modified easily.

Features of Azure Blob Storage

Importantly Azure Blob storage is built to provide reliable data storage. Some of its top features include:

High End Security

The Azure Active Directory authentication improves with Azure Blob’s security. This storage platform provides data encryption, Role based access control and advanced threat protection. Uses a 256-bit AES algorithm to encrypt data at rest, securing it from compromise.

Data Management Capabilities

Moreover Azure Blob Storage provides access control and data management features. These capabilities help manage web, mobile  and cloud native applications and security.

Scalability, Availability, and Durability

Data stored in Microsoft Azure is highly available and accessible. You can log into your storage account and access it from anywhere. Besides, you can always scale your storage up or down without additional infrastructure costs.

Pros of Azure Blob Storage

Some of the advantages of using Azure Blob Storage include:

  • High scalability.
  • Enhanced data protection.
  • Easy management through the Admin Console.
  • Cost effective based on access frequency.

Cons of Azure Blob Storage

  • Blobs have storage limits.
  • Direct support comes at an additional cost.

What is AWS S3?

AWS S3 is a block storage service in Amazon AWS. You can use AWS S3 to store, organize, optimize and configure data for various business purposes. 

How Does AWS S3 Work?

Data in AWS is stored as objects in buckets. An object can be any entity as long as it contains metadata, i.e., date, modified, type, etc. Buckets in AWS S3 act as containers for storing objects. Each object in a bucket has a unique key value. 

Numerous storage possibilities with AWS S3. You can choose your storage class based on the data type, access frequency and cost. There are six storage classes in AWS S3:

  • S3 Standard– Frequent Access- Highly durable storage tier for frequently accessed data. Delivers low latency ideal for content distribution, gaming and mobile applications and big data analytics.
  • S3 Standard- Infrequent Access. This storage class is ideal for storing less frequently accessed data but requires quick access whenever needed.
  • S3 One Zone IA– Infrequent Access- stores data in a single availability zone. The difference with the Standard Infrequent Access class is that it provides storage at lower costs but without high availability and resilience.
  • S3 Intelligent Tier. This storage tier automatically moves data to the most effective storage classes while maintaining high performance. 
  • S3 Glacier. Built for data archiving at low costs and high performance. Also, it delivers flexible data retrieval.
  • S3 Glacier Deep Archive. Ideal for long term data archiving. It’s the best choice for data that’s not frequently accessed or needed. It retains data for a period of over 10 years, depending on your requirements.

Features of AWS S3

AWS S3 has numerous features to help you manage and organize data and achieve optimal cloud utilization. These features include:

Storage Monitoring

You can use Amazon S3 features alongside other S3 to monitor activities in your storage. You can apply tags, allocate costs across business entities, monitor operational health and configure billing alerts. All these monitoring capabilities enable users to manage data storage effectively.

S3 Versioning

Amazon S3 allows you to create different versions of your objects with the bucket. Known as versioning, this process helps preserve and restore every data version whenever needed. With versioning, you can easily recover objects from unintended user actions. 

Data Security

Data security of AWS S3 is a secure data storage platform. AWS Access Control Lists (ACLs) and Identity and Access Management enables users to restrict data access. You can manage passwords, multi factor authentication, track audit logs, encrypt data, and more.

Pros of AWS S3

  • Stable and secure.
  • Simplified data management.
  • All time Availability.
  • Low cost data storage.
  • Easier data migration.

Cons of AWS S3

  • Additional support comes at a price.
  • Poor user interface.

Azure Blob Storage vs AWS S3: What are the Differences?

Both Azure Blob Storage and AWS S3 provide secure, scalable, and reliable data storage. Knowing the key differences between Azure Blob Storage and AWS can help you choose the right storage platform for you. Here are some factors that differentiate Azure Blob Storage and AWS S3.

Method of Data Storage

Data in Azure Blob Storage is stored as blobs in containers. Containers reside in the standard storage account. In AWS S3, Data is stored as objects in Buckets. The buckets reside in the user’s storage account.


The cost of data storage in S3 depends on the amount of data, frequency of access, and more. Each storage class has different rates depending on the type of data it stores. AWS S3-IA charges $0.00125 per GB per month. The cost of transferring out to the internet is $0.09 per GB. The cost of transferring data to another region is $0.02 per GB.

On the other hand Azure Blob Cool Storage tier, which is equivalent to the AWS S3-IA tier, charges $0.01 per GB per month to store data. The cost of transferring data out to the internet is $0.087 per GB per, the same as transferring data to another region.

Storage Tiers

Tier storage in Azure Blob Storage has 3 storage tiers: Cool, Hot, and Archive. The Hot Tier stores data that’s frequently accessed and has low latency. The Cool tier stores infrequently accessed data while the Archive tier stores data backups.

But AWS S3 has 6 storage tiers. You can choose the tier you want depending on the type of data you have. If you are unsure of where to store your data, you can choose the S3 Intelligent Tiering class. It matches your data with the appropriate storage class.

Security Management

Security management benefit of  Azure Blob Storage is that you can secure your data with Azure Active Directory. You can also implement role based access control for specific roles in the organization. However, it doesn’t have Customer Master Keys (CMKs) and CSE-C that come with AWS S3.

There is various security features with AWS S3 has such as Bucket Policies, Access Control Lists and Identity and Access Management. Also, it has 256-encryption that you can use to safeguard your data from unauthorized access.

Data Management

Management of data in Azure Blob Storage allows you to manage data within a storage account’s containers. Containers are logical groupings that you can access with a unique key. You can manage all containers from the storage account at once.

Oppositely with  AWS S3, you can manage your data at the Bucket level. In this case, you have to manage each storage bucket independently. It takes more time to manage storage buckets in AWS S3 than in Azure containers.

Storage Size

Size of storage in Azure Blob Storage allows up to 100 accounts per subscription and a 500 TB storage account limit. But with AWS S3 it allows up to 100 buckets per bucket, but you can scale this limit. Also, it doesn’t limit the number of objects you can store per bucket.

The maximum size of a block and append blobs is 195 GB. Page blobs have a maximum size of 8TB. In AWS S3, the maximum size per object is 5 TB.

Thank you for your time with reading Azure Blob Storage vs AWS S3 – Which is Better? (Pros and Cons).

Azure Blob Storage vs AWS S3 – Which is Better? Conclusion

We hope you have enjoyed our handy guide on the differences between the two cloud platforms. As evident above, both play a similar role, come with similar pricing and help users store data safely. When choosing between the two, it’s best to consider other factors before making an outright choice. Consider how you want to build and run workloads, overall cloud complexity, personal skills, etc.

Read our blog for more cloud content!

Avatar for Dennis Muvaa
Dennis Muvaa

Dennis is an expert content writer and SEO strategist in cloud technologies such as AWS, Azure, and GCP. He's also experienced in cybersecurity, big data, and AI.

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