Cloud computing is often cited as a way for SMBs to save money. Smaller business, which typically don’t have the resources necessary to maintain their own in-house computing infrastructures are often seduced by the convenience and flexibility of public cloud services. Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine (GCE) are the Big Three in this area, and millions of businesses rely on them every day.
Unfortunately, with most of the public cloud services come a whole raft of hidden costs, and it’s not always easy to take back control. After all, since the service providers want to discourage customers from getting out, there’s usually something of a vendor lock-in in the form of data egress fees. Data egress refers to outgoing data which, in this case, is data being migrated from one cloud service to another, an on-premises device or to another region operated under the same service provider.
Unsurprisingly, uploading data to the cloud (data ingress) is usually free. However, when companies want to move anything out of the cloud, they’ll typically be charged data egress fees. Fees are charged on a per-gigabyte basis, with multiple fee brackets meaning that cost per gigabyte is reduced once you reach larger data loads. Nonetheless, the costs can still run into thousands of dollars per month, which can be crippling for any small business that relies heavily on data.