Why is DigitalOcean block storage so expensive?

Posted August 2, 2020 3.9k views
Block Storage

I was doing some analysis of various online storage providers, and put together this spreadsheet.

DigitalOcean Block Storage is by far the most expensive at $102/TiB/mo.

Even in comparison to Digital Ocean’s own Spaces product, it’s 5x more expensive.

Why? I understand they’re not quite the same, and maybe some cost savings can be had by splitting our files across multiple disks and machines with Spaces, but does that warrant such a big markup?

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1 answer

Hi mpen,

Thanks for sharing the spreadsheet you used to compare prices across cloud storage. You pose a good question and the answer lies in how these two products provide solutions to different use-cases. Block Storage Volumes are meant to be used as a disk attached to your Droplet from which you can reliably save and load data as well as run applications. In addition to first requiring a Droplet, this class of storage guarantees low latencies with high throughput for general purpose persistent block devices such as filesystems.

By comparison, many of the storage providers you listed, including DigitalOcean Spaces, are blob or object storage providers. This class of product, while less performant than Block Storage, is more economical and better suited to use-cases such as serving content over the web, backups, and other single-access scenarios where latencies, request rates, and bandwidth are less important than total consumable storage.

If you’re interested in learning more about the differences between object and block storage, we have a great tutorial on the subject and, as always, feel free to reach out to us if you require any additional assistance.

by Brian Boucheron
Flexible and scalable data storage is a baseline requirement for most applications and services being developed today. With today's complex deployments, containers, and ephemeral infrastructure, the days of simply saving files to disk on a single server are gone. Cloud providers have developed services to fill the storage needs of modern application deployments, and they mostly fit into two categories: object storage, and block storage.