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Is Azure a good alternative than DHL harddrives? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all,

    We need to 'transfer' 5TB data each month from Hongkong to UK, right now we use DHL and 2TB HDs.

    Given the data might need to be processed on Azure compute node, do you think if we manage to load the data at Azure HK data centre directly, and somehow the data magically turn up from Azure Europe data centre and stay there for us to process, possible? Price-wise?

    Related issues will be: how fast is the connection between Azure HK and Europe? Is this something worth doing? Will that be so expensive?

    Best,

    dong

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 5:52 PM

Answers

  • Thanks all for the discussion.

    I think the conclusion should be: No, using Azure is not cheaper or faster than parcel post hard drives.

    So I'll mark myself as Answer, if no one objects. :)

    Best,

    dong

    • Marked as answer by Xied75 Friday, February 24, 2012 1:30 PM
    Friday, February 24, 2012 1:30 PM

All replies

  • Hi Dong,

    Glad to see your question. According to your description, you need transfer 5 TB data each month, does the transfer data will reuse next time?

    As far as i know, Window Azure Storage is used to store data and access by applications, services, clients, etc. Not just a a way of transfer data, every Azure account can store 100TB data normally (you can apply for more). If you want to share HK application data and lets Europe customers can access it more quickly, try to use Azure Cache service: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windowsazure/gg278356.aspx 

    For more details about Storage billing:

    http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/offers/ms-azr-0003p#

    Hope it can help you


    Please mark the replies as answers if they help or unmark if not. If you have any feedback about my replies, please contact msdnmg@microsoft.com Microsoft One Code Framework

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012 5:31 AM
  • Hi, Arwind

    Thanks for the reply.

    But I do find your suggestion interesting. From my understanding Cache Service is for some other scenarios like what the MSDN link suggested, ASP.NET state or other high frequence accessed ref data/lookup table etc., every earthman knows how expensive Cache is.

    I would think CDN is the right answer: it would transfer the big chunk from one place to another, so one copy in HK, another in Europe, then I can fetch a copy to my site storage.

    This is based on the assumption that MS is able to have fat pipe between Azure data centres so that the data move very fast, 2 days will be great to beat DHL.

    Given the pipe 'is' fat, my question asked is: will this be cheaper than DHL harddrives?

    Best,

    dong

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012 4:58 PM
  • Hi Dong,

    Yes, the "Cache" i mean is CDN Caching, not Azure Service Caching (AppFabric Cache), sorry for confusing words and link because both of them can called cache.

    The another thing you do not mention is "does the transfer data will reuse next time", If you want to use CDN Cache with Windows Azure Platform to "transfer" data, you need upload the data to Azure Storage (upload from HK) and then download it from other side (download in Europe), so the data flow is double, you can not upload data to CDN Cache, you may download data from CDN Cache in Europe second time (During the first download, Windows Azure need transfer data from HK storage and CDN Cache will enable for next download). So if you want to download the data many times or many clients need download your data, you can consider to enable CDN Cache.

    About "pipe is fat", i think the upload and download speed also matter to your bandwith, not only Windows Azure, if your bandwith is small and wire speed is not very fast, and upload and download speed may not meet your expectations.

    About Billing , i am not very familiar DHL harddrives's billing, but you know it certainly. If you need only transfer the data for once, the upload data flow is 5 TB and download data flow is 5 TB, and you need pay for storage transactions for use Blob API. If you need store the data in Storage for several month, the billing is "$0.14 per GB stored per month". And if you want to use CDN, CDN billing will a little expensive than normal Blob flow.

    These assessment and planning toolkit may be useful:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/solutionaccelerators/gg581074

    if you have any advance issues about Windows Azure pricing or how to choose VM size, storage, etc. you can contact our customer support on https://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?prid=14234&st=1&wfxredirect=1&sd=gn.

    Hope it can help you.


    Please mark the replies as answers if they help or unmark if not. If you have any feedback about my replies, please contact msdnmg@microsoft.com Microsoft One Code Framework

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 2:43 AM
  • Hi, Arwind,

    You did make a GOOD POINT!

    The way CDN works: the first time I try to access it from Europe, it will still be in HK, only after CDN kick in and replicate data then the second time access from Europe will actually get data from Europe. (So can't I show my intention by config file or policy setting so that CDN will kick in before I even do the first access?)

    So even into Azure is free, out of Azure is not, thus as above, I'll pay twice.

    Out of curiosity, is there a 'FAT' pipe between HK and Europe Azure data centres, capable of transfer terabytes overnight? (Put a simple calculation here:

    1TB = 1000GB = 10,000Gbit

    if pipe is 1Gbit/s (e.g. an OC-24 link), 10,000 / 3600 = 2.78 hours.)

    p.s. I should not use DHL as an example, better say Fedex or USPS. :)

    Best,

    dong

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 6:16 PM
  • Dong,

    Another thing you might have to make point of is CDN is available only for public blobs and you don't want to use public blobs to transfer data.

    Just curious :), did you calculate how much would it cost for 5TB data used for 2 days (assuming 1 day to upload 1 day to download), should be around $700 where maximum cost is outbound one.

    -Sachin Sancheti

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 9:29 PM
  • Agree, and another choice is upload data from HK to Europe directly (Assume that create an Azure Storage account and register it in Europe), and then download speed will become fast but upload speed will slow than HK data center..

    Please mark the replies as answers if they help or unmark if not. If you have any feedback about my replies, please contact msdnmg@microsoft.com Microsoft One Code Framework

    Friday, February 24, 2012 2:50 AM
  • Thanks all for the discussion.

    I think the conclusion should be: No, using Azure is not cheaper or faster than parcel post hard drives.

    So I'll mark myself as Answer, if no one objects. :)

    Best,

    dong

    • Marked as answer by Xied75 Friday, February 24, 2012 1:30 PM
    Friday, February 24, 2012 1:30 PM
  • Hi Dong,

    I think Azure is not just a way of transfer data for only 1 times, Windows Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that used to deploy your application, manage your data, expose your services, improve user experience, etc.

    Thanks.


    Please mark the replies as answers if they help or unmark if not. If you have any feedback about my replies, please contact msdnmg@microsoft.com Microsoft One Code Framework


    Monday, February 27, 2012 8:19 AM