Why is my Storage Gateway bill high or increasing?

Last updated: 2020-09-25

I'm using AWS Storage Gateway, and I'm seeing an increase in my billing charges. Why is my Storage Gateway bill high?

Short description

There are three main components of Storage Gateway billing:

  • Storage pricing: These are the charges for the storage service that you use with your gateway. The charges can be from using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) or Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS).
  • Request pricing: These are the charges for the amount of data that's written to the storage service from your gateway.
  • Data transfer pricing: These are the charges for data transferred out of the storage service to your gateway appliance.

If you're using AWS Direct Connect, AWS VPN, or Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) as part of your Storage Gateway setup, then you're charged on the use of those services as well.

Tip: Use the AWS Pricing Calculator to get an estimate and review the costs associated with your deployed resources. 

Resolution

Review the following potential cost drivers for each gateway type:

File gateways

Amazon S3 request charges: Your file gateway uploads files to the S3 bucket, and it retrieves files from the S3 bucket. This means that the file gateway makes the corresponding S3 requests on your behalf. You're billed for these S3 API request calls according to Amazon S3 pricing

Versioning-enabled buckets: If your file gateway stores files on an S3 bucket with versioning enabled, then your storage costs are higher. This is because every change to a file creates a new version of the object in the S3 bucket.

The file gateway performs several incremental uploads to the S3 bucket based on modified data, modified metadata, or multipart uploads of larger files. In a version-enabled bucket, this results in the creation of multiple copies of one object, which increases your storage costs.

If you're using a version-enabled bucket, and you notice a large amount of data stored in the bucket, consider configuring lifecycle rules that control the number of stored versions of a single object.

Before you configure a file gateway with S3 buckets that have versioning or replication enabled, it's a best practice to understand the storage implications for your use case.

Volume gateways

Volume backups: Volume gateways generate and store EBS snapshots of volumes. The Storage Gateway service also integrates with the AWS Backup service to manage the backup and recovery of volumes. Review the following:

  • Your Amazon Data Lifecycle Manager (Amazon DLM) settings for EBS snapshots.
  • Your AWS Backup scheduling and lifecycle rules.

Note: You're charged only for the amount of volume data that you store in AWS. You're not charged for the provisioned size of the resource. For example, if you have a provisioned capacity of 100 GB, but you use only 10 GB of the storage capacity, then you're charged for the 10 GB of storage.

Tape gateways

Tape retrieval and storage class transition requests: When you request data that's stored in virtual tapes, you incur charges based on the amount of data that's being retrieved. Consider the amount of data that's being retrieved from the S3 Glacier storage class or the S3 Glacier Deep Archive storage class.

Additionally, you incur migration charges when you move virtual tapes from the S3 Glacier storage class to the S3 Glacier Deep Archive storage class.

Early deletes of virtual tapes: The S3 Glacier and S3 Glacier Deep Archive storage classes have associated charges for early deletes. These charges apply when stored data is deleted before the minimum storage duration. For the S3 Glacier storage class, the minimum duration is three months. For S3 Glacier Deep Archive, it's six months.

Note: You're charged only for the amount of virtual tape data that you store in AWS. You're not charged for the provisioned size of the resource. For example, if you have a provisioned capacity of 100 GB, but you use only 10 GB of the storage capacity, then you're charged for the 10 GB of storage.


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