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What are the alternatives to S3?

Object Storage has given us an edge for storing data over File-based and Block-based storage. It has given the ease of accessibility to store and retrieve data quicker than other storage technologies in many use cases. But the popular storage providers might be applying some backbreaking charges, and we need an alternative.

Sometimes Amazon S3 might not be serving you as you need and need some features or want to move out of the big 3 providers due to charges of which you’re not using much of their services. There are many alternatives to object storage that you can use at a far lower cost than what you pay on Amazon S3. And storing data traditionally can become complicated sometimes, whereby you can get them mixed up or sometimes lost, and there are also hiccups of needing an external database. But with alternative cloud-based object storage, storing, archiving, tagging, and backing up unstructured data has become easy and efficient.

What is Object Storage, anyway?

Object storage is an approach to storing unstructured data in units. Object storage is used for data that cannot be easily organized or stored with traditional relational methods of storing data. These types of data are photos, videos, emails, textual or non-textual data, etc. Object storage has some advantages over any other kind of storage: scalability, limitless storage (cloud-based storage), and metadata characteristics. Cloud service companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft uses object storage as primary storage.

There are many available object storage software, and we will be looking at some specifically and describing what needs to be known about them.

Cloudflare R2 storage

The Cloudflare R2 storage is Object storage specifically designed to store unstructured data with no egress fee. It was built on Cloudflare’s Bandwidth Alliance. R2 is developed to have a zero-rate charge on infrequent operations on stored data under a particular threshold, a single-digit request per second currently. If the threshold passes, R2 will still charge significantly less per operation. R2 charges $0.015 per GB of data stored per month, and it implements Amazon’s S3. R2 has dynamic tiering to give the best performance to your objects.

R2 has 99.999999999% of annual durability. R2 is integrated with Cloudflare Workers serverless runtime, whereby you can bind a worker to a bucket.

Migrating data from other S3 supported cloud services is cheap and easy, whereby R2 will serve a request for objects from your existing storage bucket, egress the objects once before copying and serving from R2.

R2 is still under development and hasn’t been deployed for usage yet, but you can join the waitlist.

DigitalOcean Spaces

DigitalOcean Spaces is an S3- compatible object storage service for storing data. It has an in-built content delivery network (CDN) that makes it have easy scalability, reliability and is very affordable. Spaces offer a $5 per month service with 250GB of storage, 1TB of outbound transfer, unlimited uploads, and Spaces. Spaces can host and deliver static web or application assets, and you can create a seamless, secure architecture with your own subdomain with an SSL certificate. Spaces Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) rules manager enables the prevention of cross-domain security warnings and avoids complex configuration files.

Spaces possess a simple drag and drop format for uploading files. When transferring data, it is secured automatically with an SSL (HTTPS).


Ceph is a software-defined storage platform that implements object storage. Its interface is built with the same storage system that provides the librados interface, making it have the same abilities as librados like read-only snapshot and revert to snapshot. The software delivers Object, File, and Block storage in a single, unified system. Ceph is S3 compatible, and its libraries support applications written in languages like Python, C++, C,  Java, etc. The applications can also access its Object Storage Platform through a native API.


MinIO offers high-performance, S3 compatible object storage. Native to Kubernetes, MinIO can be deployed on public clouds such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, every Kubernetes distribution, private cloud (VMWare, Red Hat, Suse, HP Enterprise..etc), and the edge from ARM SOCs, 5G POPs and edge caching devices to mini-datacenters. It is software-defined and is 100% open source under GNU AGPL v3.


Zenko is an open source multi-cloud controller allowing users to be in control of data while leveraging the efficiency of private and public clouds. Zenko stores information locally and to Amazon S3, Azure Blob storage, Google Cloud Storage, or any S3-compatible cloud storage platform (Ceph, Minio, and more). Zenko, as described on the official website, is not a data mover, not a gateway, and not a brokerage service for public clouds.

While public cloud leaders strive to establish monopolies that lock-in access to information and remove choice. Zenko’s philosophy is based on the fact that everyone should be in control of their data.

Other alternatives

There are also many other Object Storage or Software based Object Storage that can be used as an alternative for storing our data like Riak S2, Triton, LeoFS, and HyperStore.

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