Azure Storage vs SharePoint Document Library


Hi Everyone,


I am looking at Azure Blob Storage (cool tier) for a customer to archive older files from their on-premise file server.


This is going to cost the customer $X per month in addition to their current Microsoft 365 licenses.


Can someone please tell me why the customer would choose this option over using a document library within SharePoint? SharePoint storage is already included with their current 365 licenses.


Does Azure Storage offer any benefits that are worth the extra costs?


Thanks for your advice!



6 Replies


Bummed to see no one chimed in here. I am also curious about this. 

Hi @EricLR,


no expert on my end but I am sure there many ways to look at your topic anyways.

One of the reasons why I consider choosing Blob Storage over SP Document Libraries is because I use PowerApps. PowerApps can interact with Data from both Blob Storage and SP. But if you are using the PowerApp to interact with a SP list, you can only manage up to 2500 items in your SP list. That is very limiting in a business environment where you are quick to exceed these 2500 items. With Blob Storage a limit of that kind does not exist.

Thank you and best regards



If your customer rarely accesses these files and these are truly archival documents then, this is where the cool storage comes in. It's a few dollars a month and the files just wait there, waiting to be opened. This is good if they are rarely accessed. Whereas a document library will need some sort of care and love. Documents will need to be split up, organized, etc. It's all also on how the client wants to access the data, will it be one or a few, or everyone? 


If it's everyone, I would perhaps design a SPO site for archival, access is easier perhaps. Especially if it's a small amount of files for a small business. 

@ashmelburnianpersonally, I believe the right tool is fit for purpose.

And in that sense if your documents are marked for archive, accessible once in 180 + days, in the cheapest storage and its acceptable to recovery them within xx hours then you go for the Azure Blob Storage Archive Tier. Try the to check for the Azure Blob Storage Archive tier price. If you just truly use it as an archive the cost might be extremely low.

Now if you want to just mark those files as archive but, your team are using them all the time to collaborate on top of them then go for the SP.

Can I challenge you a little bit?? A document is the carrier of certain data. Do you really need to store the document itself? (For example, for legal reasons?) Otherwise you can extract the data or the metadata from the documents, store them in any SQL/NO-SQL/Cosmos DB and you can drop the document after a retention period...

best response confirmed by ashmelburnian (Contributor)


Hows it going? 

I think the answer here is that the Sharepoint storage has limits. So in Office 365 your licenses get you 1Tb + 10Gb per licensed user, so in a 100 user environment you get 2Tb (1Tb + 100*10Gb).
After that SharePoint storage is billed per Gb and is still very expensive (as it is treated as hot data with essentially Compute attached) at this time I think it is billed at £0.17 per Gb / Per month.


Azure Cool storage is billed at £0.00783 per GB per month (for the first 50Tb) and there is even now an archive storage level at £0.00135 per GB per month.

This solution really depends on how much storage you are going to use. Lets say you are in the above category and have 100 users, you have approx 600 Gb of Hot / Live data to go into Sharepoint, but 1.5Tb of Archive data. This would put you over the 2Tb limit in Sharepoint Online. So 1. you dont have any spare space for more live data and 2, you would be billed somewhere in the region of £17 per month for the extra 100 Gb, not to mention that would go up over time.

If you were to put the 1.5Tb of data directly into cool storage it would cost £0.783 per month to store, approximately £8 to upload and you would only get billed in addition if you access / download the files, which is £0.0082 per Gb. This would be cheaper still if you used the archive level of storage. THe only real downside is that those levels of storage are the equivalent of tapes, so would be much slower to access.


On the other side, same scenario, but lets say 300Gb of live and only 500Gb or archive, this would be OK in Sharepoint and leave you over 1Tb free. In this case just upload to Sharepoint to save on cost and look to archive when storage limits are a bit closer.


I hope this helps!