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When setting up a new assets source, Craft allows you to natively connect to one of these cloud storage solutions (assuming you're using the Craft Pro edition):

  • Amazon S3
  • Google Cloud Storage
  • Rackspace Cloud Files

I know that the answer may be subjective, but want to hear pros & cons from people who have tried any of these. I'm working on a project which will require one of these solutions, and I greatly value the opinions of this community.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Allright, I'll bite. First, I'll get the cost argument out of the way, then I'll cover each type with their specifics.

Costs

  • Amazon S3: USD 0.03 per GB (up to 1TB, where the price drops as you store more and more data)
  • Rackspace: USD 0.12 per GB (up to 1TB, where the price drops)
  • Google Cloud Storage: USD 0.026 per GB (No price reduction for large amounts)

In conclusion - pricing will not be a deciding factor, as the difference, while having a rather noticeable amplitutde, only matter when storing such an absurd amount of data, that the price is the least of your problems.

S3 Specifics

  • Superb integration with AWS. If you're hosting there, then your choice has been made.
  • CDN - Amazon Cloud Front is super-easy to set up and is a breeze to use.
  • Different types of storages available.
    • Regular
    • Reduced Redundancy Storage - cheaper, however Amazon guarantees "only" 99.99% durability of data
    • Glacier - super-cheap storage for archiving. Super long data recovery, though. I'm talking 3 to 5 hours. Also, as Matt Stein pointed out, in some cases, the data retrieval could get super-expensive. (more info, expensive retrieval case)
  • Supports object versioning (more info)
  • Cache headers - you can set up cache duration per Assets source for files uploaded to the source via Assets

Rackspace Specifics

  • CDN built right in - no set-up necessary.
  • CDN comes at a cost - you can purge only up to 25 files from the CDN per day, so be careful with frequent file changes. (blog post)
  • Supports object versioning (blog post)

Google Cloud Storage Specifics

  • Cheapest of them all.
  • Offers Durable Reduced Availability storage. Cheaper, but stores data on further servers, so the data recovery time is slightly longer.
  • Cache headers - you can set up cache duration per Assets source for files uploaded to the source via Assets
  • According to google, CDN is built in at no extra cost. (Google groups post))
  • Supports object versioning (more info)

Overview

I am biased, I'll admit that, but I've had nothing but joy working with Amazon S3, a lot of frustration working with Rackspace and mixed feelings when it comes to Google. For Google it's mainly of their unbelievably clunky UI, but that might be just me.

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Exactly the guy I was hoping to hear from... Considering that you built the cloud assets management, I figured you'd have some good insight into what does and doesn't suck. –  Lindsey D Jun 27 at 20:01
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(just kidding)... –  Brad Bell Jun 27 at 20:08
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@LindseyD well neither of them truly sucks, but in my experience S3 is the superior choice, unless you have external factors forcing your hand. –  Andris Sevcenko Jun 27 at 20:20
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Both Rackspace and Google includes Versioning. –  Bryan Redeagle Jun 27 at 20:24
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Worth mentioning: Amazon Glacier restores can be pretty expensive in addition to being slow. –  Matt Stein Jun 27 at 20:44
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I have used Rackspace and S3. I can pretty much guess the Pros and Cons of Google's Storage. It's been my experience with these (and a few not supported by Craft) that they are all fast and reliable. In fact, they are all pretty much the same save for price and an errant feature here and there. You should not be disappointed by any of them.

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Thanks for the insight Bryan! –  Lindsey D Jun 27 at 20:18
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Or if you have the available space already on your general hosting/vps/etc. account store the assets locally and if you are looking for CDN acceleration put CloudFlare in front of the web site, which also provides abuse protection, DDoS and other acceleration options too.

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Good points, thanks Nevin! –  Lindsey D Jun 30 at 17:13
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