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Cloudflare takes aim at "exorbitant" AWS fees with R2 storage service

The internet giant wants developers to "keep developing" rather than worrying about their storage bills

Internet giant Cloudflare has made a bold pitch for enterprise customers with its new R2 object storage service. 

Cloudflare claims the selling point of R2 is that it comes with no "outrageous" charges for migrating data to external services, pitting it directly against Amazon's dominant S3 service. 

R2 Storage is designed for the edge, according to Cloudflare, and offers customers the ability to store large amounts of data and extract it for no additional cost. 

In order to build websites and applications, developers need to store photos, videos, and graphics in easily accessible places, but that can become an expensive problem over time. AWS S3 is well known for its "egress" charges that can result in hefty bills over time, and Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud also implement similar fees for data migration.

However, both Azure and Google Cloud offer substantial discounts for their mutual Cloudflare customers, according to a Cloudflare blog from July.

"We agree that Amazon S3 has been a game changer for developers. With the deepest feature set and industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance, customers are storing well over 100 trillion objects there today. While we can't comment on a product that has been announced but not released, we welcome competition generally across our businesses because we believe it is healthy and helps grow markets," an AWS spokesperson said.

Increasingly egregious bandwidth pricing has made cloud storage an expensive headache for some developers, and eventually leads to vendor lock-in, according to Cloudflare. As such, the company is making it its mission to heIp build a better internet by focusing on making it faster, safer, and also more affordable for everyone.

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"Since AWS launched S3, cloud storage has attracted, and then locked in, developers with exorbitant egress fees," said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare. "We want developers to keep developing, not worrying about their storage bill. 

"Our aim is to make R2 Storage the least expensive, most reliable option for storing data, with no egress charges. I'm constantly amazed by what developers are building on our platform, and look forward to continued innovation as we expand the tools they have access to."

As well as entering the enterprise storage business, Cloudflare this week also announced its first foray into the email security industry.

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