Cloud storage services offer organizations peace of mind by providing a secure location to store and back up data. But what happens when the company needs to recover it on a short timetable? Some cloud providers offer an easy road to retrieving data and resetting environments following an incident, but others may have hidden their helpful services behind a dense thicket of extra fees. It’s important to know how to avoid cloud storage pricing models that aren’t as cost-effective as they look on paper.

Although it’s not clear if cloud storage price cutting is an effective measure of netting clients, many cloud providers do it anyway, wrote TechTarget contributor Sonia Lelii. When selecting a vendor, it’s important to discern whether they’re slashing services along with prices. Don’t make a decision based on price alone. Network infrastructure, security and the cloud interface are important features that should not take a backseat to a price quote. Be wary that a low upfront cost could be masking higher expenses during a time of need.

Looking for flexibility is another way to maximize value in a cloud storage services investment, wrote Enterprise Storage Forum contributor Drew Robb. A fee structure that offers locked-in prices for regular or predictable needs, combined with an outline for services that can be purchased on-demand when they’re needed, is better than relying on one that determines fixed usage prices based on service offerings.