Google's Cloud Storage Nearline Goes Public

Google's Cloud Storage Nearline technology is out of beta. The company is offering customers 100PB of storage to start.
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Google is looking to take more of customers' business into the cloud with the general availability of its Cloud Storage Nearline technology. The product had been in beta until the company's July 23 announcement.

Nearline is a "fast-response" storage service that incorporates data backup, retrieval, and access. This kind of service is important for a disaster recovery system, for example, where access to large amounts of archival data is crucial.

Company data stored within the Nearline system will have a slightly higher latency associated with it than data stored in usual cloud storage, but the latency will be usually better than what occurs in most "cold storage" systems, according to Google.

Storage costs are less than having the same data in a low-latency file.

Nearline, Google claims, has "a 99% uptime SLA, on-demand I/O, lifecycle management, and a broadly expanded partner ecosystem."

The I/O feature increases system I/O in situations where data retrieval from a bucket needs to be faster than the provisioned 4 MB/s read throughput per terabyte of data stored. Charges for this kind of I/O increases only occur when they are invoked. For the first three months after launch, Google will not place this surcharge. The first one is always free.

Cloud Storage Transfer Service has also become available.

This is the Google way to import online data from HTTP/HTTPS locations, such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), into Google Cloud Storage one-time data migrations, as well as recurring data transfers, can be configured in the service.

It is also a way to perform lifecycle management, including automated archival to Nearline, as well as scheduled deletions.

Google is also making switching to its platform affordable with its rather obviously named "Switch and Save" program. The deal here is 100PB of free storage in Nearline for up to six months.

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With the prices around cloud computing and cloud storage, Google, along with other rivals and partners, is trying to offer more features to compete with the market power of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Roy Sanford, vice president and general manager at Unitrends, which offers data backup and disaster recovery for customers, and which has partnered with Google, told InformationWeek about the company's use of the GCP and Newline in its virtual machine (VM) recovery product.

"The paradigm shift to leveraging public and private clouds is in full swing," said Sanford. "Customers are demanding local protection, warm/hot restore capabilities, and recovery times objectives (RTOs) within seconds. As customers evaluate the tradeoffs between local recovery times, offsite data protection options, and cost, they need a reliable partner than can provide efficient and affordable offsite archiving and restore functionality. The Google Cloud Platform is an excellent offsite alternative."

Google has extended what the Cloud Platform can offer with Nearline, especially in the recovery arena, where the lowered price of storing files that are not usually accessed will add value.

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