Hoping to sink its competitors in the cloud storage market, Google has launched yet another online backup service geared toward companies with massive data storage needs. Google is calling the new service Nearline Storage, and it is promising to provide petabytes of storage to its customers for only one penny per gigabyte per month.
That matches Amazon, Google’s biggest competitor in the online storage market, whose Glacier data storage service also charges a penny per gigabyte. But Glacier, as its name indicates, is not the fastest service for accessing information. While Glacier can take several hours to transfer data, Nearline will be able to do so in a matter of seconds.
Online Speeds for Offline Prices
Nevertheless, Google is not positioning Nearline as a service intended to host data that needs to be readily available. On the contrary, the company is marketing it as a way for organizations to cheaply archive data that does not need to be accessed frequently. Google said Nearline is most appropriate for workloads that traditionally have been filled by offline storage, such as cold storage and disaster recovery.
Typically, offline storage provides the cheapest solution for data storage, by offering a trade-off between time to access that data and cost. Like Amazon’s Glacier platform, offline storage normally takes minutes, hours or even days to access. Online data storage services, meanwhile, can usually be accessed in less than a second, but can cost two to three times as much per gigabyte.
Nearline promises to offer the best of both worlds, with online storage access times available for offline storage prices. “Google Cloud Storage Nearline challenges the conventional wisdom that a service must provide only offline storage, with all the associated inconvenience, to provide storage at a price that makes it attractive for cold storage and disaster recovery purposes,” the company said in a white paper detailing the new service.
Same APIs and Protocols
Google said it is targeting cold storage and data recovery as the primary uses for Nearline because both situations are more tolerant of the slightly lower availability and higher latency when compared to data hosted online. In addition to the cost and access speed benefits, Nearline clients will also be able to use the same tools, protocols and APIs they currently use to access their online data.
As a result, no new engineering effort is required on the part of Nearline clients to learn new tools or processes for accessing the archived data. Similarly, by using the same APIs (application program interfaces), clients will not have to rewrite existing code to work with a new set.
“If you’re currently paying a premium to store data online, but are accessing it less than approximately once per month, and do not require sub-second latency when you do, then moving that data to Google Cloud Storage Nearline can lower your storage cost,” according to Google. “Lowering storage costs is great, but realizing previously untapped value from your data could have even higher impact on your business.”
Posted: 2015-03-16 @ 5:42am PT
As a Glacier user reading this, I am very excited to see it go live. I have been using Glacier for the past 2 years, through Zoolz (www.zoolz.com). I mainly picked Zoolz because it has zero restore cost from Glacier and this looks like the polished Glacier!