Google is targeting Amazon's cloud storage reign with its new Google Cloud Storage Nearline, which could eventually change how companies deal with cloud storage.
The goal for Google is to take on Amazon's Glacier business through the new service, which is in beta and charges one cent per GB per month for data at rest.
"Today, we're excited to introduce Google Cloud Storage Nearline, a simple, low-cost, fast-response storage service with quick data backup, retrieval and access," said Google in a statement. "Many of you operate a tiered data storage and archival process, in which data moves from expensive online storage to offline cold storage. We know the value of having access to all of your data on demand, so Nearline enables you to easily backup and store limitless amounts of data at a very low cost and access it at any time in a matter of seconds."
The idea of cold storage is nothing new. It is essentially targeted at data that customers do not need frequent access to, such as old logs. Unlike other services, such as Amazon's Glacier where it can take hours before data is available again, Google promises to make data stored using Nearline available to customers within three seconds of them wanting it.
Google Nearline falls in between online and offline storage, and is largely aimed at reducing the cost difference between storage that is online and offline. Online storage is rather expensive and always has been, however often customers of businesses expect to be able to access data immediately. Nearline essentially blurs the line between online and offline storage, meaning that businesses ideally will not have to move their data to offline storage in order to substantially lower costs.
"We wanted to create a product that made it economical to never throw anything away," said Tom Kershaw, director of product management for the Cloud Platform team at Google. "Google is pretty good at storing things, but every organization should be able to keep its data around."
Google itself is able to lower the cost of Nearline storage because of the fact that it keeps all of its data, both online or "Nearline," on one system. This type of storage solution is rather unusual, with companies historically choosing to use two systems. Typically, this means that transferring data is a problem, and can take hours.
Nearline, being on the same system, also shares other features with Google's other storage offerings, such as the same encryption and security. It is expected that customers will largely use the service to store things like photos and documents.