Google this week announced the general availability of Cloud Storage Nearline, a service designed to let enterprises store very large quantities of important but infrequently used data at substantially lower costs than traditional offline storage.
The company also launched a new Cloud Storage Transfer Service for helping organizations transfer data from Amazon and other cloud hosting services to Google's storage platform.
Google announced Nearline in March and at the time described it as a service that would let enterprises store virtually limitless quantities of infrequently used data such as legally required archive data and backup data for disaster recovery purposes.
One of the key differences between Google's storage service and those offered by other vendors is the easy access that users have to data stored in Nearline, according to the company. Nearline offers 3-second response times for data retrieval, compared with the multiple hours it can take organizations to retrieve data from the usual offline data stores, Google claims.
According to Google, Nearline combines the cost efficiencies of cold storage with the benefits of near online data access speeds when needed. For example, Nearline capacity pricing starts at 1 cent per gigabyte of data, compared with the 2.6 cents per gigabyte that vendors charge for standard storage.
With this week's announcement, Google has made the service generally available with a 99 percent uptime guarantee. Nearline comes with a default provisioned data access speed of 4MB of read throughput per terabyte of stored data.
The more data that an organization stores on Nearline, the faster the data access that Google offers. For example, an organization that stores 3 terabytes of data on Nearline will have a default read throughput of 12MB/second while one that stores 100 terabytes will get a read throughput of 400MB/second.
With this week's announcement Google also released an On-Demand I/O service option for organizations that may occasionally need to retrieve stored content faster than their default provisioned 4MB/second. On-Demand I/O gives organizations a way to purchase extra throughput for when they need it, like in a disaster recovery situation or for restoring data in a shorter time, according to Google. For the next three months, Google will offer On-Demand I/O at no extra cost to customers.
Meanwhile, Google's new Cloud Storage Transfer Service appears designed to make it simpler for enterprises to transfer data from Amazon's Simple Storage Service into Google Cloud Storage. The service allows organizations to schedule one-time data migrations or recurring data transfers.
As part of an effort to incent enterprises to use its new storage service, Google has launched a new Switch and Save Program under which it is offering 100 petabytes of free storage space in Nearline for up to six months. The incentive is available to any customer that switches from another cloud provider or from an on-premises infrastructure to Google's cloud.
Google has also doubled the number of partners it is working with to help customers migrate from other vendor platforms. When it first announced Nearline in March, Google said it would work with Veritas/Symantec, NetApp, Iron Mountain and Geminare. This week, Google added eight new companies to its partner list, including EMC, Egnyte, CloudBerry Lab, Filepicker and Actifio.