Google Offers Option for Cloud Disk Resizing Without Downtime

Online resizing of persistent disks will allow cloud customers to scale up or scale down disk volumes on the fly, the company says.

Google Cloud

Customers of Google's cloud computing services now have a way to resize their persistent block storage capacities on the fly without having to bring down virtual machine instances or create snapshots of them.

The company on March 31 announced the general availability of online resizing of persistent disks, a capability that it said allows organizations to resize disk storage space with a single click or API call. The capability is available on all Google persistent disk sizes, including a 64-terabyte volume that the company announced recently, Google Software Engineer Igor Belianski said on the company's Cloud Platform blog.

Google currently offers two types of persistent disk volumes for its cloud customers: standard persistent disks (HDD) and solid-state (SSD) persistent disks. The company pitches the standard volumes as best suited for bulk storage purposes and the solid-state option as best for applications with high input/output operations per second requirements. Google currently gives enterprises the ability to attach up to 64 terabytes of persistent disk space, either HDD, SDD or combined, to each virtual machine. Google has claimed that larger disk volumes can yield higher input/output performance than smaller volumes.

Many enterprises have had a hard time sizing their cloud storage needs appropriately, Belianski said. "Provisioning the appropriate size of block storage has been a challenge for many cloud and on-premises customers because it requires planning for future data growth and performance needs," he said. When virtual machines run out of disk space, there typically has been no easy way to increase storage size without disruption.

The new online sizing capability gives enterprises the ability to increase or decrease persistent disk space based on immediate requirements. It eliminates the need for processes that require the system to be taken offline or for snapshots of files, volumes and directories to be taken and then later restored on the newly resized volume. Google's Cloud Platform customers can now use a single command to resize their disk volumes.

According to Belianski, Google has been using the online resizing capability internally to manage disks volumes with Cloud SQL Second Generation.

The online resizing capability continues Google's effort to make it easier for enterprises to customize their cloud infrastructure requirements based on immediate requirements. The company has said it wants companies to have greater flexibility when choosing cloud configurations that match their particular requirements and has been backing that commitment up with some specific offers in the past few months.

One example is Google's Custom Machine Types option, which the company made generally available in February. The option allows enterprises to purchase virtual machine configurations in CPU and memory increments that are not commonly available from cloud vendors.

For instance, many providers size their CPU configurations in such a manner that they are only available as multiples of 2. So, a vendor might offer 2-, 4-, 8- and 16-CPU options, but not something in between, like a 6-CPU option, which is all that an organization might really need. Google has claimed that its custom machine option is designed to address those kinds of requirements.

In addition, Google offers a per-minute billing option and discounts for cloud usage based on the amount of use.

Jaikumar Vijayan

Jaikumar Vijayan

Vijayan is an award-winning independent journalist and tech content creation specialist covering data security and privacy, business intelligence, big data and data analytics.