Google Nearline offers fast retrieval from cold storage

Google Nearline offers fast retrieval from cold storage

Google launched a cloud-based storage service designed to handle an increasingly common dilemma for government IT managers: the need to put files and data into long-term storage while offering users fast – and cheap – retrieval of the same data.

That’s not an option that’s always available in the current storage marketplace, where managers are stuck between options offering either expensive online storage or lower cost but difficult to retrieve cold storage.

Google said its new Nearline Storage service addresses that problem by providing a low-cost offline storage options as well as “immediate access to your data through the same Google Cloud Storage APIs used for standard online storage.”

Nearline targets organizations that require an economical solution for handling both. Nearline is "a simple, low-cost, fast-response storage service with quick data backup, retrieval and access,” Google Product Manager Avtandil Garakanidze wrote in a blog post.

The service is priced at 1 cent for each gigabyte of data at rest, he said, with three second response times, providing a sweet spot between cost and access that many cloud storage providers don’t always offer.  

Google said that users should also expect a 4 megabit/sec throughput per TB of data stored as Nearline Storage. The throughput changes with increased storage consumption: Storing 3TB of data would guarantee 12 megabit/sec throughout while storing 100 TB would provide users with 400 megabit/sec throughput.

“We wanted to create a product that made it economical to never throw anything away,” Google director of product management for the Cloud Platform team Tom Kershaw told Tech Crunch.

Those economies are also aimed at Google’s competitors in the cold storage marketplace, including Amazon Web Services, whose Glacier offering also promises low cost long term data storage and security.

While Amazon offers the same 1 cent per gigabyte rates set by Google, its retrieval costs can climb. “To keep costs low, the company says on its Web site, Amazon Glacier is optimized for infrequently accessed data where a retrieval time of several hours is suitable.”

Google will also offer an Online Cloud Import service to help migrate petabyte-scale data from other online storage services to Google Cloud Storage, the company said.

Google also cautioned against thinking about Nearline as “only a replacement for slower and less convenient offline storage services.  Fundamentally, the company said, Nearline “is a new layer of the storage hierarchy – one that [can be used] in new and innovative ways.”

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