At its Cloud Next conference, Google today launched a new archival cold storage service. This new service, which doesn’t seem to have a fancy name, will complement the company’s existing Nearline and Coldline services for storing vast amounts of infrequently used data at an affordable low cost.
The new archive class takes this one step further, though. It’s cheap, with prices starting at $0.0012 per gigabyte and month. That’s $1.23 per terabyte and month.
The new service will become available later this year.
What makes Google cold storage different from the likes of AWS S3 Glacier, for example, is that the data is immediately available, without millisecond latency. Glacier and similar service typically make you wait a significant amount of time before the data can be used. Indeed, in a thinly veiled swipe at AWS, Google directors of product management Dominic Preuss and Dave Nettleton note that “unlike tape and other glacially slow equivalents, we have taken an approach that eliminates the need for a separate retrieval process and provides immediate, low-latency access to your content.”
To put that into context, a gigabyte stored in AWS Glacier will set you back $0.004 per month. AWS offers another option, though: AWS Glacier Deep Archive. This service recently went live, at the cost of $0.00099 per gigabyte and month, though with significantly longer retrieval times.
Google’s new object storage service uses the same APIs as Google’s other storage classes and Google promises that the data is always redundantly stored across availability zones, with eleven 9’s of annual durability.
In a press conference ahead of today’s official announcement, Preuss noted that this service mostly a replacement for on-premise tape backups, but now that many enterprises try to keep as much data as they can to then later train their machine learning models, for example, the amounts of fresh data that needs to be stored for the long term continues to increase rapidly, too.
With low latency and the promise of high availability, there obviously has to be a drawback here, otherwise Google wouldn’t (and couldn’t) offer this service at this price. “Just like when you’re going from our standard [storage] class to Nearline or Coldline, there’s a committed amount of time that you have to remain in that class,” Preuss explained. “So basically, to get a lower price you are committing to keep the data in the Google Cloud Storage bucket for a period of time.”
Correction: a previous version of the post said that AWS Glacier Deep Archive wasn’t available yet when it actually went live two weeks ago. We changed the post to reflect this.