Today Google fired another shot in the recently dormant cloud storage wars by announcing Nearline, their 1 penny per GB per month cloud storage offering. There isn’t much you can buy for $.01 these days, but 1 GB of storage for one month is now top of my list. Why is this exciting news, especially for those of us who focus on cloud backup and archive? I have three reasons I’m excited:


  1. Nearline is cheaper than tapeFor years, companies looking to store backup and archive data for long periods of time for pennies per GB, the main choice was tape. Now, with cold cloud storage offerings like Google Nearline, there are better options. Sure, the acquisition cost of tape is around $.08 per GB, but add in management, storage fees, transport fees, this gets very expensive very fast. I was doing some quick calculations on tape versus cold cloud storage services and I found that they can save up to 80% compared to tape over a 3 year period. And that’s before you even add in cost-savings from solutions like SteelStore! 
  2. Nearline is fast (relatively speaking)When you think about restoring from tape, you immediately know that the recovery time will take hours, days, or even weeks. Now, compare that to Nearline: Google promises that data can be retrieved from in ~3 seconds. While this isn’t the milliseconds you can expect from primary storage services, for a cold storage solution, that is very quick! While we don’t know yet if there will be fees associated with the retrieval of data, this is a lot faster than other services that take hours to bring back cold storage. 
  3. Users now have more choicesWhen cold cloud services first arrived on the market a few years back, there was a huge amount of excitement. For all the reasons I mentioned earlier, companies started to ditch their tapes and move backup and archive data to the cloud, with the help of solutions like SteelStore. Now, with Google Nearline, there are more choices for customers in this space, and let’s face it, more choice is usually a good thing. It drives the providers to deliver better services at even better price points (although it’s hard to imagine what comes next, will the hyperscalers pay us to store our data with them? Mostly kidding…). 

SteelStore, NetApp’s cloud integrated storage solution for backup and archive, currently supports Google Cloud Storage and will support Nearline in the second half of 2015. This will take Google’s 1 penny per GB per month and slash it to fractions of pennies per month using its in-line deduplication and compression. Not only that, but SteelStore encrypts all data it receives and keeps it encrypted during transit and storage in the cloud. The result? Less expensive backups, faster recovery, better security, and (if you’re anything like me) a better night’s sleep. 


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[Image source: Google Cloud Platform Blog]


Rachel Dines