Google Challenges AWS with Nearline Storage Google Inc. has launched a challenge for established cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS). It recently introduced a beta Nearline Storage service to store data that is often not accessed but needs to be kept accessible by enterprises. AWS is under threat from the search giant. Google, IBM, and Microsoft have been threatening AWS’s position as the leader in cloud services. A blog post by Avtandil Garakanidze, Google program manager, stated that many of you use a tiered storage and archival system in which data moves from expensive online storage into offline cold storage. Nearline allows you to store unlimited amounts of data and back them up in seconds. We know how important it is to have access to your data whenever you need it. Google could win a competitive advantage with the “matter-of-seconds” reference. Garakanidze stated that Nearline has a 3-second response time for data retrieval, which is comparable to its competitors. It also improves SLAs. AWS and its Amazon Glacier storage services could be one of those “competitors”. Both services advertise storage pricing starting from 1 cent per gigabyte. However, AWS states on its product website that Amazon Glacier is optimized for infrequently used data where retrieval times of several hours are suitable. Google claimed that Nearline Storage is suitable for situations where storage with lower availability and greater latency is acceptable in order to save storage costs. The following are some examples.

  • Cold data storage — Data that is not frequently accessed, such as data stored for legal or regulatory purposes, and should be kept at a low cost, but still be readily available when required.
  • Disaster recovery — Recovery time is crucial in the event of a Disaster Recovery event (DR). Google Cloud Storage offers low latency access for data stored in the Nearline Storage Class.

Google also announced new storage partnership agreements with a variety of companies for data backup (Veritas/Symantec), data deduplication (NetApp), encryption (Iron Mountain), offline storage and Disaster Recovery as a Service(DRaaS), solutions (Geminare). In a whitepaper about Nearline Storage, Google also stated that it offers an Online Cloud Import service which can be used to move petabyte-scale data to Google Cloud Storage from other online storage services. This can be a great way to migrate all data to Google Cloud Storage if it is being accessed frequently.