Google believes that no company can afford to destroy any of its data. And while the price of storage has crumbled in recent years, companies can still find it expensive to retain massive amounts of data over the long term, especially when you throw in the costs and infrastructure associated with analyzing it.
In its bid to compete with Amazon, which offers archival storage in the cloud via its “Glacier” service, Google has introduced Cloud Storage Nearline, a long-term storage hub that (it claims) can surface large amounts of data relatively quickly. (“Nearline enables ~3 second response times for data retrieval and improves SLAs,” suggests Google’s blog posting on the matter.) Capacity pricing is pegged at 1 cent per GB at rest.
While those response times might not work for companies that need to retrieve a ton of data and quickly analyze it, Nearline could nonetheless assist those firms that need to store documents or relatively static items, and don’t necessarily want to do so via on-premises hardware.
Iron Mountain, NetApp, and some other cloud-storage platforms will support Nearline. Given the long-running war over online storage, it’s almost certain that Google’s move will spark some sort of response from Amazon, Microsoft, and other big players in the space. That can only benefit those companies and developers for whom cheap long-term storage is important.