Google’s new service quickly takes cold data off ice

Company launches Nearline cloud storage service today

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For customers frustrated about waiting hours to retrieve seldom-used but important data that is stored offlline, Google has a new service.

The company announced today that it's launching Google Cloud Storage Nearline. This quick data backup system is being billed as a "simple, low-cost, fast-response storage service."

Customers can still put old documents or backup files in less expensive and/or slower storage systems -- even those they are currently using -- and still have access to information within three seconds at costs similar to tape backup, according to Google.

"The amount of data being produced around the world is staggering and continues to grow at an exponential rate," wrote Avtandil Garakanidze, a Google product manager, in a blog entry. "Given this growing volume of data, it’s critical that you store it in the right way -- keeping frequently accessed data easily accessible, keeping cold data available when needed, and being able to move easily between the two."

Aside from the fast access, Garakanidze also noted that the new service stores data in the cloud for one cent per GB per month, making it less expensive than Google's standard storage price of 26 cents per GB per month. Nearline also offers redundant storage at multiple physical locations and is fully integrated with other Google Cloud Storage services.

"This is huge," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. "It eliminates the concept of cold storage. That's usually storage that's archived and then accessed when needed. Companies pay less for it with the trade off of a long lead time. Now they get both."

He added that this is becoming more important as companies implement analytical solutions that depend on data.

"A retailer might want to pull some historical information to push a promotion to a high value customer," said Kerravala. "Well, faster access is always better than slower. I just think it's something customers didn't think was possible."

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, said it makes sense for Google to come out with this storage service since the company has so much experience and tech in this area.

“Google has a lot of cold storage and have mastered efficiencies of it," he said. "They are taking what they used in-house and packaged it up with third parties for others to leverage."

Google is working with backup and storage providers like Iron Mountain, Geminare and Veritas/Symantec to allow their wares to back up to Nearline.

“Our primary focus is to help you bring new use cases to life, and this is why we’ve worked with some of the leading backup and storage providers and are focused on growing this ecosystem,” wrote Garakanidze.

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