Google Intros Coldline, An Archival Storage Solution, As Part Of A Storage Portfolio Refresh

Google Cloud Platform introduced on Thursday an archival storage product with unique latency and pricing characteristics, as part of an overhaul of its cloud storage portfolio.

Revealed at GCP NEXT in London, the "storage refresh" includes the new Coldline archival solution, as well as new classes establishing regional segmentations, said Dave Nettleton, product manager for Google's storage portfolio.

Google Cloud Platform rejiggered its storage solutions in response to customer demand. The provider has been rapidly expanding its customer base beyond Internet companies, and into the enterprise realm, Nettleton said.

[Related: Google Rebrands Enterprise Business As Google Cloud, And Apps As G Suite]

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Customers wanted low-cost and easy-to-understand storage classes, as well as consistent APIs to access their data, regardless of the class, he said. And they "appreciate having fast access to all their data."

Google's storage strategy aligns with three major use cases, Nettleton said.

First is content storage and delivery, which encompasses a rapidly growing customer base of Internet businesses, like Spotify and Vimeo, as well as industry stalwarts such as Coca-Cola, he said.

Another common use case is deploying analytics and machine learning technologies, for which cloud offers "a great place to store a lot of data quickly and cheaply," Nettleton said.

Finally, Google's partners are driving a surge in customer adoption for backup, disaster recovery, and archival recovery, he told CRN.

Coldline, unlike competitors such as Amazon Web Service's Glacier, offers the same low-latency as non-archival storage options. Complimenting Nearline, a product Google released last year, Coldline allows cheap storage and quick recovery for data that's typically accessed less than once a year.

The product costs .7 cents per gigabyte per month to store, then 5 cents a gigabyte to access.

"We think it's going to redefine archival storage because it means you can think differently about how accessible that data is to you," Nettleton told CRN.

In addition to Nearline and Coldline, GCP going forward will offer storage classes called Multi-regional and Regional.

At its recent Horizon event, Google announced nine new GCP regions are coming online around the globe in 2016 and 2017.

The Multi-regional option is probably best for those customers streaming content, offering geo-redundancy for frequently accessed data. For analytics and machine learning practitioners, the Regional option lets them locate data in the same facility as their compute, Nettleton said.

All four storage classes go straight to general availability, he said.

Google's able to undercut competitors on storage price, Nettleton said, largely due to investments the company has made in its network.

The network "lets us do really amazing things with our data," he said. "We can pull data between regions easily and very cost-effectively for customers."

Customer data is kept on Google's network as long as possible before regressing to the public Internet, he said, which allows it to move efficiently between regions.

Fastly, a content delivery network provider that also offers professional services, did the GCP implementation work for Vimeo, a popular video sharing site.

Lee Chen, Fastly's head of strategic partnerships, said Coldline is uniquely suited to address emerging use cases confronted by video content providers.

"Media is probably the fastest-growing, lowest-hanging fruit, that cloud storage has a market opportunity to address," Chen told CRN.

A low-cost solution available at the same latency, but with additional cost for accessing the data, changes the strategy of the content storage and delivery businesses.

"The really unique things about Google is the access time is the same regardless of what storage product you're going to. So pricing is the only variable you're thinking about," Chen told CRN.

"Google approaching it this way and having a common API to serve all this content through is pretty unique in the cloud space," he said.