Amazon may be the 800-pound gorilla of the cloud computing market, but Google is roaring like a lion about its new super-cheap "nearline" cloud storage service.
Google on Wednesday announced Google Cloud Storage Nearline, which will cost just 1 cent per gigabyte per month for data that will be accessed in three seconds or less.
Nearline storage is good for stuff you want to access regularly but don't necessarily need instantly, like photos, videos, or a company's business documents. (It would not be useful for, say, storing data from your business that you need to analyze.) It can also be used by any consumer service that stores such stuff.
A Google representative told us that this service would "revolutionize" storage, a claim that was followed by another from Tom Kershaw, director of product management for Google Cloud Platform, who characterized the service as "ground-shaking."
"Prior to this ground-shaking announcement," Kershaw said, "there was two classes of storage: storage for content serving or data you are analyzing, and then archival storage, stuff you aren't going to look at."
We're not sure we would agree this is "ground-shaking" — enterprises have been buying "nearline" storage devices for eons — but this is a dirt-cheap option for fast-enough storage.
In comparison, Amazon has a cloud service called Glacier, also for 1 cent per gigabyte per month, but it could take Glacier "several hours" to retrieve stuff stored in it. Glacier is for long-term archival — things you rarely if ever need to access, like backups, long-term email records, and the like.
This service is just another way in which Google is pushing the entire tech industry toward the dreaded "race to zero" — the day when cloud storage will be essentially free and cloud providers will have to figure out how to make money by offering other things on top of storage.
Google is backing up its big talk with a bunch of new partnerships to encourage enterprise customers to try its new cloud storage. These include Veritas/Symantec, NetApp, Iron Mountain, and Geminare.
Here's a chart from Google that explains how this new service compares with other options.
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