Cold Storage not so cold – Google Nearline v Amazon Glacier

It may have taken a little time but Google has come up with an alternative to Amazon’s Glacier cold storage proposition.

Called Google Storage Nearline it is now available in beta as part of Google’s object storage product, Google Storage.

Google Storage is targeted at businesses and a Google Storage account is required to take advantage of Google Nearline as Nearline is a choice when creating a Google Storage bucket / container.

Google Storage Nearline

Once a bucket is designated as Google Nearline it can be used immediately.

Google positions Nearline as providing “the convenience of online storage at the price of offline storage” and indeed it does with access and retrieval times in the order of around 3 seconds.

Nearline also offers regionality of the  storage bucket (similar to what users can expect from Amazon S3 / Glacier). This allows users to control where data is stored. The regional options include U.S., Europe and Asia. The regional storage buckets are not expected to be fully available until Nearline emerges from beta.

Ultimately Nearline is offering companies a relatively simple, fast-response, low cost, tiered storage solution with not only quick data backup but on-demand retrieval and access.

For users who are already using or aware of Amazon Glacier the major differences are as follows:

Nearline                                     Glacier

1 cent per GB pm                     1 cent per GB pm
($10 per TB pm)                        ($10 per TB pm)

3 second retrieval                      5 hours retrieval
(on demand access)                  (request needed)

Data Redundancy                     Data Redundancy
(multiple locations)                    (multiple locations)

Regional support                      Regional support
3 locations                               7 locations

Google Storage API’s               New Glacier API’s
(use existing)                            (API specific to Glacier)

Egress fees                              Egress fees

Retrieval cost .12 per GB         Retrieval cost .09 per GB

Retrieval 4MB/s per TB            Data delivered in 3 to 5 hours
(after first byte / scales linearly)

Availability 99%                        Availablility 99.99%

Pricing and features are of course subject to to change so always check the links below for latest details:

Amazon Glacier Pricing can be found here.
Google Nearline Storage Pricing can be found here.

Amazon Glacier Whitepaper here.
Google Nearline Whitepaper here.