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Words to go: Google cloud storage services

When it comes to cloud storage, going in blind will cause inefficiency and high costs. Familiar yourself with these key Google storage terms to determine where your data best fits.

There are many reasons enterprises choose to adopt a cloud model, but storage is still a key driver. Major cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Azure and Google, offer different storage types and tools to organize and manage stored data.

Google Cloud Storage, a service within the Google Cloud Platform, provides unified object storage for a wide range of data types, including data that is live or archived. It is broken down into four storage classes: Regional, Multi-Regional, Nearline and Coldline. All classes provide unlimited data, the same tools and APIs for data access, OAuth and granular access controls, access to other Google Cloud Storage services and a pay-per-use model.

Review these terms to become more familiar with Google cloud storage services:

Google Cloud Storage Regional: Google Cloud Storage Regional stores data in a single geographic location, rather than spreading that data out across a group of locations. This service offers 99.9% availability. This storage class works best for compute, analytics and machine learning workloads, such as a data store for a Google Compute Engine instance, within a specific region. Google Cloud Storage Regional provides high performance and availability when storage and compute resources are paired within the same region. Storing data regionally can also reduce network charges.

This storage service is priced at $0.02 per GB per month.

Google Cloud Storage Multi-Regional: Google Cloud Storage Multi-Regional is a service that stores data in Google's multiregional locations, such as the United States, European Union and Asia. It is meant to store frequently accessed data from around the world, such as mobile application data and website content, due to its 99.95% availability and geo-redundancy. Unlike some other Google cloud storage services, this class stores data redundantly in at least two separate locations, which protects data from being inaccessible during disruptions, such as a natural disaster. It is priced at $0.026 per GB per month depending on the location.

Google Cloud Storage Nearline: With a slightly lower availability of 99%, higher latency and sub-second response times for data retrieval, Google Cloud Storage Nearline is best used for cold storage, meaning for data that is accessed infrequently. This storage option is also often used for backup, disaster recovery and archival purposes. The minimum storage period is 30 days, and the service is best for data that is only accessed once a month, such as monthly reports. The data can be stored in a bucket created in both a regional and multiregional location. Google Cloud Storage Nearline costs $0.01 per GB per month and data retrieval incurs a cost of $0.01 per GB.

Google Cloud Storage Coldline: Google Cloud Storage Coldline is a competitor of Amazon Glacier. It is best used for archiving and disaster recovery, as it provides 99% availability and sub-second average response times. It shares similarities with Google Cloud Storage Nearline, but is meant for data that is only accessed once a year, such as data archives for regulatory compliance, and has a 90-day minimum storage duration. Also like Nearline, the data can be stored in a bucket created in both regional and multiregional locations. Coldline Storage is $0.007 per GB per month, and retrieving data incurs a cost of $0.05 per GB.

Google Persistent Disk Storage: Google Persistent Disk Storage is durable block storage in the form of flash-based solid-state drives and hard disk drives that Google manages on users' behalf. This Google storage option, which users can attach to a Google Compute Engine instance, quickly backs up data and provides multi-reader capabilities. The maximum total disk size per instance is generally 64 TB, but disk space is limited to 3 TB for shared-core machine types or custom machine types with less than 3.75 GB of memory. Most instance types can have up to 16 independent persistent disks. Google Persistent Disk Storage is priced between $0.04 and $0.17 per GB per month depending on the type.

Google cloud storage classes

Google Cloud Platform Console: Google Cloud Platform Console is a browser-based tool that helps admins manage Google Compute Engine resources and Google cloud storage services. Management tasks include enabling the Google Cloud Storage API, managing buckets and objects and supervising access control lists. Admins can also drag and drop data to a cloud storage bucket using the console.

Google Cloud Transfer Service: With the Google Cloud Transfer Service, admins can more quickly import data into Google cloud storage services, as well as transfer data between buckets. Admins also use this transfer service to back up data from another storage provider, move to cheaper storage options or manage synchronization.

Google Object Lifecycle Management: With the Google Object Lifecycle Management feature, admins can use a set of configurations to specify rules for objects in a storage bucket. When an object meets those rules, Google will automatically perform an action, such as deleting objects that were created before a specified date.

Gsutil Tool: The gsutil tool is a Python application available through the Google Cloud Software Development Kit. Admins can use the tool to perform bucket and object management tasks, such as deleting objects and buckets, from the command line.

Next Steps

AWS and Google battle over cold storage

Explore Azure storage options

Don't choose a cloud storage service based only on price

This was last published in January 2017

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