Google’s Nearline Cold Storage Unit to target Microsoft and Amazon

Data has to be stored somewhere. You can’t simply consider it a waste and throw it away. There is no data these days that can be categorized as waste and can be discarded. Also, there are laws to keep data up to certain period before disposing it off. But where to store them. The options are aplenty. Google recent announced the beta of Nearline Storage

Google Nearline Storage

Google Nearline Storage

Leaders in the cloud computing: Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, all provide unlimited storage. But these storage comes at a cost. Most of the small businesses and even the enterprises would want to save money on storing data that they do not know if will be useful in future or will just gather dust. That’s a metaphor. Data files in digital data centers do not gather dust. They just stay there until accessed and manipulated or until disposed off. Even after manipulation, they do not change their basic form. The information resulting from manipulating the “unworthy” data is stored again on different servers that can be accessed much faster.

The problem remains – where to store the data that gives a feeling that saving it would be a waste of space and money. This is where Google Nearline comes in. It is a low cost service for storing data that may or may not be useful but has to be stored anyway – as there is a clause that it can be useful in the long term. This means storing “unwanted” data in Google Nearline’s data centers for as long as they want. Each company has its own set of standards. After some years, the data becomes obsolete and has to be disposed off, properly. But until the period expires, that is, until the data is considered obsolete, there has to be a place where to store the data.

Own storage servers will be too costly as the “expiry date” could be 10-15 years and companies cannot afford storing tons of data on regular servers for that long. That storage space can be utilized for data being used in real time computing. Google Nearline “Cold Storage” will allow companies to store data as long as they want, in their low cost yet efficient servers. The concept of cloud helps in storing in data – both important and unimportant. But it is hard to say what data is unimportant.

Of course, data scientists can classify data into categories based on the frequency of accessing them. Based on these categories, the data that seems will be seldom used, can be transferred to Google Nearline, a service much cheaper than Microsoft or Amazon Web Services. The idea is to provide a cloud where people can put their data for longer periods without even touching them for long. Google came up with Nearline while Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are probably not even thinking of providing such a service.

This keeps Google at the front runner’s place as it started early while providing everything that other cloud services can provide: backup, encryption, retrieval of data etc. There might be a compromise on speed of data sorting and access speed but that it not what Nearline is meant for.

The purpose of Nearline is to give cold data, a storage space for years to come – until companies decide that the data is not obsolete and cannot be used for any purpose. This will see many companies moving their data from Microsoft and AWS to Nearline as Google is offering the cold storage at much lower costs than other servers and companies that offer real time access to data with plenty of other features.

It is a guess that Google Nearline will be charging a cent per GB per month.

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Arun Kumar is obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. He also offers online training for Business English. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN

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