Google Cloud catches up to AWS with Transfer Appliance

Google Cloud has caught up to AWS with a physical ‘Transfer Appliance’ to move your data from your own local servers into the giant’s cloud.

Amazon already has a solution which it calls ‘Snowball’ and features 50TB or 80TB capacities in a ruggedised appliance which the company sends to your premises so you can fill it with your data locally before it heads back to your preferred AWS data centre. The idea, of course, is that you can benefit from a much quicker transfer without the latency and cost of uploading over a standard WAN (Wide Area Network).

If you have a large amount of data and don’t want to pay through the roof, Google’s solution may benefit you more than Amazon’s. The web giant has upped the capacity of Amazon’s similar offerings with a 100TB/2U basic Transfer Appliance, or an incredible 480TB/4U variation. Both are designed to fit into 19” racks.

Google has provided this handy chart of the estimated time differences between a physical and online transfer:

"Using a service like Google Transfer Appliance meant I could transfer hundreds of terabytes of data in days not weeks,” comments Tom Taylor, Head of Engineering at The Mill. “Now we can leverage all that Google Cloud Platform has to offer as we bring narratives to life for our clients."

As for pricing, the 100TB model is priced at $300, plus shipping via Fedex (approximately $500); the 480TB model is priced at $1800, plus shipping (approximately $900). Initially, the appliance will only be available in the US.

It’s worth noting, of course, that Amazon still takes the crown if you need to transfer an insane amount of data with its 100PB (yes, petabyte) truck it calls the Snowmobile. Before the 45-foot long ruggedized shipping container – which is pulled by a semi-trailer truck – rolls out to your premises, you will need an initial assessment.

Are you impressed with Google's Transfer Appliance? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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