Google Cloud goes ice cold with general availability of Archive storage class

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

Google Cloud has announced the general availability of Archive, its coldest storage offering focused on long-term data retention.

Cold storage, unlike its antithetical hot cousin – see Wasabi as an example of the latter – is for workloads which are accessed less than once a year and has been stored, usually, for many years. It is pitched by the hyperscalers as a replacement for tape backups; when Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched Glacier Deep Archive at 2018’s re:Invent, CEO Andy Jassy told the audience they would ‘have to be out of their mind’ to manage their own tape moving forward.

Google’s Archive, meanwhile, aims to differ from Amazon’s version in a couple of ways. When this publication reported in March on updates to Coldline, Google’s ever-so-slightly-warmer storage class, it noted ‘high availability and low latency as its calling card.’ Google aims for no delay on data retrieval – ‘millisecond latency’, as the company puts it – compared with AWS which offers restoration any time between one minute and 12 hours.

Archive is priced at $0.0012 per GB per month, or $1.23 per terabyte per month. This is above AWS and Azure, who are priced the same at $0.00099 per GB per month and $1 per TB per month. This is part down to the longer remit for an early deletion charge – Google has it at 365 days compared with 180 days for AWS and Azure. It is worth noting that this is a basic guide, with caveats between the providers for workloads and usage.

Google Cloud Archive was first announced last April, with the promise at the time of ‘later this year’ only slightly out. “Having flexible storage options allows you to optimise your total cost of ownership while meeting your business needs,” wrote Geoffrey Noer, Google Cloud storage product manager in a blog announcing general availability. “At Google Cloud, we think that you should have a range of straightforward storage options that allow you to more securely and reliably access your data when and where you need it, without performance bottlenecks or delays to your users.”

You can compare cold storage offerings by visiting Google's page, AWS', and Microsoft's. in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their experiences and use-cases? Attend the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.

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