Organizations have grown accustomed to looking at data storage requirements across two categories: data they need immediate access to and data they need to store/archive away without the need to access it at a moment’s notice. That is how cloud storage vendors have positioned their products, offering a cold storage mode where organizations could stash away their data but not get immediate access to it. Google has turned that upside down with Google Cloud Storage Nearline, where this distinction is removed and you have access to low-cost storage and can still access the data in a matter of seconds.
The service is available for 1 cent per gigabyte for data at rest. Nearline also enables approximately three-second response times for data retrieval. Since this is essentially a cold storage service with ready accessibility, users will be charged for data retrieval at 1 cent per gigabyte, and there is a penalty for data deletion in fewer than 30 days. See the pricing page for more details.
The best part of Google Cloud Storage Nearline is that it not only provides the data when you need it but does so using the same set of tools and APIs that have been available for its Cloud Storage. If you are familiar with using Google Cloud Storage, you can use the Developer Console, gsutil or JSON/XML REST API as you have been doing today. The only thing to note is that Nearline is a storage class and it is associated at the bucket level. When creating the bucket, you will need to select Nearline as the storage class.
Google has gone a step further to get enterprises started with Nearline by partnering with several backup and storage providers, which include Veritas/Symantec and NetApp. These providers plan to release newer versions of their data storage and backup products with full support for streaming and putting the data into Nearline.
Google Cloud Storage Nearline definitely takes aim at Amazon Glacier and trumps it on several fronts. It should be interesting to see Amazon's response to this.