In our previous post we provided an overview of Google's cloud infrastructure and talked of the Google Prediction API. To use the Google Prediction API we do have to use the storage from within Google Storage API. Google Cloud Storage is a RESTful service for storing and accessing your data on Google's infrastructure which has been open since May 2011 for public access.
The access of your data within Google Storage is remarkable easy . You can directly access it through your browser (see below) through the Google Cloud Storage Manager at https://storage.cloud.google.com . There is a command line utility called gsutil (version 3.0) and support for Python for access.
While the XML API for Google Storage is on version 2.0, there is a new JSON API in limited preview available now. JSON is clearly in the future of many APIs but it runs slightly behind XML APIs if you see our directory!
Is Google Storage really much cheaper than Amazon S3?
We use an example to compare pricing from Google Storage and Amazon S3. This is an actual Google Storage detailed example and we calculated Amazon pricing for that comparison. We find a monthly saving of only $605 in a budget of $14000 for 75 TB data /month in Google Storage over Amazon S3. Also given the fact that Google Compute Cloud is not really open for the public (or mature) as Amazon EC2- clearly Google Storage is meant only for those who have uses for Google's other APIs and not as a cost effective storage option.
This is despite the recent 15% reduction in prices as mentioned here.
It seems the intention by Google Storage API is thus not just to decrease the propensity of people to move out of its infrastructure but to act as an infrastructure partner for the other Google Cloud APIs. We would applaud efforts to make it easier to move data directly to and fro from Google Cloud Storage to Amazon s3 though!
Want to test out Google's storage in the cloud ? There is free trial offer till Dec 31, 2012 with 5GB and some other freebies . Want to store tonnes of data in a world class infrastructure optimized for speed. Google Cloud Storage API- Just another API call away!
(In our next posts in this series, we would cover the remaining components of Google Cloud APIs namely Google Big Query and Google Cloud SQL )