What is Google Cloud Storage?

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Google is one of the largest providers of cloud storage space in the world. With more than 2.5 billion active Android devices, the advertising and search giant has potentially as many as 20 exabytes (with a ratio of two devices per account); that’s nearly 20 billion GB of data, since each Gmail account is linked to a free 15 GB level of cloud storage.

That’s a lot of hard drives and servers (probably over a million) spread around the world. The actual number will probably be much smaller because, well, not everyone uses that much storage space, and the advent of Facebook means that billions of people are storing their photos somewhere else.

Google’s cloud storage is a service of the Google Cloud platform. It provides unified object storage for live and archived data. Objects stored in the Google Cloud Storage are grouped in buckets. Buckets are containers in the cloud that can be individually assigned to storage classes.

Google Cloud Storage offers four classes of storage: multi-regional, regional, nearline and coldline. All classes offer unlimited data, the same tools and APIs for data access, open permissions (OAuth) and granular access controls, access to other Google cloud storage services, and a pay-per-use model.

Google Cloud Storage Key Features

Manage storage costs and performance with OLM

Configure your data with object lifecycle management (OLM) to automatically switch to less expensive storage classes when it meets the criteria you specify, such as when it reaches a certain age or when you store a more recent version of the data.

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Storage Bin Types for Different Redundancy and Performance Requirements

Cloud storage includes an ever-growing list of locations around the world where you can store your data with multiple automatic redundancy options. Whether you’re optimizing response times in seconds or creating a robust disaster recovery plan, you can customize where and how you store your data.

Storage classes for each workload

Storage classes determine the availability and pricing model that applies to the data you store in the cloud.

  • Standard – Optimized for performance and high frequency access.
  • Nearline – Fast, extremely durable, for data accessed less than once a month.
  • Coldline – Fast, highly durable, for data accessed less than once per quarter.
  • Archive – More cost-effective, for data accessed less than once a year.

Google One and Google Cloud Storage

While Google One is aimed at consumers and businesses using the G Suite, Google also offers a cloud infrastructure for businesses. Google’s cloud storage is in direct competition with platforms such as Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure, although Google only controls about 4% of the public cloud market by 2020.

Google’s cloud storage can be extremely affordable, especially if you don’t need frequent access to your stored data. Standard storage costs $2.60 per month for 100 GB. However, that same 100GB of cloud storage costs only $0.40 per month when you place it on one of Google’s archive servers. With Google cloud storage, you can configure your data settings to automatically switch files between high-cost and low-cost storage classes based on criteria such as age and version.


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