Google Cloud Storage has a number of classes to choose from. All of them guarantee 99.999999999% durability, have universal API, unlimited capacity, and almost zero latency—the download starts within milliseconds. Still, they vary in price and usage terms. In this post, we will explain Google Cloud Storage classes and find the best one that suits your needs.
Table of contents
Google Cloud Regional Storage
Google Cloud Regional Storage (GCS Regional) is one of the available standard storage options. The data under this storage class is placed in a single Google Cloud location and is not distributed among other data centers.
GCS Regional has the following properties:
- Service Level Agreement (SLA) guarantees 99.9% data availability (of ten thousand hours, within 10 hours data can be unavailable).
- Monthly fee per GB stored is $0.02.
- No penalties for early deletion and data retrieval.
It is the cheapest Standard storage option. However, as the data is stored in a single place only, users from the other countries may have a low connection speed and performance. Still, GCS Regional is good as:
- Offsite storage for hot data if you have only one office, or your company operates within one state or region.
- Backup storage for IT-infrastructure within the same region.
- Datastore for Google Compute Engine (GCE) virtual machine in the same location. It grants the highest performance at a low price. To learn more about cloud virtual machines features, check our Amazon EC2 vs Microsoft Azure vs Google CE comparison.
Google Cloud Multi-Regional Storage
Google Cloud Multi-Regional Storage (GCS Multi-Regional) is another standard storage option that duplicates data between several regions worldwide.
GCS Multi-Regional has the following features:
- SLA claims 99.95% data availability (of ten thousand hours, data can be offline for up to 5 hours).
- Monthly fee per GB stored is $0.026.
- No penalties for early deletion and data retrieval.
- Data is duplicated between several regions.
Multi-Regional storage is a bit more expensive than Regional, but users can access it at a high speed anywhere on the globe. Worldwide replication has another advantage: data becomes unsusceptible to natural disasters and local data center failures. In the post about cloud disaster recovery we analyzed the threats that data duplication helps omit.
The best uses of GCS Multi-Regional are as follows:
- Website content hosting.
- File-server data storage for an international company.
- Media streaming and sharing.
- Content storage for a download center.
- Datastores for applications, including gaming.
Google Cloud Nearline Storage
Google Cloud Nearline storage is designed for cool data that is used once per month or less. Nearline Storage keeps its data stores its data within one region and is cheap compared to the standard storage. The main properties are as follows:
- SLA claims 99% data availability (of ten thousand hours, data can be offline for up to 100 hours).
- Monthly fee per GB stored is $0.01.
- The minimum storing period is 30 days. If you delete data earlier, you have to pay for the unutilized time. For example, if you had uploaded 100GB of data and then deleted it after 15 days, you need to pay extra $0.5 as an early deletion fee ($0.01 * 100GB * 0.5 month).
- Data retrieval fee is a mandatory $0.01 per GB.
In the upshot, Nearline is the best storage for data accessed infrequently, but regularly. The best applications are as follows:
- Storage for monthly analyzed statistical data.
- Documents and media archives.
- Storage for regular backups.
- Disaster recovery facility.
Google Cloud Coldline Storage
Google Cloud Coldline is a new cold-tier storage for archival data with access frequency of less than once per year. Unlike other cold storage options, Nearline has no delays prior to data access, so now it is the leading solution among competitors.
The main characteristics of Coldline are as follows:
- SLA guarantees 99% data availability (of ten thousand hours, data can be offline for up to 100 hours).
- Monthly fee per GB stored is $0.007.
- The minimum storing period is 90 days. If you delete data earlier, you have to pay for the remaining time. For example, if you had uploaded 100GB of data and then deleted it after 30 days, you need to pay extra $1.4 as an early deletion fee ($0.007 * 100 GB * 2 months).
- Data retrieval fee is mandatory and costs $0.05 per GB.
Its low price and a long minimum storing period make Nearline the best solution for data that is unlikely to be accessed more than once a year, if ever:
- Data archive.
- Disaster recovery storage.
- Outdated backups storage.
When using Coldline or Nearline Storage, you also pay more for requests, e.g., retrieval of metadata or download commands. In the Cold Storage: Best Practices article you can find more about cold and cool storage peculiarities.
We made a side-by-side table containing main Google Cloud Storage classes’ features to help you choose. If you want more details, please visit the Google Cloud Storage Classes and Google Cloud Pricing official pages.
|Regional Storage||Multi-Regional Storage||Nearline Storage|
|Availability by SLA|
|Price (per GB per month)|
|Minimum Storing Period|
|30 days||90 days|
Last checked on October 27, 2016
Now you've learned about Google Cloud Storage classes, prices and peculiarities. Let’s revise the main tips:
- If you need a datastore for a Google Compute Engine instance, use Regional Storage.
- For website contents, downloads and application data, use Multi-Regional Storage.
- Nearline storage is the best solution for statistical data, regular backups, working files, and document archives.
- If you need an archive for outdated data and disaster recovery suites, use Coldline storage.