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Storage & Data Transfer

Put your archive data on ice with new storage offering

January 8, 2020
Geoffrey Noer

Product Manager, Cloud Storage

Data storage provides a key part of the foundation for enterprise data infrastructure, including cloud-based workloads. 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. 

Having flexible storage options allows you to optimize your total cost of ownership while meeting your business needs. With Cloud Storage, this is accomplished with multiple storage classes. One of the fastest-growing business requirements is the need to affordably retain large, rarely accessed data sets for multiple years, while ensuring very high durability and security. To meet this need, we’re announcing the general availability of a new storage class called Archive, our coldest Cloud Storage offering yet. 

Introducing the Archive class

The new Archive class of Cloud Storage is designed for long-term data retention at price points starting from $0.0012 per GB per month—only $1.23 per TB per month. Relative to existing storage classes, Archive is best suited for data that is stored for more than a year and accessed less than once a year. Tape replacement and archiving data under regulatory retention requirements are two of the most common use cases. Other examples include long-term backups and original master copies of videos and images.

This new storage class is designed to meet enterprise needs. “The Archive class of Cloud Storage raises the bar on functionality while lowering the cost of long-term data retention,“ says Scott Sinclair, senior analyst at ESG. “With exponential data growth, the enterprises we talk with are looking for ways to better leverage the cloud for tape replacement and other archival needs so they can reduce spend without compromising security and durability. Google Cloud has delivered on that. When enterprises have flexible, cost-effective storage choices, they’re able to manage data efficiently and use resources wisely.”

Unlike tape and first-generation cloud archive solutions, our approach eliminates the need for a separate retrieval process. Instead of waiting hours or days, the Archive class provides almost instantaneous (milliseconds) access to your data when needed. Access and management is performed through the same consistent set of APIs used by our other Cloud Storage classes, with full integration into Object Lifecycle Management. You get the same experience as our hot storage options and can tier content down throughout its lifecycle without adding complexity or giving up direct access to your data. 

Here’s an overview of how Archive fits into Cloud Storage classes:

Archive advantages include:

  • Cost-effective: Low cost, starting at $0.0012 per GB per month.

  • Secure: All data is encrypted at rest and in transit by default.

  • Durable: 11 9’s of durability. Optional geo-redundancy helps protect against regional failure and increases availability.

  • Instant Access: Like all Cloud Storage classes, accessible with millisecond latency.

  • Open: Suitable for Google-specific and multi-cloud architectures alike.

  • Scalable: Start with as little data as you want and grow to beyond exabytes.

  • Simple: Same API across all storage classes for access and management consistency. Fully integrated with Object Lifecycle Management, as reducing your storage TCO never goes out of fashion.

  • Immutable: Applying Bucket Lock to a storage bucket in the Archive class can help you achieve WORM compliance for long-term data storage.

Using Archive to protect your data

We often hear that customers have large amounts of bulk data that needs to be retained due to regulatory compliance, as well as for data protection. Use the Archive class in conjunction with Bucket Lock to ensure that objects will be retained without modification for a period of time that you can choose. This is helpful to meet legal retention requirements in many industries, especially in healthcare and financial services. If maximizing availability and durability is a top requirement, consider Archive in multi-region or dual-region locations so that your data is stored geo-redundantly. In all locations and storage classes, we do checksum verifications at rest and in transit to ensure that a minimum of 11 9’s durability will be met. 

Industries that can benefit from Archive include:

  • Education and science for research data

  • Energy for seismic data sets

  • Financial services for transaction archives, audit logs, and regulatory data

  • Government for long-term data archives

  • Healthcare for electronic medical records and medical imaging

  • Insurance for claims, billing, and inspection archive data

  • Life sciences for genomic and imaging data archives 

  • Manufacturing for design data sets

  • Media and entertainment for media archives and raw production footage

  • Physical security for video surveillance data

  • Telecommunications for call detail records, billing, and customer service archives

  • Transportation for satellite imagery and vehicle telemetry data

Getting started with Archive

One of the easiest ways to get started with Archive is to create a new bucket that defaults to the Archive storage class:

  1. From the “Create a bucket” page, select "Create bucket"

  2. Add a bucket name

  3. Expand "Choose a default storage class for your data" and select “Archive”

  4. Click "Create"


You can then upload your data using gsutil or Cloud Data Transfer Service.

Alternatively, for existing buckets you can use Object Lifecycle Management to downgrade your oldest objects in Standard, Nearline, and Coldline to the Archive class.

Cloud Storage is part of an even larger set of storage services. Whatever your workload, from backing up an image archive to crunching a genome, we’ve got you covered with a powerful range of storage solutions that help make it easy to migrate and run on Google Cloud. Contact sales to plan and enable your migration to Cloud Storage, or give it a try yourself here.

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