Google Cloud Storage now comes with an Archive class for long-term data retention to give rarely accessed data sets a home.
And if Google says rarely, it means it, describing the new class as “for cost-effective, long-term preservation of data accessed less than once a year”. It however promises “almost instantaneous” access when needed which is meant to give it an edge over traditional tape solutions. Users however might have to be careful with that, since “Archive Storage has no availability SLA” according to the Google Cloud documentation.
Data can be accessed via the same API as its coldline, nearline, and standard offering, so that users have a way of moving their data between classes.
Detailing the service further, Google promises that data is by default encrypted both in transit and at rest, which to be fair has to be considered a must for the data it eyes. It also offers ways of applying bucket locks for “write once read many” (=WORM) compliant storage and geo-redundancy as a safety measure against regional failures.
The new class is mainly aimed at enterprises that need to store bulk data for regulatory compliance or for disaster recovery from sectors such as healthcare or financial services. At-rest pricing of $0.0012 – $0.005 per gigabyte and month is meant to make that offer worth considering.
To make sure archives are used for the mentioned purposes only, Google requires customers to commit to a minimal storage duration of 365 days. The company also put a high price on data access and operations, which are at $0.50 per 10.000 operations, no matter whether class A or B, significantly more expensive than in its other storage offerings.