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June 17, 2014

Google spins up faster storage for public cloud

Also announces multi data centre load balancing.

By Ben Sullivan

Google has upped its cloud game this week after announcing it is to offer users the option of storing their data on fast solid-state drives (SSDs) rather than older, slower hard disks.

The move will give users a much faster medium to store data in. The new drives, from which customers can rent by the minute for their computing power, will cost 32.5 cents per GB per month.

Google hopes the move will attract more customers to its public cloud by offering the improved storage option, which can support up to 30 IOPS to GB for no extra cost.

Google also announced that it will introduce HTTP Load Balancing. It said that the feature "changes the game" for how developers interact with network resources. Google claims that HTTP Load Balancing can scale to support more than 1 million requests per second with no warm up, and allows users to take advantage of load balancing across different regions, balancing traffic among different data centres in different parts of the world.

On a blog post yesterday, Google said: "With Google I/O right around the corner, Google Cloud Platform is launching two innovations that will change the way developers use cloud resources and how they interact with their customers around the world. We are excited to announce both of these products today: HTTP Load Balancing and SSD-based Persistent Disk."

The new features helps Google keep up the pace with Amazon. Amazon Web Services does not provide cross-regional load balancing, but the cloud giant did introduce ‘dense compute’ servers in January that use solid-state drives and a large bulk of RAM to store data in memory, giving users’ faster access. Both Google and Amazon’s disks are now capable to up to 30 read and write input-output operations (IOPS) per GB.

Amazon charges less than Google for the process though, asking for just 12.5 cents per GB. However, Amazon does charge 10 cents per provisioned IOPS-per month, whereas Google’s offering has just the flat rate of 32.5 cents per month.

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Writing on the Google blog post, Google product management lead Tom Kershaw wrote: "With Persistent Disk, more and more of our customers have been asking for a solution to high IOPS use cases – and one that doesn’t break the bank. Our SSD persistent disk product sets a new bar for scalability and performance in Block Storage.

"Priced at flat $0.325 monthly cost per GB, SSD persistent disk supports up to 30 IOPS per GB. And while other providers count each and every IOPS and charge extra for them, SSD persistent disk includes IOPS in the base price with no extra charges or fees, making cost completely predictable and easy to model."

Recent IDC cloud research shows that spending on public IT cloud services is expected to be more than $107 billion in 2017. Over the 2013-2017 forecast period, public IT cloud services will have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23.5%, five times that of the industry overall.

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