Cold Cloud Storage services

Updated: May 08, 2019

2019. Dropbox adds cold storage layer



Many people move files to Dropbox for backup purposes and then rarely access them again. So Dropbox engineers realized it made little sense to have everything stored in the same way when many files weren’t being accessed much after the first day of putting them on the service. The company decided to create two levels of storage, warm storage (previously Magic Pocket) and a new level of longer-term storage called Cold Storage, which lets Dropbox store these files less expensively, yet still deliver them in a timely manner should a customer need to see one. Dropbox customers obviously don’t care about the engineering challenges the company faces with such an approach. They only know that when they click a file, they expect it to open without a significant amount of latency, regardless of how old it is. But Dropbox saw an opportunity to store these files in a separate layer.


2019. Google launched its coldest storage service yet



Google launched a new archival cold storage service. This new service, which doesn’t seem to have a fancy name, will complement the company’s existing Nearline and Coldline services for storing vast amounts of infrequently used data at an affordable low cost. The new archive class takes this one step further, though. It’s cheap, with prices starting at $0.0012 per gigabyte and month. That’s $1.23 per terabyte and month. What makes Google cold storage different from the likes of AWS S3 Glacier, for example, is that the data is immediately available, without millisecond latency. Glacier and similar service typically make you wait a significant amount of time before the data can be used. The new service will become available later this year.


2019. AWS launches fully-managed backup service for business


Amazon’s AWS cloud platform has added a new service Backup, that allows companies to back up their data from various AWS services and their on-premises apps. To back up on-premises data, businesses can use the AWS Storage Gateway. The service allows users to define their various backup policies and retention periods, including the ability to move backups to cold storage (for EFS data) or delete them completely after a certain time. By default, the data is stored in Amazon S3 buckets. Most of the supported services, except for EFS file systems, already feature the ability to create snapshots. Backup essentially automates that process and creates rules around it, so it’s no surprise that the pricing for Backup is the same as for using those snapshot features (with the exception of the file system backup, which will have a per-GB charge).


2016. Google Cloud Platform gets new a cold storage service



Google launched Coldline - a new cold storage service for data archiving and disaster recovery (an alternative to Amazon Glacier). Google Cloud Storage already offered the similar service Nearline. But when Nearline came out of beta earlier this year, it also became much faster. Instead of three to five seconds of latency, access to data was now real-time. So, Coldline basically fills the gap that the improved Nearline service left after it came out of beta. Coldline storage will only cost $0.007 per gigabyte per month (and $0.05 per gigabyte retrieved). Nearline costs $0.01 per month. That may not look like a huge difference, but those numbers quickly add up if you are storing massive amounts of data.


2015. Backblaze offers low-cost Amazon S3 rival



Backblaze, the company known for its consumer and enterprise backup service, is taking a step in a slightly different direction by announcing Backblaze B2, a competitively priced cloud storage service that competes with the likes of Amazon S3 and the cloud storage services that are part of Microsoft Azure and Google’s Cloud Platform. The price of Backblaze’s service is half the price of Amazon Glacier, AWS’s very slow cold storage service, and only costs about a fourth of Amazon’s regular S3 service. Maybe you want to store your data in a number of different locations and services, but if you did that on AWS, you would spend twice as much as you do today. Given Backblaze’s low prices, you could now store an extra copy of your data for about 15 percent of the price you’d pay on Amazon’s cloud storage service. The company expects that users will use Backblaze B2 to store images, videos and data sets, for example. Backblaze B2 will offer a free tier (up to 10GB storage, 1GB/day of outbound traffic and unlimited inbound bandwidth). Developers will be able to access it through an API and command-line interface, but the service will also offer a web interface for less technical users.