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Google Offers SSD Cloud-based Storage

At this point it probably goes without saying, but the cloud industry continues to boom. According to analysts at Gartner, the public cloud services market was worth $131 billion in 2013. Additionally, the firm predicts that from 2013 through 2016, $677 will be spent on cloud services globally. It’s clear from this report that the cloud industry is going to continue growing at an exponential rate for a long time, so it’s wise for cloud providers to be investing in their services to remain competitive.

That’s precisely what Google have done this month, announcing that they will now be offering users the choice to store their cloud data on solid state drives, rather than the standard hard disk drives. Although currently in ‘limited preview’ at the moment, it can be expected that this feature will eventually roll out to all users.

For those unaware, SSDs offer a number of advantages over the more conventional HDD. First of all, SSDs have quicker access times due to the lack of mechanical components inside. There’s no waiting around for the disk to spin up or for your data to be located on the platter. It’s quick and efficient and is a popular drive choice for data that is constantly accessed. Also, due to the lack of moving parts, SSDs are also less likely to fail, meaning that data is more secure and that the drive will theoretically last longer. Of course, these benefits don’t come without a price – as such, SSDs are currently more expensive than HDDs, although the cost of both continue to drop as technology advances.

Google noted that while other providers count each in-output operation per second and charge extra for them, Google’s SSD persistent disk includes IOPS in the base price, without additional fees. Users will be charged $0.325 per month per GB, with support for up to 30 IOPS per GB. This makes the pricing model predictable and easy for companies to budget for.

“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,” wrote Tom Kershaw, Product Management Lead, in a post on Google’s Cloud Platform blog.

Google isn’t the only company adding solid state options to their cloud. Amazon have also been investing in solid state instances, and DigitalOcean have been seeking customers with their virtual servers that use SSDs.

Google will continue to add features to their cloud offering in order to stand out from their competitors; a recent price drop certainly did just that, and it would be likely to expect that such a strategy will continue into the future.

In the same blog post, Google also announced HTTP load balancing. “For the first time, users can take advantage of load balancing across different regions -- balancing traffic among compute resources that are located in different data centres in different parts of the world,” read the blog, meaning that Google want customers to optimise their resources in a bid to reduce latency globally.

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