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Google Storage is Now Available to All Developers

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Google has announced at I/O 2011 the availability of their Storage service to all developers without the need for an invitation. The service has been enhanced with OAuth 2.0 support, simplified account management through the API Console, a new EU storage region, and a new API version.

Google Storage for Developers (GSD) is a RESTful service for storing data in Google’s cloud. The service was announced last year at I/O 2010, but it was available only to a limited number of developers. A year later, at I/O 2011, Google announced the availability of the service to any developer with a Google account, offering a free subscription including up to 5GB of storage until the end of this year.

GSD has a few attractive features: data is replicated across multiple data centers and it is backed up, it has read-your-writes consistency, and can accept objects up to 5TB. Although buckets are supposed to have separated domain spaces, we have found that the feature is not working yet, the Online Storage Manager not being able to create new buckets with common names like “bucket” or “test”, probably because the names are already used by other buckets.

Google has also announced a number of enhancements to the service:

  • OAuth 2.0 support for simplified storage access
  • Account management through API Console
  • Simplified storage sharing – the owner of the storage can make it available to any developer with a Google account. Only the owner takes care of billing.
  • A new European storage region
  • Support for objects up to 5 TB
  • A new API version, 2.0

Amazon S3 offers a similar free tier of 5GB, and the price for the paid subscription is lower: $0.14/GB/month vs. $0.17/GB/month, and Amazon’s price is smaller for storage in excess of 1TB, going down to $0.055/GB/month for more than 5,000TB. The other fees for the number of GET/PUT/POSTs, data uploading and downloading are similar.

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