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Google Cloud Introduces Filestore Backups

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Google Cloud has recently introduced a preview in all regions of Filestore Backups, a new product to simplify the migration of file-based applications to the cloud.

The new service for Filestore, the managed network attached storage (NAS) for Compute Engine and GKE instances, can be used to restore a file system back to a previous state or to create a new Filestore instance whose data is identical to the original at the point in time the backup was taken. As the NFS protocol makes Google Cloud Filestore compatible with most legacy enterprise applications, Filestore backups can help enterprises migrate business continuity, disaster recovery and backup strategy for file systems to Google Cloud.

Among the most common use cases for the new product, Google Cloud suggests backing up data for disaster recovery, backing up data to protect against accidental changes and creating clones for development and testing environments. The service can be used as well to migrate a Filestore instance to a different region or to create multiple copies of a file system across a collection of regions. It is also possible to schedule the backups using Cloud Scheduler and Cloud Functions and regularly back up instances to a remote region. In the event of a disaster, a new instance can then be started in a different region.

Filestore Backups works for Basic HDD and Basic SSD instances and supports cross-region creation, incremental data retention and an independent lifecycle of backup and filestore instances. Backup creation is instantaneous, but it takes a period proportional to the amount of data before the backup is available for use. Building on existing backups as a baseline for new backups and scheduling backups during off-peak hours are among the best practices suggested by Google Cloud to reduce the overall creation time. For backup consistency, Filestore backups have NFSv3 consistency semantics.

Eduardo Lundgren, CTO of WordPress.com VIP at Automattic and previously CTO at Liferay Cloud, explains how the new service makes the backup transparent to the users of Liferay Cloud:

Using Filestore allowed us to support all these needs while focusing on delivering new features instead of managing storage. Filestore Backups enable us to create daily snapshots of each customer, and if needed, restore their data quickly and safely.

Among the largest cloud providers, Google Cloud Filestore competes with Amazon EFS and Azure Files that offer their own backup solutions. For example, AWS Backup is the managed service that supports Amazon EFS.

Filestore backups are charged based on the number of stored bytes with a minimum charge of one hour of usage and a monthly price that varies according to the region between $0.08 and $0.12 per GB. Network transfer charges apply to cross-region network traffic.

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