Google Cloud rolled out several updates today including a new U.S. region, a network attached storage (NAS) service, and general availability of its transfer appliance that lets customers migrate petabyte-capacity data to Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
In July Google will launch a new Los Angeles cloud region, us-west2, which targets the data-intensive media and entertainment industry. This will be the fifth for Google Cloud Platform in the U.S., joining Oregon, Iowa, South Carolina, and Northern Virginia.
“The LA region will provide our media and entertainment customers with low latency to scalable compute resources, so visual effects and animation studios can spend less time waiting on resources, and more time bringing their creative visions to life,” wrote Google Cloud’s Dominic Preuss, director of product management, and Jeff Kember, technical director, media, office of the CTO, in a blog post.
The cloud provider’s global network includes 16 regions across 12 countries. It plans to launch additional future regions in Zurich, Hong Kong, and Osaka, Japan.
In conjunction with the new Los Angeles region, Google launched a new file storage service that it said will be especially useful to media and entertainment companies.
Google Cloud Filestore
Google Cloud Filestore is a fully-managed, network-attached storage (NAS) service for applications that require a file system interface and a shared file system for data. This allows companies to use NAS with their Google Compute Engine and Kubernetes Engine instances and enables native Google Cloud Platform to enterprise applications with shared-file systems.
“We’re especially excited about the high performance that Cloud Filestore offers to applications that require high throughput, low latency and high IOPS,” wrote Tad Hunt, product manager and Chris Talbott, product marketing, in a separate blog post. “Applications such as content management systems, website hosting, render farms and virtual workstations for artists typically require low-latency file operations, high-performance random I/O, and high throughput and performance on metadata-intensive operations.”
Early-access customers including Jellyfish, a boutique marketing agency, and ever.ai, have saved time building websites, reduced hardware, and sped up the compute-intensive process of rendering a movie using Filestore.
Ever.ai, which is training an advanced facial recognition platform on 12 billion photos and videos for tens of millions of users in 95 countries, used the new service to “speed-read our files,” said the company’s CTO Charlie Rice in a statement.
The new storage service will be available in beta next month.
Last year the company announced Transfer Appliance, a high-capacity server that lets enterprises transfer up to 480 terabytes (TB) of data to GCP by mail.
This service comes in two configurations: 100 TB or 480 TB, and Google says it sees typical data compression rates of two-times the raw capacity. It recommends the device for companies moving more than 20 TB of data, or data that would take more than a week to upload.
Customers are already using the service to migrate data centers to the cloud and to move large archives of content like creative libraries, videos, images, regulatory or backup data to Cloud Storage.
Other use cases include transferring test data and staging it quickly for machine learning and analytics projects and collecting data from research bodies or data providers and moving it to Google Cloud for analysis.
Airbus Defence and Space Geo Inc., which provides an Earth observation images library, moved hundreds of terabytes of radar and optical satellite data to Google Cloud Storage with Transfer Appliance. The move also improved data quality. “In addition to migrating an amount of data that would not have been possible over the network, this transfer gave us the opportunity to improve our storage in the process,” said Dave Wright, CTO, Airbus Defense and Space Geo Inc., in a blog post.
Still in Third Place
However, it remains to be seen if these new features will be enough to propel Google past the top two cloud leaders: Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft.
According to Synergy Research Group’s latest data, AWS — yet again — beat out competitors during the first quarter of 2018 as the largest public cloud provider. AWS, ranked by public infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) revenues, topped Microsoft, Google, IBM, Alibaba, Salesforce, and Tencent in every region.
Microsoft held onto the No. 2 position in every region except for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region where local Chinese cloud provider Alibaba held the second position. Google Cloud ranked third in all regions except for APAC.