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Google Cloud tests out fast, high I/O SSD drives

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And the feature race continues. Google(S goog) is previewing new high I/O SSD drives tailored for interactive database-heavy applications where speed of access is imperative. The new, faster storage will face off against Amazon(s amzn) Web Services’ provisioned IOPS (input/output operations per second) EBS service.

To test Google’s offering, you need to sign up for the limited preview — which comes with 1TB of disk storage — with this request form. Additional disk quota can be requested. Google has not officially announced the storage option, but will likely do so in the run-up to its big Google I/O event in late June.

David Mytton, CEO of Server Density, who has been testing the Google SSDs, praised them. “Performance is based on volume size and grows linearly, which makes it easy to predict cost and what throughput you need,” he said via email. He also found the price model much simpler than Amazon, which charges per GB provisioned and IOPS ordered.

In terms of performance, the Google option can attain 15,000 IOPS compared to a maximum of 4K IOPS for AWS, he added.


cloud-storage-warsHigh-performance SSD-backed storage is becoming table stakes for a growing number of cloud providers. Digital Ocean, an up-and-coming IaaS provider, launched with all-SSD storage. Right now, search-and-advertising giant Google is working hard to prove it is serious about its cloud platform and knows it needs to queue up more features fast to compete with AWS which, after all, has a head start.

But one thing Google seems to get: when it comes to price, cheap is good but simple and cheap is even better, as evidenced by the company’s new sustained usage price model. In that model, announced in March, once a workload hits a certain threshold, discounts kick in automatically without the customer having to worry about tracking instance usage, etc. This is something that Google SVP and cloud master Urs Hölzle can talk about when he’s on stage at Structure on June 18.

This story was updated at 12:58 p.m PST with Scalr’s price comparison chart.

4 Responses to “Google Cloud tests out fast, high I/O SSD drives”

  1. We’re definitely seeing greater demand for high performing cloud environments, and it’s good to see Google recognizing this too. CenturyLink Cloud added an SSD-based server class in January and some recent Cloud Harmony and Cloud Spectator analysis showed excellent results against AWS/Rackspace SSD nodes (

    I’m looking forward to talking about this topic more at our Structure presentation where we look at how premium performance and automation drive cloud success.

  2. sebastianstadil

    For those interested in benchmarks for this, here’s a 3D plot on Wolfram Alpha that shows how much less expensive Google is than Amazon for different storage and IOPS counts:

    And if you are interested in how this performs for various block sizes and queue depths:
    – Overall IOPS:
    – Overall Latency:

  3. Ray Nugent

    Cell phone style pricing like AWS has created massive headaches and is a key barrier to enterprise adoption of the public cloud. Great to see that Google understands this.