On Thursday, the 16th of September, Google rolled out two new services—Filestore Enterprise and Backup for Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)—along with extensions to its already widely used Cloud Storage offering. These new products, together, will provide end-users with better data protection capabilities across different applications and use cases.
As Google’s Guru Pangal and Brian Schwartz note in their blog, “To Serve and Protect: New Storage Features Help Ensure Data Is Never Lost”, data is an organisation’s “most important input and asset,” and protecting it is critical—but very challenging. Thus, customers are, according to Pangal and Schwartz, always looking for easy yet effective data protection capabilities either on-premises or in the cloud, or even in both. Firestore, GKE and the enhancements to Cloud Storage promise to bring the kind of enhanced but simplified data protection organisations want and need, underpinning Google’s commitment on that front.
“We need to make sure that, as more and more data comes to the cloud, we provide customers seamless availability and protection,” said Pangal, Vice President and General Manager of Storage at Google. “We can do some of these things because of the underlying technology right and the underlying technology that we use to manage our own global assets.”
Improving Cloud Storage
The first and most notable add-on to Cloud Storage is the ability for users to choose their own region pairs depending on their regulatory or compliance needs. Previously, the dual-region feature of Cloud Storage—powered by Colossus and Spanner, Google's global distributed file system and a globally distributed database, respectively—only offered predetermined region pairs to choose from, thus limiting in a way the customers’ options. That limitation has been addressed, which means developers can now truly treat a continent as a solitary bucket and simplifying the application programming model.
Another new feature Google has introduced into Cloud Storage is a 15-minute Recovery Point Objective (RPO), which is made possible by the Turbo Replication option for dual-region buckets. This RPO replicates in just 15 minutes 100% of an organisation’s data between regions and is backed by a Service Level Agreement. This is crucial to prevent data loss, especially in object storage as it is being used more and more for apps that cannot tolerate any data loss.
Filestore Enterprise and Backup for GKE Launched
Another one of Google’s new offerings for better data protection is Filestore Enterprise, the newest addition to Filestore, a range of fully-managed file storage products from Google. It is specifically designed for traditional tier-one enterprise applications, like SAP, which requires file sharing.
One of the most notable benefits of deploying Filestore Enterprise is high-performance reads and writes. Another is high availability through synchronous, multi-zone replication, which means that in case a zone in a region becomes unavailable, Filestore will continue to serve data transparently and without any operational intervention.
Filestore Enterprise also enables users to take periodic snapshots of the file system and set the desired number of recovery points to ensure better protection of critical data. Hence, organisations using it can easily recover from these snapshot recovery points either individual files or an entire file system. The best part is that it can be done in less than 10 minutes.
With the release of Firestore Enterprise, the Filestore family now has three members: Filestore Basic for file sharing, software development and GKE workloads; Filestore High Scale for high-performance computing application requirements and Filestore Enterprise for critical applications.
Google also announced Backup for GKE, a service that makes it easier for organisations to protect their critical container-based data. In particular, Backup for GKE is a simple, cloud-native way for customers to protect, manage and restore their containerised applications and data, thus allowing end-users to easily meet their service-level objectives, automate common backup and recovery tasks and show reporting for compliance and audit purposes. This addition is very timely since more and more Google Cloud users are continuing to adopt GKE, mainly because it enables greater application-development velocity but at lower infrastructure costs.
Organisations, though, are not just running stateless applications in containers anymore; instead, they are also running various other databases inside containers, like PostgreSQL, MySQL and other stateful workloads. Backup for GKE is set to accelerate this trend and make GKE even more in demand, with enhanced data protection in case customers do run their stateful applications in containers.
“Enterprise customers want to spend less time managing storage,” said Matt Eastwood, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Infrastructure and Cloud at IDC. “Although public cloud is growing fast, it is still new in many organisations, and skill gaps are something we know slows cloud adoption. It is great to see Google Cloud focusing on ease of use as they bring new services to market.”
Google’s Commitment to Data Protection
Data protection has long been part of Google’s DNA, and the enhancements to Cloud Storage and the release of Filestore Enterprise and Backup for GKE underscore this commitment. Moving forward, Google has vowed to continue using its global technology platform to develop simplified but powerful solutions to the data storage and data protection needs of organisations worldwide.
Organisations interested to learn more about Google Cloud’s family of storage and data protection products can register for Google’s webinar, “What's New with Storage at Google Cloud,” to be held on the 6th of October. They can also attend Google Cloud Next ’21, which will be held from the 12th to the 14th of October.