Google Slashes Storage Prices: Still no GDrive

Google announced today that it’s dropping its pricing on Google Cloud Storage and its integration with several enterprise storage offerings. Google’s updated pricing scheme puts it roughly in line with Amazon’s S3, but what else does Google have to offer except a new pricing scheme?

I spoke to Google’s product manager for Cloud Storage, Navneet Joneja on Monday about the pricing change and how Google stands out in storage.

First, Joneja emphasizes Google’s performance and scalability. Unfortunately, Google won’t make with much in the way of details about its underlying infrastructure. (For example, does Google use SSD or standard drives? They won’t say.)

The big argument for Google’s offering, says Joneja, is what you can do with data when you’ve got it in Google Cloud Storage. Developers using Google Cloud Storage can tap into Google’s App Engine and Google Big Query as well.

The pricing changes, says Joneja, should drop pricing by as much as 15% – depending on how much storage is used. Like Amazon S3, Google has a tiered pricing model that includes three dimensions, how much data is stored, amount of transfer, and the requests.

The request and data transfer pricing aren’t changing, but they’ve shaved the cost of storage. Previously the first tier, up to 1TB, was priced at $0.13 per GB. Now it’s at $0.12 up to 1TB. The next 9TB was priced at $0.12 per GB, but is now $0.105 per GB.

The partnering companies Google announced today are Gladinet, Panzura, Storsimple, TwinStrata and Zmanda. So far, most of the solutions that Google is announcing don’t seem to be using Cloud Storage in conjunction with other Google services, but perhaps we’ll be seeing a few more offerings that combine App Engine or Big Query and storage.

Google Cloud Storage is available in two regions. Joneja says customers can choose from two containers, either in the U.S. or Europe. Currently, Google does not offer a region in Asia.

With the staggering growth of Amazon S3, it should be interesting to see if Google is able to cut in on Amazon’s action significantly.

No doubt quite a bit of S3’s growth owes to Dropbox, which uses Amazon S3. I did ask Joneja if the slew of partnerships announced today meant that Google preferred to let customers build solutions rather than offering is own (fabled) GDrive. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, Google is still not commenting on when or if we’ll be seeing GDrive.