Google Cloud Storage Nearline Presented at vNAB Conference

Anyone who has worked in the visual effects industry is familiar with the enormous volume of data involved in every production and the process of bringing shots on and offline to balance workloads. Jeff Kember, a cloud solutions architect at Google and a former computer graphics supervisor, introduced a new solution, Google’s Cloud Storage Nearline — a low-cost, fast-response storage service that enables quick data backup, retrieval and access — in his vNAB Cloud Conference presentation on Visual Effects Workflows in the Cloud.

In developing Nearline, Google looked at current tiered data storage and archival processes and recognized the need for fast on demand access, critical for production workflows. As reported on the Google Cloud Blog, “Nearline enables you to easily backup and store limitless amounts of data at a very low cost and access it at any time in a matter of seconds.”

The Google announcement notes the following features of Nearline:

  • Fast Performance: all the benefits of cold storage while making the data immediately available. Unlike its competitors, Nearline enables ~3 second response times for data retrieval and improves SLAs.
  • Low-cost: capacity pricing is extremely low at 1c per GB for data at rest.
  • Security: redundant storage at multiple physical locations protects data. OAuth and granular access controls form strong, configurable security.
  • Integrated: fully integrated with other Google Cloud Storage services, providing a consistent method of access across the entire Google Cloud Storage service line.
  • Simple: no need to adopt new programming models — data manipulation behavior remains the same across Google Cloud Storage services.


In conjunction with the rollout of Nearline, Google announced these partners — and others across the ecosystem — available to help lead a new approach to data storage:

  • Veritas/Symantec: NetBackup is the market leader in enterprise backup software and will support Google Cloud Storage Nearline in version 7.7. NetBackup integration with Google Cloud Storage Nearline will allow enterprises to increase business agility and information availability. Customers can seamlessly manage the lifecycle of their backups and keep a central catalog and recovery point for all their protected information, regardless of where it’s stored.
  • NetApp: SteelStore is an on-premises appliance that de-duplicates, encrypts, and compresses data before rapidly streaming it to Google Cloud Storage Nearline. SteelStore reduces data volumes by up to 30x and speeds data transport times by 400% — making onramp of your data to the cloud fast and easy. SteelStore currently supports Google Cloud Storage and will support Nearline in the second half of 2015.
  • Iron Mountain: Google is working with Iron Mountain to design an on-ramp to the cloud via an offline ingestion service that builds on Iron Mountain’s security, logistics and data management capabilities. If you have massive amounts of data and limited network connectivity, you’ll be able to simply package up and send your disks to Iron Mountain, where they’ll be uploaded directly into Google Cloud Storage Nearline.
  • Geminare: Get Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions running on Google Compute Engine and Google Cloud Storage Nearline. Geminare lets you use the cloud as your secondary data center location, enabling both DR modernization and, for the first time, cost-effective replication of your current data centers.

A white paper on the Google Cloud Storage Nearline is available here.

Kember’s Visual Effects Workflows in the Cloud presentation was part of ETC@USC’s vNAB Cloud Conference, recorded at the YouTube Space LA in March. The vNAB event is an extension of the Media Management in the Cloud Conference that ETC will lead at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, April 14-15.