What would you do with 100 petabytes of free cloud storage? Google is hoping to find out as it officially launches its Cloud Storage Nearline service and tries to get a leg up on rival Amazon. The service, which has been in beta since early March, provides businesses with a cheap and easy way to store files and documents that a user doesn't need instantly.
Today, Google's Nearline is available to the world. And to entice people to switch away from the cloud storage competition—namely, Amazon Web Services, the unstoppable $6 billion juggernaut of the market—Google is offering 100 petabytes (100 million gigabytes) of free storage to anybody who comes aboard.
Normally, Google prices the data stored on Nearline at 1 cent per gigabyte per month. This works out to Google extending a service credit of $1 million per month to any customer who switches. For a big company, they'll probably blow through that pretty fast. For a startup or smaller company with less intensive data needs, it could last a while.
The deal isn't explicitly aimed at Amazon Web Services, and you'll get the credit if you switch from any other cloud provider or storage software vendor. But Google rolled out a calculator to go alongside this announcement to specifically show how much customers can save with Google Cloud Storage Nearline versus Amazon Web Services, so the intention is clear.
To further the promotion of its cloud storage, Google also rolled out the Google Cloud Transfer service, which makes it easier to move data from other storage providers like, of course, Amazon, into the Google platform.
All of this, including the free credits and the transfer tools, are in the name of getting more and more people to sign up with Google's cloud instead of Amazon's. But it's also furthering the dangerous "race to zero," when cloud storage is so cheap and so plentiful that companies like Google and Amazon won't be able to sell it anymore.