Google Cloud gains ease of use and enterprise enhancements

Google Cloud is getting reliability, availability and protection additions to its object, file and container functions that make it more firmly enterprise-class and also easier to use.

There are four individual announcements detailed in a blog co-authored by Guru Pangal, GM Storage, and Brian Schwarz, Director Product Management.

They write: “Today, we are adding extensions to our popular Cloud Storage offering, and introducing two new services: Filestore Enterprise, and Backup for Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). Together, these new capabilities will make it easier for you to protect your data out-of-the box, across a wide variety of applications and use cases.” 

Google announced:

  • Dual-region bucket extension with
    • Custom regions
    • Turbo Replication
  • Backup for GKE
  • Filestore Enterprise

A dual-region bucket is a “single namespace (aka bucket) that spans regions. A dual-region bucket is not a simple load balancer or access point in the network tier sitting on top of two independent buckets. It is a true single namespace bucket, active-active for read/write/delete, which offers some important strong consistency properties. … Google Cloud is unique in offering this capability among major public cloud vendors.“

The custom bit means that, now, customers can select the two regions they want to combine in a dual-region, such as Frankfurt and London (UK), or Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Turbo-replication provides an optional 15-minute RPO capability which replicates 100 per cent of a customer’s data between regions in 15 minutes or less. This is backed by a Service Level Agreement, and the bloggers claim this is a first from a leading cloud provider. 

Containers backup

Google is introducing Backup for its GKE (Google Kubernetes Engine) and another blog describes this. In fact it is announcing Preview for Backup for GKE, but the service is not ready yet.

It is a cloud-native way to protect, manage, and restore containerised applications and data. Google says it is “the first cloud provider to offer a simple, first-party backup for Kubernetes.”

Customers “can create a backup plan to schedule periodic backups of both application data and GKE cluster state data. [They] can also restore each backup to a cluster in the same region or, alternately, to a cluster in a different region.”

To sign up for the Backup for GKE Preview, customers should reach out to their account team or contact a Google Cloud sales rep. 

Filestore and HA

A new FileStore Enterprise service is a a fully managed cloud-native NFS system and includes high availability (HA) courtesy of synchronous replication across multiple zones in a region.

Customers can provision NFS shares that are seamlessly synchronously replicated across three zones within a region. If a zone fails the other zones take over and there is no service interruption. 

The two Google execs argue that this makes it a good fit for traditional tier-one enterprise applications (such as SAP) that need to share files.

A third blog explains more about it. It says Filestore Enterprise is backed by a Service Level Agreement that delivers 99.99 per cent regional availability.

The Filestore product family now includes:

  • Filestore Basic for file sharing, software development, and GKE workloads;
  • Filestore High Scale for high performance computing (HPC) application requirements such as genome sequencing, and financial-services trading analysis;
  • Filestore Enterprise for critical applications (eg, SAP) and GKE workloads.

This blog reads: “Filestore also lets you take periodic snapshots of the file system and retain a desired number of recovery points. With Filestore, you can easily recover an individual file or an entire file system in less than ten minutes from any of the prior snapshot recovery points.”

This capability could well lessen the appeal of third-party file backup products for Google Cloud file users.