Google superchages cloud storage for databases with Local SSD

The company wants to offer a cheaper alternative to RAM with its new solid state offering

If you want the fastest possible storage performance for a database as inexpensively as possible, Google's cloud-based Local SSD for its Compute Engine platform could be the answer.

The now generally available Local SSD lets users create up to 1.5TB of temporary block storage that's more tightly integrated with their virtual servers, which results in better performance compared to Google's standard SSD storage options.

The new storage option is a good fit for high performance databases. Database vendor Aerospike has achieved RAM-like performance with the use of Local SSD on its NoSQL product at a price that's 15 times cheaper than using memory, Google said in a blog post on Wednesday. Also, Gyazo.com, which offers video and photo capture software, is using Local SSD as a supplement for RAM for MongoDB.

The performance tops out at 680,000 read and 360,000 write IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) and a latency below 1 millisecond. To get there users have to use four storage partitions with 375GB each, according to Google. Four partitions is the maximum unless you can convince Google your project needs more.

However, this performance gain comes at the price of some trade-offs in availability and durability. The storage partitions only last as long as the instances (the virtual servers) they were created with remain in existence. In addition, there is no data redundancy. So users of Local SSD must take extra precautions to back up their data, Google warns.

Local SSD is charged based on the amount of storage per device for the lifetime of the instance it is attached to, at a rate of US$0.218 per GB and month. Since it can only be purchased in 375GB increments, this comes to approximately $81.75 per device per month. For its regular SSD storage, Google charges $0.17 per GB and month.

For now, the Local SSDs are available in all zones except for us-central1-b and europe-west1-a, according to Google.

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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