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Google Storage Enters the Cloud Storage War

Where is the attack point?

Google Storage for Developer was announced at the recent Google I/O event. A closer look at the Google Storage API reveals that it is similar to Amazon S3’s API. This means direct competition between Google Storage and Amazon S3..

Year 2010 is already interesting for the Cloud Storage wars. S3 is still enjoying a commanding lead. Windows Azure came full release. EMC Atmos came full release too at the EMC World earlier this month. Now seven days later the Google Storage came.

We saw S3 playing defensively as the leader. Strong competitive moves should always be blocked. When Azure came out in February, S3 came out with a price cut in the 50 Terabytes and above range. When Google Storage came out yesterday, S3 came out with another price cut with the introduction of the Reduced Redundancy Storage. The timing is so good that it is hard to say these moves are independent.

Others are playing offense, finding weakness in the leader's strength and attacking at that point.

We saw EMC Atmos playing to its strength and attacking at the S3’s weakness. EMC’s strength is in the enterprise. Enterprise may be slow movers to the public cloud because of the security, compliance and data control concerns. The message of “the Journey to the Private Cloud” from EMC could be music to the ears for enterprises thinking about clouds.

We saw Windows Azure playing to its strength too. Microsoft is very strong in the developers communities and Windows applications. A native integration of Azure to the Visual Studio 2010 is like a native integration of Office to the Windows. When VB and C# developers writing cloud enabled apps from Visual Studio, they are using Azure. We also see Office 2010 came out with tight integration to Windows Live SkyDrive. There are so many application integration points for Windows Azure. We saw counter moves from S3 with the release of AWSSDK. However, it is very difficult to protect the turf when the fight is in Visual Studio and Microsoft Office.

Now Google Storage came and where is the attack point? Google’s strength is in the search and different internet apps such as Gmail, Picasa, Google Docs and Google Apps. The first look of Google Storage looks like an S3-twin. We are still waiting to see the differentiating marketing messages from the Google Storage.  As the war drags on, we may be seeing Google Storage came out with search APIs that makes it the easiest and fastest to search for contents on the Google Storage. We may also see Google Storage integrating the Gmail, Picasa and Google Docs, Google Apps all to the Google Storage and unify the access with the new RESTful API.

We predict that the four companies will capture the mind of us with several simple phrases.

  • “Internet Cloud” – When you think of an Internet Cloud, you think of Amazon S3.
  • “Enterprise Cloud” or ”Private Cloud” – When you think of an Enterprise Cloud or Private Cloud, you think of EMC Atmos.
  • “Application Cloud” or “Developer Cloud” – When you are a developer and think about how to write your first cool cloud enabled app, you think of Windows Azure.
  • “Search Cloud” or “Google Cloud” – When you need fast search across your cloud, you think of Google Storage. When you are a Google user and need a single access point to your data, you think of Google Storage.

Gladinet has been providing a ubiquitous client to S3, EMC Atmos, AT&T Synaptic Storage, Windows/Azure, Google Docs, Google Docs for Apps, Nirvanix, Box.net, Mezeo, WebDav and FTP and so on from your Desktop. With the recent release of CloudAFS, the server solution, it now becomes an access solution to the cloud storages from both PC and servers. The support for Google Storage is also under way.

Thinking of “Cloud Access Platform”, try Gladinet.


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More Stories By Jerry Huang

Jerry Huang, an engineer and entrepreneur, founded Gladinet with his close friends and is pursuing interests in the cloud computing. He has published articles on the company blog as well as following up on the company twitter activities. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1998 and has lived in West Palm Beach, Florida since.

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