Google Cloud Storage Enabling Limited Preview 'Offline Disk Import' in the U.S.

Google Cloud Storage 'offline disk import ' helps transferring large data sets (in the hundreds of terabytes and beyond) easily over the public network. Unified Storage available. Run App Engine in the Private Cloud with CapeDwarf.

Google begin a limited preview of offline disk import for Google Cloud Storage, which lets users load data by sending Google a physical hard disk drives (HDDs) of data that the company would load on their behalf.

Google notes, using this option can be helpful if you're limited to a slow, unreliable, or expensive Internet connection. And, those "who have a moderately sized data set, aren't in a hurry to transfer data, or have excellent throughput over the internet, will likely be best served by using gsutil tool to transfer the data over the Internet," writes google.

To use offline disk import, you just need to "write your data to HDDs and then ship them to a Google import center using a mail carrier."

"For security during shipment, the data on the HDDs must be encrypted. Upon receiving the shipment, Google uploads the data into an empty Cloud Storage bucket that you designate. Because the data is loaded directly via Google's network, this approach may be faster or less expensive than transferring data over the Internet," explains Google.

Offline disk import have a flat fee of $80 per HDD irrespective of the drive capacity or data size. During the limited preview, "offline disk import is available for customers with a return address based in the United States," google added.

Those interested in using offline disk import, can sign up for the limited preview here (US only).

Also, Google's unified storage is gradually rolloed out to almost everyone.

As previously mentioned, the 25GB plan is no longer available and the most affordable plan offers 100GB for $4.99/month.

Until now, the storage was only shared between Google Drive and Google+ Photos and you got 15GB of bonus storage for Gmail. Now the entire 15GB of free storage is shared between Gmail, Google Drive and Google+ Photos, and additional storage in the slabs (100GB, 200GB, 400GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB, 16TB) is available for purchase.

Those who have an old plan, will some extra storage called "early adopter bonus". As Google says, "any storage purchases, promotions, or adjustments that have been applied to your account in the past will be reflected in your amount of unified storage. In other words, your storage space will not be decreased".

Google Unified Storage Plans

When purchase will get this message:

Additional 100GB Google Storage

Early adopter bonus: google unified storage

Google Unified Storage Plan Purchase Mail

Update 06/21: Google and Redhat/JBoss team releases open source Test Compatibility Kit (TCK) project to help provide an alternate implementation of Google App Engine running on top of JBoss to facilitate portability and openness.

"Google engineers provided many of the tests of the internal App Engine product, and RedHat engineers added many tests to verify that their implementation of App Engine is correct. These collections of tests have been tested against a local App Engine SDK, called CapeDwarf implementation, and the real Google App Engine running in the Google cloud," informs Google.

Check it out for yourself: get the TCK code.