Of course, right when we hint at Google's lack of storage options, the company goes and announces Google Storage for Developers. The RESTful cloud service is another layer of the Web giant's storage and networking infrastructure, and competes directly with Amazon S3. 

Moving Over to Google's Cloud

"Using this RESTful API, developers can easily connect their applications to fast, reliable storage replicated across several US data centers," said Jessie Jiang of the Google Storage for Developers team.

Other features include:

  • SSL support
  • Multiple auhentication methods
  • Access controls for sharing with individuals and groups
  • Read-after-wirte data consistency support
  • Web-based interface for storage management

Presently, the service is only available by invitation. Early testers get 100GB of storage space and 300 GB per month in data-transfer bandwidth for free. Beyond that, Google will reportedly charge through a utility-computing model, meaning the more customers use, they more they pay.

Fees include US$ .07 per gigabyte per month, US$ .10 per gigabyte for uploading data, and US$ .15 to US$ .30 per gigabyte for downloading data. There’s also a fee for the number of requests — US$ .01 per 1000 PUT, POST or LIST requests and US$ .01 per 10,000 requests using GET or HEAD.

Who's Cheaper?

Because both companies have a pay-as-you-go structure, it's hard to say whether Amazon or Google will save you more money. Although, it's worth it to mention that Amazon's costs drop at higher rates of usage.

Perhaps all this competition will inspire both companies to drop their prices even further. After all, Amazon just added another tier to their S3 storage -- Reduced Redundancy Storage -- that costs a measly US$ .10 per gigabyte. Designed specifically for non-critical data, the service utilizes less replication, and therefore fewer storage resources.

Meanwhile, Google offers things that Amazon doesn't, such as BigQuery API, a tool designed to explore the history of your data, and the Prediction API for access to Google's machine-learning algorithms. According to Google, the latter can help users make real-time decisions “such as recommending products, assessing user sentiment from blogs and tweets, routing messages or assessing suspicious activities."

Google Storage for Developers is a beta Labs project, so you can't switch over just yet. But if you feel so inclined, you can head over and request an invite.