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Long-term data protection with Persistent Disk Archive Snapshots

Many enterprises need data backups with long-term retention – for months or years – to help support requirements for compliance, audit, or disaster recovery. For example, a workload that generates receipt data might need to keep snapshots of this data for several years, even if the data might never be retrieved or retrieved only rarely. Persistent Disk snapshots have long provided reliable, indefinite data storage, but may not always be cost efficient for supporting these long-term scenarios.

Today we are introducing Persistent Disk archive snapshots, a low-cost option for protecting Persistent Disks. Archive snapshots offer lower storage prices than standard snapshots and have a 90 day billing period and charges for retrievals – making it a great option for long-term storage that is rarely accessed.

Archive snapshots are designed for simple compatibility with existing snapshot workflows. The choice of a standard snapshot or archive snapshot is set on creation, i.e. when calling the snapshots insert API, you simply pass the flag snapshotType and set it to ARCHIVE or STANDARD. Each snapshot type is stored in separate incremental snapshot chains, and archive snapshots are listed separately in the Google Cloud console. You can restore and use archive snapshots with the same snapshot and disk APIs you use today.

Archive snapshots are priced at $0.019 / GB-month for storage and $0.019 / GB for snapshot retrievals for regional snapshots, and $0.024 / GB-mo for storage and $0.024 / GB for snapshot retrievals for multi-regional snapshots.  (Prices are for the us-central1 region and the us multi-region – prices vary in other locations and networking charges also apply.)  Archive snapshots are billed for a minimum of 90 days of storage.

Persistent Disk Archive Snapshots Provide Flexibility and Efficiency

Archive snapshots provide the same benefits you expect from standard snapshots, including incremental storage chains, compression, encryption, durability, cross-project storage, and disk compatibility. Let’s highlight a few of these benefits.

First, Persistent Disk operates a global block storage system backed by the operational excellence required to deliver a highly resilient and durable storage infrastructure for business critical applications.  Taking snapshots of your disks – including archive snapshots – provides increased durability and reliability by replicating data to the location of your choice.

In large organizations running many workloads, a centralized backup administrator is often responsible for managing snapshots. Snapshots can be stored in a destination project that is different from the project housing the source disk – for example a dedicated backup project – with separate IAM permissions only granted to select personnel. This option is available for standard snapshots and archive snapshots. There is no need to create data copies to store snapshots in the location and with the permissions you require.

Archive snapshots are also incremental, meaning that once the first archive snapshot is created for a disk, subsequent archive snapshots only store the incremental data that has changed on that disk since the last archive snapshot. Additionally, built-in compression ensures that data is stored efficiently and with minimal footprint.

Archive snapshots are now generally available to all customers in all regions. For additional information, read more about updates to choices in Google Cloud infrastructure pricing and capabilities, and detailed pricing for Persistent Disk snapshots.

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