Google will start charging for data transfers between regions and continents from July this year, bucking a recent trend that has seen cloud storage providers slash their pricing.
Starting July 15, data transferred between buckets (the basic containers that hold all customer data) located on the same continent but in different regions will cost US$0.01 per gigabyte.
Buckets located in different continents will also be subject to data egress rates from July.
Customers in Australian Google Cloud Storage regions will pay substantially higher egress rates compared to their American, Asian and European counterparts: a monthly volume of up to one terabyte costs US$0.19/GB (A$0.24) in Australia, but only US$0.12/GB elsewhere.
Monthly data usage of between one and ten terabytes costs US$0.18/GB and for over 10TB, US$0.15/GB for Australian regions.
This compares to US$0.11/GB and US$0.08/GB in other regions worldwide. Only Google's Chinese locations have higher data egress charges than Australia.
Currently, both inter-region and inter-continent data transfers are free on Google Cloud Storage.
Last month, Google launched its Nearline cold data storage service in beta form, for enterprise archival and disaster recovery purposes.
Azure solid-state backed storage generally available
Microsoft meanwhile made its Premium Storage option generally available as part of its Azure cloud computing services.
The product is backed by solid-state disks and offers over 50,000 input/output operations per second per virtual machine along with low latencies for read operations.
However Premium Storage will not be available in the Australian Azure regions, and can only be used in western US, east US 2, east Europe, southeast Asia and Japan west facilities.
Microsoft will offer three disk sizes for Premium Storage starting at 128GB, costing US$24.13 a month, to 512GB (US$89.61/month) and 1TB (US$165.43/month) from June this year.
Multiple disks up to 32TB in size can be attached to a virtual machine, providing over 64,000 IOPS and lower than one millisecond of latency, Microsoft said.
These options provide per-disk IOPS of 500, 2300 and 5000, and throughput of 100, 150 and 200MB per second respectively.
Premium Storage is optimised for random reads and writes for virtual hard disks - page BLOBs (binary large objects) and disks - whereas Azure's standard storage option is aimed at streaming and storing documents, videos, pictures and other unstructured text or binary data.
June will also see the general availability of Azure Stream Analytics for cloud processing of data from devices and sensors, and the DocumentDB managed and scalable NoSQL database service that allows data to be stored in other formats than tables.