Certifications / Cloud

How Much Data Is Stored in Google Cloud?

by Jon Welling
How Much Data Is Stored in Google Cloud? picture: A
Published on May 12, 2022

How much data is stored in Google Cloud? Will Google Cloud Storage ever fill up? Where does Google store all those gigabytes?

If you have ever asked any of these questions, you aren't alone. Storage can be a tricky topic to break down and understand. But in this post, we discuss Google Cloud Storage and just how much data can be stored in its cloud.

What is Google Cloud Storage?

Google Cloud Storage is a rather broad product. Basically, it's similar to services like OneDrive and DropBox. But of course, Google Cloud Storage is also like AWS S3 and Azure.

Wait…  What? That's confusing. How is Google Cloud storage both things?

Behind the scenes, Google Cloud Storage is like a massive SAN or NAS for Google products. That includes Google Drive, Google Docs, Gmail, and Google Cloud Computing. Anything you save in these services is saved to Google Cloud Storage.

Google Cloud storage is also a marketing term. For you IT folks out there, this is similar in the way that Live.com or Hotmail email services are nothing more than fancy Exchange servers. Google Drive used to be the storage product for Google Cloud Storage. Though Google Drive still exists, the storage portion of Google Drive has become part of the Google One subscription. Google Drive is merely an app that acts as a file storage GUI.

Google Cloud Storage also powers GCP. Or should I say it's the other way around now? GCP powers Google Cloud Storage.

How Much Data Can You Store in Google Cloud?

The amount of data you can store in Google Cloud Storage depends on which subscription you have. Yes, Google Cloud Storage is a subscription service.

Hold on to your derriere because this is going to get complicated. Google Cloud Storage has both consumer and business versions. Thankfully, Google has rolled the consumer services into a single plan. Google's previous subscription services were much more confusing.

For this part of the article, we will only refer to front-end storage solutions for Google Cloud Storage. So we won't be discussing GCP storage options.

How much does Google One cost?

Google Cloud Storage is now part of the Google One subscription. Google One is a Google subscription service that rolls Google Photos, Google Docs, and other previous products into one subscription. The One service also includes mobile device storage and backup options too.

Google One is offered in one of three subscription plans:

  • Basic

  • Standard

  • Premium

The Basic subscription is $1.99 a month or $19.99 per year. The Standard plan is $2.99 a month or $29.99 per year. Finally, the Premium subscription is $9.99 or $99.99 per year. Each annual plan includes a discount.

The most significant difference between each subscription level is the amount of storage offered. The Basic subscription includes 100Gb of storage, the Standard includes 200Gb of storage, and the Premium plan includes 2Tb of storage. The Premium plan also includes VPN services for Android-powered devices.

Google Cloud Storage includes a free tier as well. The free tier includes 15Gb of storage. That storage is used for all Google services.

How much do Google Workspaces cost?

Next, let's discuss the business version of Google Cloud Storage. The business version of GSC is included with Google Workspaces. Google Workspaces is Google's productivity subscription product similar to Microsoft's Office 365.

Much like Google One, Google Workspaces comes in three different tiers:

  • Business Starter

  • Business Standard

  • Business Plus

The Starter tier is $6 per user per month. The Standard tier is $12 per user per month. The Plus subscription is $18 per month. Unfortunately, Google Workspace doesn't offer a discount for annual subscriptions.

Each subscription tier in Google Workspaces has various nuances. For instance, the Standard and Plus tier can hold virtual meetings with more participants. For this article, though, the Standard subscription includes 30Gb of data storage per user while the Standard and Plus tiers have 2Tb and 5Tb of data storage, respectively.

Google Workspaces does not offer a free tier. However, it does provide a free trial.

How Much Data is Stored in Google Cloud?

So, how much data is stored in Google Cloud altogether? The answer: you'll never know.

In all seriousness, Google doesn't release official numbers. However, we can make some pretty good assumptions.

Let's start here. In 2015 it was rumored that Google has multiple exabytes of data. Think about that scale. A typical home computer has a 1Tb hard drive. There are 1000 terabytes in one petabyte. An exabyte is 1000 petabytes. Otherwise, an exabyte is roughly one million home computers. It's rumored that Google has multiples of those.

Does that hold any weight? Let's see if that's feasible. Google offers 15Gb of cloud storage per user. So, at minimum, each Google account, whether it is a consumer or Google Workspaces account, has access to a minimum of 15Gb of storage.

In 2020, it was reported that there were more than 1.8 billion active Gmail users. These are active users and not stale or abandoned accounts. These are both consumer and Google Workspaces accounts, though.

So, at minimum, we can say that Google has to offer 15Gb of storage for each of those 1.8 Billion accounts. So that's 27 billion gigabytes or 27 petabytes of data storage.

That's not a complete picture, though. For example, many people subscribe to Google One or Google Workspaces. That means many people are likely using more than 15Gb of data in photos alone. In addition, since many small businesses use Google Workspaces as their sole productivity system, all of their business data is stored on Google Cloud Storage, too.

Those numbers don't include storage systems in Google Cloud Compute, either.

Now, let's say that 20% of those 1.8 billion active users subscribe to a Google Subscription and have access to a minimum of 100Gb of storage (instead of 15gb). That means there is an extra 30.6 billion gigabytes, or 30 petabytes, that Google needs to include in that already high 27-petabyte number for a grand total of 57 petabytes.

Given that these numbers still do not account for subscriptions that include more storage or GCP customers, it would be easy to say that Google does hold at least an exabyte worth of data.

Final Thoughts

If you're planning a deployment strategy using Google, take a look at this online Google Cloud Storage training course. It's full of Google Cloud Storage material for planning and implementing Google Storage strategies.


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