Google Cloud has added new options and protection for data storage through updates to Persistent Disk.

Persistent Disk is Google’s high-performance block storage offering that can be used with either Compute Engine or Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).

These updates focus on solving issues around TCO, workload performance impact and data locality, as well as synchronicity, physical separation and latency.

Snapshot locality

According to Google Cloud product manager, David Seidman, there are a number of scenarios that require precise location control of snapshots.

To aid this, earlier this year Google added the ability to select snapshot location while using Persistent Disk for greater granular control.

Seidman says by default a snapshot is stored in the multi-region that is geographically closest to the location of the Persistent Disk, aiding in geo-redundancy and maximising resilience.

However, this may not be the best option for a business. Therefore, Google has enabled users to keep their snapshot in a Google Cloud region of their choice, should they have specific data residency requirements.

According to Seidman, another common storage requirement is streamlining disaster recovery and cross-region failover. 

Snapshots can be used to run a primary site in one region and have options for secondary failover sites in different regions, he states. Storing snapshots in the secondary region(s) ensures that data can be restored in the shortest possible amount of time, should it be needed.

When the snapshot and disk are in the same region, recovery-time objectives (RTO) can be kept at a minimum and snapshot restore times can be reduced.

Scheduled snapshots

Earlier in 2019, Google launched scheduled snapshots for Persistent Disk. This is currently generally available to customers.

This feature enables customers to initiate automated snapshots and manage snapshot retention. Prior to this update, scheduled snapshots required custom automation.

The update also ensures snapshots are automatically deleted when no longer needed. One snapshot resource policy can be applied to multiple disks, enabling customers to set up backup and disaster recovery solutions for Compute Engine workloads.

Regional Persistent Disk replication between zones

Google has added Regional Persistent Disks for block-level synchronous replication between two zones in the same region, in order to maximise application availability without negating consistency.

This feature is for workloads that require high availability in the event of a single zone outage and require complete data retention, Seidman says.

Regional Persistent Disk automatically handles transient storage unavailability in a zone, and provides an API to facilitate cross-zone failover.

At the storage level, a replicated disk can typically be attached to a new VM within seconds, supporting low RTO.

This feature can be used for VoIP servers, SaaS collaboration tools, design automation services, and for protecting data in SQL Server, SAP Hana, PostgreSQL and MySQL, Seidman says.