Storing terabytes of data that is never actually seen. For certain companies, expensive storage had to be used for this, as laws and regulations prescribe this. To accommodate them, Google is making the Archive class of Google Cloud storage available to everyone.
Previously, there were a number of different options within the Google Cloud storage feature, the standard version being most commonly used. Users who want instant access to their files and do so on an (almost) daily basis. In addition, there were cheaper options for users who wanted to store larger amounts of data for a longer period of time, but who did not need to be regular users.
In addition to the Nearline and Coldline options, Google now also adds Archive to that list, allowing users to store data for long periods of time. In exchange for much lower storage costs ($1.23 per terabyte per month), users have to indicate that they will request access to the data less than once a year.
Improvement over competition
Google has integrated the Archive option into the current interface, making it easier for users to switch between different subscriptions. The company also argues that accessing the archived data is almost instantaneous (only a delay of milliseconds), while some competitors (think of those of Amazon Web Services, the Glacier Deep Archive) may want to charge hours for it.
All data added to an archive will also be directly encrypted. If, after a certain period of time, it is decided that the data should be viewed more often than once a year, it is easier to select another option of the long-term storage features.