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Grow Your Business Technology

Google Expands Cloud Storage with Offline Import/Export Service

Google Expands Cloud Storage with Offline Import/Export Service
Credit: vectorbest / Shutterstock

Backing up data is one of the most important parts of running a company. The problem arises when a business has too much data and too little time to get it all into the cloud.

To help businesses get their data under control, Google is expanding its Cloud Storage service by allowing third party-providers to upload data to the platform on a business's behalf.

First launched in 2013, businesses were previously only allowed to use the feature to back up their hard drives into Google Cloud Storage. Now expanded into a major feature called Offline Media Import/Export, this update now lets businesses physically mail all types of storage devices — such as hard drives, tapes and USB flash drives — to companies that will back up their data for them. [24 Cloud Storage Solutions for Small Business]

How it works

Offline Media Import/Export is simple: Just mail your storage device to a Google partner or any participating third-party provider. The provider will then upload all files into one of Google Cloud Storage's services — Standard, DRA or the low-cost option Nearline.

Currently, Google is partnered with Iron Mountain, which services clients in North America. More partners are to come, but Google says businesses can work with any third-party provider of their choice.

Depending on the provider, businesses can also decide what they want to do with their hard disks, tapes or USB flash drives after the upload is complete. In Iron Mountain's case, the company can send the devices back to the business, store them securely in a vault or destroy them.

Why use it

Offline Media Import/Export is particularly useful for businesses that don't have the time or resources to upload large amounts of data themselves. It's also an efficient, cost-effective option for businesses that have shared or slow Internet connections.

For instance, Google says it would take more than 100 days to upload a terabyte of data. By shipping storage devices and having someone perform the upload, data can be in the cloud in just a few days, Google claims, saving businesses months of work and the expense of purchasing faster Internet speeds.


Note that Offline Media Import/Export is a third-party feature, meaning Google is not responsible for the service, nor does it offer it directly. Businesses can either use one of Google's partners or find a participating provider of their own.

To learn more about the service and how to get started, visit Google Cloud Platform.

Sara Angeles

Sara is a tech writer with a background in business and marketing. After graduating from UC Irvine, she worked as a copywriter and blogger for nonprofit organizations, tech labs and lifestyle companies. She started freelancing in 2009 and joined Business News Daily in 2013. Follow Sara Angeles on Twitter @sara_angeles.