Google this week announced its latest salvo in the hotly contested #cloud computing, aimed at Amazon #Aws. The company has just announced a new service, which called Transfer Appliance, to help businesses ship their data to the #Google Cloud Platform.

According to TechCrunch, the Mountain View-based company has just introduced to the corporate world its own data center hardware but with a new twist. The newly launched device is optimized for petabyte-size computing workloads, making it an ideal cloud migration tool for today’s business.

The Transfer Appliance, Google’s latest salvo in the data center front

The search giant has been working with its cloud customers.

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Lately, it finally found out that most of its cloud customers had many petabytes of data to transfer. But this would take years if done over a traditional network. Fortunately, Google Cloud has managed to come out with some good idea, something that will help these companies in their data migration efforts.

The newly announced data center hardware and service have been designed to move a large amount of data from the corporate network to the search giant’s cloud computing platform, all with the help of FedEx. The new service can be used to move corporate data anything from 100TB to 480TB to the search’s cloud platform. It currently offers two versions; the first one is the 100 TB version that takes up a single rack unit. The second version, the whopping 480 TB occupies four rack units. Using the latest compression techniques, companies can be able to fit up to 200 TB on the smaller hardware unit and 1 petabyte for the bigger version.

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As for the pricing, Google said the smaller version; the 100 TB model will cost customers around $300, which also include the shipping costs. On the other hand, the larger version, the 480 TB model will cost around $1800, including the $900 shipping cost. Unfortunately, the newly announced data center service will only be available in the US market. There still no words about the international rollout.

In addition to the new hardware service, the company is also added an enterprise-grade data protection. The hard drives within the Transfer Appliance have been designed to withstand multiple failures, so companies won’t lose data if something went wrong. The newly launched hardware service is currently running in RAID 6 configuration, according to the search giant.

This is Google’s answer to Amazon’s AWS Snowball

Google’s Transfer Appliance marks the company’s first big move in competing with Amazon’s AWS Snowball, a set of shippable storage appliances that works similarly with Google’s newly released hardware.

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Amazon first introduced the Snowball in 2015. At that time, it consists only of a ruggedized 50TB storage appliance that customers could use to ship data to its cloud. But Amazon has decided to expand that lineup, adding more features and storage space. Today, AWS offers two options, the 80TB Snowball and the 100TB Snowball Edge that also offers compute capacity.

In terms of competition, the two have different offerings. Amazon’s Snowball is self-standing, while Googles’ Transfer Appliance is meant to be plugged into server racks. Some analyst believes that Snowball is a "Trojan horse" for Amazon to get deeper into the company’s corporate data center, the term used to describe the IT rooms that house huge numbers of servers that run corporate applications and services.

The Seattle-based Amazon is reportedly using its Snowball service as a platform for adding new services that support edge computing, the Amazon’s Greengrass for managing IoT-enabled applications. The search giant is not foreclosing such idea, but for now, the company will be focusing first on its newly launched service.