Google user-managed storage launches with up to 16 terabytes of space

March 1, 2011: 12:57 PM ET

Users of Google Apps will now be able to store up to 16TB of documents and images in Google's cloud.

For companies, educational institutions and even home users who want to increase the amount of space in their Google (GOOG) Apps accounts, Google today introduced new tiered pricing plans for buying huge swaths of additional storage.

Storage for Google Docs, Picasa Web Albums, and photos from Blogger can now scale up to 16TB.  The prices per year are extremely reasonable: 1TB is $256 a year and the numbers scale up from there.  Much smaller portions are available starting at $5 a year for 20GB.

There are some important stipulations.  For one, the extra Apps storage doesn't apply to Gmail so organizations still have a hard ceiling at 25GB for paid apps and 7GB for unpaid and educational institutions.  Google could theoretically lift this restriction in the future, though very few email users go over 25GB of space.

Also, the storage is handed out per user.  You can't share the extra storage amongst users in an organization.  Administrators can also disable this feature for their organizations if they see fit.

I'm immediately inclined to believe that this could start to compete with online backup companies like Mozy, Carbonite and Backblaze and photo storing sites, though Google doesn't back up every type of file.  It may also entice companies with large libraries of files to "Go Google."

How would a company get 16TB of documents into the Cloud?  Google introduced Cloud Connect (video below) which helps organizations sync existing Office files to the cloud.

Sign up for Google storage here.

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Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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