Google Transfer Appliance

What is Google Transfer Appliance?

Google Transfer Appliance is a high-capacity storage server that enables enterprises to transport large volumes of data to Google Cloud Storage.

The physical device is designed to reduce the lengthy transfer times and potential security risks that come with migrating data over the internet and into the public cloud. To use Transfer Appliance, a customer requests the appliance from Google, which then ships it to the customer's location. The customer then transfers their data onto the appliance and ships it back to Google, which uploads that data into its Google Cloud Storage service. Enterprises can choose between a rackable or standalone appliance.

After the process is complete, Google wipes the appliance.

Google recommends that enterprises use Transfer Appliance in cases where it would take them over a week to upload data to the cloud via the internet.

Common migration methods from on premises to cloud

Google Transfer Appliance security features

The cloud provider has several features to ensure safety and security during transit. From a physical standpoint, the appliance includes the following:

  • Tamper-resistant case. The physical case of Google Transfer Appliance is not easily opened, even by threat actors. Customers can inspect appliance integrity from tamper-evident tags that are attached to the shipping case.
  • Ruggedized shipping container. Google Transfer Appliance is transported in a ruggedized shipping container, which means that data arrives safely.
  • Remote attestation for validation. Before customers connect Google Transfer Appliance to their device and copy data, a remote attestation process is used to validate the appliance.
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip. To ensure that software and immutable root file systems have not been tampered with, Google validates TPM's Platform Configuration Register.

From a data security standpoint, it includes the following:

  • Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256. Before enterprises can store data on the device, that data needs to be deduplicated, compressed and encrypted with an AES 256 algorithm. In addition, enterprises need to create a password and passphrase that they need later to unencrypt, uncompress and reconstruct their data.
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology 800-88-compliant data erasure. Google erases data from Transfer Appliance after data is securely uploaded to Cloud Storage.
  • Customer-managed encryption keys. Customers can use Cloud Key Management Service (Cloud KMS) to manage encryption keys. This enables customers to secure and control data before returning Google Transfer Appliance.

Google Transfer Appliance pricing

Customers have three options when it comes to the different types of appliances:

  • 7 terabytes (TB). $300 base fee with 30 free days, a $10 per day use fee and a $120 round-trip shipping fee within the US -- $350 within Europe.
  • 40 TB. $300 base fee with 10 free days, a $30 per day use fee and a $180 round-trip shipping fee within the US -- $500 within Europe.
  • 300 TB. $1,800 base fee with 25 free days, a $90 per day use fee and a $200 round-trip shipping fee within the US -- $550 within Europe.
This was last updated in February 2024

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