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Google pools cloud storage

Limits to inbox size are no more

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Google has changed its approach to cloud storage, with individuals and business users of its apps now offered a pool of storage rather than silos dedicated to different services.

Announced in an inevitable pair of blog posts, the Chocolate Factory is calling the new arrangement “unified storage”. Storage wonks wondering why Google would offer a block and file storage rig in the cloud can switch off right now: Google's not talking about that kind of unification.

What is on offer is a pool of storage that will apply to Gmail, Google Drive and Google+ Photos. Business users get 30GB to play with, individuals get 15GB. Both will soon gain a new dashboard showing them how much storage each service is consuming. It does not appear the ad giant has built a provisioning tool allowing users to allocate storage to different services.

Paying for extra storage will mean users can exceed current limits on inbox size, with storage of over 25GB possible for those who collect enormous piles of email.

Documents created with Google's online productivity won't count against those quotas. Nor, it appears, will YouTube videos.

Those who want more storage can pay $US4.99 a month for 100GB, half the price price Dropbox charges for the same storage capacity and a little over Amazon's $50.00 price for a 100GB Cloud Drive.

Of course there are also lots of free options out there, with Amazon and Cubby both giving away 5GB for nothing, and 7GB of Microsoft SkyDrive available at the same low, low, price of $0.

Those services don't, of course, offer the same level of integration theoretically attainable should you chose to put all your digital eggs in Google's basket. But does anyone really use Google+ photos, anyway? ®

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