Google offers two main storage platforms to enterprises: Google Cloud Storage and Google Drive Enterprise. Google Cloud Storage has advanced features that make it attractive to high-tech users like developers and organizations using analytics and high-performance computing. Google Drive Enterprise is similar to the consumer market offering but includes features such as increased security and compatibility with third-party apps.
In deciding on Google Cloud Storage or Google Drive, enterprises should consider features, access, capacity, tiers and pricing.
Key differences between Google Cloud Storage vs. Google Drive Enterprise
Google Cloud Storage and Google Drive Enterprise serve different markets. The way they work and how users access them is different.
Google Cloud Storage is an object-based data store, while Google Drive Enterprise is a file-based data store. This distinction can be important based on usage needs. For example, Google Cloud Storage can host SaaS, IaaS and PaaS applications and offers multi-cloud platforms; and scales based on usage. Google Drive, however, is static in storage space and can handle only the standard type of files most businesses use daily, such as PDFs, documents and media files.
Cloud Storage enables users to pay based on usage and type. For example, hot storage is more expensive than archived storage because users access it more frequently and it changes often. Google Drive Enterprise doesn't offer tier-based storage options, so users pay for all the storage available in the subscription, even if they only use part of it.
Google Cloud Storage offers features such as REST API support, OAuth security options, streaming transfers and automated object versioning. Google Drive Enterprise doesn't have as many advanced features, can't update or change file metadata, and can't change the geographical storage location.
Key similarities to consider
In comparing Google Cloud Storage vs. Google Drive Enterprise, both offer some free features, though to take better advantage of the products, customers will need to pay for a subscription. Both are available as standalone products, should customers want to use them that way. Google Drive Enterprise is also available with a Google Workspace subscription if customers want access to such applications as Google Docs and Gmail. Google Cloud Storage and Google Drive Enterprise both focus on openness and interoperability with third-party applications. Customers of both can integrate them with their existing tech stack.
Top uses for Google Cloud Storage and Google Drive Enterprise
Google Cloud offers scalable storage for many enterprise uses, such as backups, archives, disaster recovery, analytics and edge computing. Many customers use it to store the data needed for web apps or other high-performance uses like streaming audio or video. The low latency of Google Cloud Storage helps with disaster recovery and real-time business analytics.
Google Drive Enterprise helps companies manage and organize their regular work files, documents and media files across a shared space. It can open more than 40 file types, including PDFs, MPEG-4s, Word documents and PowerPoint files. The Enterprise version pools the amount of storage given to each user so anyone can use it as they need. Employees can open, edit and share files in a UI that's the same as the free, consumer version of Drive.
Both products have different pricing tiers for service. Google Cloud Storage is more granular in its pricing, however, because it's based on storage class, network usage and network egress. Drive Enterprise has four main pricing tiers with various levels of pooled storage amounts and support options.
Google Cloud Storage and Google Drive Enterprise have slightly different freemium options. Google Cloud accounts have a foundational Always Free usage tier that's not charged against a customer's monthly limits -- 5 gibibytes of U.S. regional, free, monthly storage. Google Drive offers a free 14-day trial for enterprise users.
Google Cloud Storage customers can use the pricing calculator to determine the best option. Google Drive Enterprise users should contact sales for more details.