Google and Amazon Kick Off a Cloud Storage War, Again

Hoping to take price out of the equation for enterprises, Amazon follows Google's lead and slashes the cost of storing data on its cloud.

Google slashed the cost of its Cloud Storage product by nearly 70 percent this week. Amazon followed suit with deep price cuts of its own.

On March 25, Urs Hölzle, a senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google, announced some major changes to how much the company is charging its customers. Arguing that cloud pricing "hasn't followed Moore's Law," in a blog post, he asserted that "over the past five years, hardware costs improved by 20-30 percent annually but public cloud prices fell at just 8 percent per year."

The company is changing those dynamics with some big reductions to its pricing plans. "We think cloud pricing should track Moore's Law, so we're simplifying and reducing prices for our various on-demand, pay-as-you-go services by 30-85 percent," added Hölzle. Google Cloud Storage, sits firmly within that range and "is now priced at a consistent 2.6 cents per GB. That's roughly 68 percent less for most customers," he boasted.

Other big cuts include a whopping 85 percent drop in Google BigQuery on-demand prices, and cuts to App Engine instance-hours (37.5 percent), dedicated memcache (50 percent) and Datastore writes (33 percent). Services like SNI SSL and PageSpeed are now free and the company instituted a 32 percent reduction in Compute Engine prices "across all sizes, regions, and classes."

Google also instituted new Sustained-Use Discounts for ongoing workloads. Hölzle explained that the savings kick in "automatically when you use a VM for over 25 percent of the month." Using a VM for an entire month entitles customers to 30 percent off the new on-demand prices, potentially saving them 53 percent compared to the search and cloud giant's original plans.

Wasting no time, Amazon announced cloud price reductions of its own the very next day.

Jeff Barr, Amazon Web Services Chief evangelist, announced his company's "42nd price reduction since 2008" in a March 26 statement. The new prices go into effect on April 1.

In terms of Amazon S3, the company is "reducing prices for Standard and Reduced Redundancy Storage, by an average of 51 percent," stated Barr. Under the new pricing structure, 0-1 TB of data costs $0.03 per month, a savings of 65 percent. In total, Amazon offers six tiers of storage, topping out at 5000 TB and above for $0.0275 per month or a savings of 36 percent over current prices.

Not to be outdone by Google, Amazon also announced Amazon EC2, Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) and Elastic MapReduce price cuts. For instance, depending on the instance type, and whether the VMs are of the Linux or Windows variety, customers can see reductions of 7 - 40 percent. Amazon RDS DB Instance prices will fall by an average of 28 percent while Elastic MapReduce customers will see savings of 27 to 61 percent.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.




Tags: cloud computing, AWS, Amazon Web Services, Google, Cloud Storage


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