Google responds to AWS price cuts, claims “still performance leader in public cloud”


Last week this publication reported Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) 51st price cut, lowering prices of C4, M4 and R3 instances in its EC2 cloud. Now, Google has responded, claiming it leads the way among the cloud giants.

“Developers running cloud-based apps and services will find out whether it’s a happy new year or not once they take a look at their bill,” Miles Ward, Google Cloud Platform global head of solutions wrote in a blog post. “In case you’ve been reading recent announcements and were wondering, rest assured: Google continues to be the price/performance leader in public cloud.”

Anyone thinking this was anything other than a thinly veiled dig at AWS would notice two paragraphs later, Ward writes: “While price cuts sound appealing on the surface, when you unpack the specifics of Amazon’s pricing model, it can be an unpleasant surprise.

“We often hear from customers who are locked into contracts and aren’t eligible for the new rates, or are stuck with instances that no longer fit their needs.”

No love lost there, then – but research would suggest the Seattle giant is a more likely leader. Even though AWS’ huge lead in the infrastructure as a service market was slipping slightly in 2014 before roaring back last year, it was Microsoft doing the catching up rather than Google, according to Synergy Research figures from the past 18 months. In July, the analyst house argued of the ‘big four’ – AWS, Microsoft, IBM, and Google – that “no other company has been able to get close to these four in terms of data centre footprint, global presence and market power.”

Ward invites potential customers to use the company’s TCO pricing calculator to assess just how much they would be paying for AWS compared with Google. “We designed Google Cloud Platform pricing to be as flexible and beneficial to our customers as possible,” he said. “Our combination of lower list prices, sustained use discounting, no prepaid lock-in, per minute billing, preemptible VMs and custom machine types offers a structural price advantage that’s unmatched in the industry.”

Amazon also announced the launch of its South Korean data centre last week, with further expansion in India, the US, China, and the UK expected later this year.

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12 Jan 2016, 10:21 p.m.

Nice article, James.

Interesting that they make the jabs right at AWS but not surprising I guess. Their price calculator sure doesn't put the price differences lightly.

I wonder how Google will keep pace globally though with infrastructure of if it really matter.. Interesting things to follow.


13 Jan 2016, 6:39 p.m.

Amazon has announced 51 price cuts since AWS launched creating a perception that cloud computing is always cheaper. However, many IT departments know that’s not always the case.

Several surveys have shown that agility, not cost savings, is the principal benefit of the cloud for most organizations. In fact, many organizations have been so impressed with the fast ramp-up, scalability and agility of the cloud that they are moving towards multi-cloud interconnection scenarios that string several cloud services together to deliver one or more business services.

Equinix recently wrote about several cloud computing myths, including the belief that cloud computing is automatically lower cost:

Jeff Rutherford
commenting on behalf of IDG and Equinix