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UK-based cloud provider Civo offers ‘unconditional’ data egress fees waiver to customers

Stevenage-based ‘open’ cloud champion Civo becomes latest provider to waive data egress fee charges for customers, but claims its offer is unconditional, unlike how the hyperscalers are approaching the same issue

UK-based cloud services provider Civo claims its offer to abolish all data egress fees for its customers goes above and beyond similar commitments recently made by the big three hyperscale cloud providers.

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google Cloud publicly committed to abolishing data egress fees for their customers in recent weeks.

Their motivations for doing so are thought to be linked to the fact that the charging of data egress fees is an area that UK watchdog the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has ruled into scope of its investigation into anti-competitive behaviours in the UK cloud market.

In its provisional reporting on the areas its investigation will cover, the CMA flagged egress fees as an area of concern because they can make it cost-prohibitive for users to switch between providers. 

However, Civo claims its pledge to abolish egress fees goes further than the commitments the “big three” public cloud giants are making because its pledge is not heavily caveated or conditioned.

“The end of all egress fees on Civo comes with no requirements or limits, with businesses empowered to flexibly move their data between Civo and other platforms to suit their priorities,” said the company, in a statement. “This is in contrast to other providers that only ended egress fees with significant caveats, including requiring a customer to exit the platform.”

To this point, Microsoft and Google have both stipulated that egress fees will only be removed for customers that leave their respective public cloud platforms, while AWS stated that all data transfers over 100GB require sign-off from Amazon support if users want their egress fees waived.

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Speaking to Computer Weekly on this topic, Civo CEO Mark Boost said it seems unlikely AWS, Google or Microsoft will let users shift their data without at least building mechanisms that allow their sales and support teams one last attempt to keep their business.

“Everyone that’s announced these plans to waive egress fees for people leaving state you have to contact them and put a case forward [before it goes ahead],” he said. “I’m sure it’s not going to be quite as simple as taking your data. It’s probably going to be more like trying to leave Sky TV because Virgin have given you a better offer. It’s an opportunity for them to speak to the users and try and save it before they leave.”

According to Civo’s own research, there is an appetite among cloud users to switch between different providers, with some (47%) respondents even considering exiting the cloud altogether, with the rising cost of using public cloud thought to be a factor.

Boost said he thinks users are becoming “increasingly cynical” about cloud, particularly those who were lured onto the public cloud with the promise of “free credits” and cut-price services, but are now facing rising costs.

“[These users] are trapped because once the free credits run out, the charges kick in, and it all gets very expensive, and – on top of that – they’re locked into an ecosystem of cloud services that are very difficult to unpick themselves from,” he added. “People are starting to become very cynical of cloud and looking for ways to get out.

“Cloud should be fair, equitable, and open,” Boost continued. “If it’s not supporting businesses growth, then it’s not living up to its promises. Businesses should have the flexibility to move between providers based on their needs.

“Overinflated egress fees are punishing company growth and only focused to serve the interest of shareholders and not users,” he added. “This isn’t the more cost-efficient and flexible cloud we were originally sold on. Change is needed, and it’s needed now.”

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