Google slashes public cloud prices to undercut rivals

Google cuts cost of its public cloud services to pass on hardware savings in line with Moore's Law

Google has overhauled its Cloud Platform pricing structure and claims that users can now run their workloads in its public cloud 40% more cheaply than in its competitors’.

The latest round of price cuts came into effect on 18 May 2015 and apply to every single Google Compute Engine Instance type, the company confirmed in a blog post.

“Compared to other public cloud providers, Google Cloud Platform is now 40% less expensive for many workloads,” it stated, while the cost of running its virtual machines has been slashed by 30%.

“When combined with our automatic discounts, per-minute billing, no penalties for changing machine types, and no need to enter into long-term, fixed-priced commitments, it’s easy to see why we’re leading the industry in price/performance.”

If previous price cuts are anything to go by, the move is likely to prompt a speedy response from Microsoft and Amazon, as the three cloud providers jockey for position. 

Short-term, fixed-price VMs

Google is also introducing a new variant of virtual machines designed to deliver short-term capacity at a fixed-rate cost, and are reportedly much cheaper to run.

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“Our new Preemptible VMs will run your short-duration batch jobs 70% cheaper than regular VMs,” the blog post added.

“Preemptible VMs are identical to regular VMs, except availability is subject to system supply and demand. Since we run them on resources that would otherwise be idle, we can offer them at substantially reduced costs,” it continued.

Google said its short-use VMs are proving popular with users running Hadoop MapReduce, financial analytics, visual effects rendering and other “computationally expensive” workloads.

Moores Law pricing pledge

News of the price cuts follows on from the commitment the firm made in March 2014 to drop the price of its cloud services over time in line with Moore’s Law to reflect the falling price of the hardware underpinning them.

“Since cloud computing became widely available, public cloud prices have fallen at 6-8% annually. Over the same period of time, the underlying hardware has fallen at 20-30% annually – following Moore’s Law,” the company said at the time.

“In order for public cloud to be a true substitute for the legacy premises-based model, we think pricing has to more accurately reflect these savings.”

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Interesting. I really like the idea of using idle hardware via a preemptable VM for a severely reduced price. I could see that being of great use to our cloud-based load testing efforts where we only need a load generator or monitor for a very limited time.
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