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Google Slams AWS Price Cuts

Google was unimpressed with the recent price cuts announced by Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), claiming its competing Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is still the "price/performance leader" among public cloud computing providers.

In the latest of a series of tit-for-tat price reductions that have been going on for years among AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure, AWS last week announced it was yet again slashing the cost of using its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service.

Representing the 51st price reduction for AWS services, last week's move involved the following EC2 instances:

  • C4 and M4 running Linux: The On-Demand, Reserved and Dedicated host prices of these instances are now 5 percent lower in all AWS regions except for South America.

  • R3 running Linux: The On-Demand, Reserved and Dedicated host prices of these instances are also 5 percent lower in all AWS regions. In addition, On-Demand and Reserved R3 instances running Linux in the AWS GovCloud cost 5 percent less.

Google hit back at AWS in a blog post Friday.

"We're anywhere from 15-41 percent less expensive than AWS for compute resources, after their reduction," Google said, providing the following chart to back up its claim:

AWS Instance Type Monthly $ GCP Instance Type Monthly $ GCP Is x% Less Expensive
M4 "Standard $87.60 Custom 2 core, 8GB $54.82 37.42%
R3 "HighMem" $121.18 n1-standard-4 $102.20 15.66%
C4 "HighCPU" $76.65 Custom 2 core, 3.75GB $44.66 41.74%

"We use automatic Sustained Usage Discounts and our new Custom Machine Types to ensure that we're presenting exact spec-to-spec comparisons here, something AWS can't match," Google said.

"While price cuts sound appealing on the surface, when you unpack the specifics of Amazon's pricing model, it can be an unpleasant surprise," the search giant continued. "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."

And while AWS last month introduced the AWS Price List API, which gives users access to detailed pricing information on their various AWS services, Google's new post pointed to its "Understanding Cloud Pricing" page for a more detailed look at GCP-vs.-AWS cost structures, along with a TCO Tool pricing calculator designed to reveal total cost of ownership factors.

"Explore how different combinations of development and production instances, as well as environmental assumptions, change the total cost of a real-world application hosted in the cloud -- and be sure to compare it to our competitors!" Google said.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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