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Google One-Ups AWS' Per-Second Billing Plan

Google this week launched a per-second billing scheme for renting virtual machines (VMs) running on its cloud, just over a week after rival Amazon Web Services (AWS) did the same.

Starting on Tuesday, VMs running on the following Google Cloud Platform (GCP) services will be billed by the second:

  • Compute Engine
  • Container Engine
  • Cloud Dataproc
  • App Engine

Previously, Google billed users by the minute to run VMs on its platform -- for the most part. Some GCP offerings, such as Persistent Disks, GPUs and committed use discounts, have been using per-second billing since their launches, according to a blog post on Tuesday by GCP Group Product Manager Paul Nash.

Nash also noted that unlike switching from a per-hour to a per-minute billing structure, switching from per-minute billing to per-second billing will likely yield only miniscule savings for most organizations. "We estimate it as a fraction of a percent," he said.

Nevertheless, Google's announcement appears to be a direct answer to AWS' move last week to introduce per-second billing to its own cloud. Google's billing change seems to go further than its rival's, in fact.

For instance, whereas Google is implementing per-second billing across a swath of its services, AWS' per-second billing change applies only to Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances and Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes.

In addition, Google said its per-second billing applies to "all VMs," including Windows and Linux. AWS' billing scheme applies only to Linux instances, however, not Windows.

Both platforms do require a one-minute minimum for their respective per-second billing plans.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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