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August 24, 2017

Google introduces new tiers for cheaper, lower-performance networking

Google wants more customers to move their data around on the Internet rather than its own networks.

By James Nunns

Google is adding networking tiers to its Cloud Platform so that customers can optimise their environments for performance or cost.

The Network Service Tiers Alpha are said to allow customers the ability to optimise for performance by choosing the Premium Tier, which uses Google’s global network, or optimise for cost, using the standard tier, described as an “attractively-priced network with performance comparable to that of other leading public cloud.”

The move seems to be an odd one from Google, given that customers would surely be hoping for network performance that can be both optimised for cost and performance, rather than one or the other.

Read more: Google’s Titan security chip takes cloud wars to the hardware

The Premium Tier, which existing customers can stick with, uses the 100-PoP Google private network that is said to provide a private network for high reliability and low latency.

The new option, Standard Tier, GCP customer traffic is moved onto the Internet – which has its downsides.

External factors such as Border Gateway Protocol routing, and obviously all the standard risks of using the Internet for sending data: slow speeds, outages, and so on.

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Google has said that the service level being provided will still be “comparable to other major public clouds,” but customers may feel a little worried about using this instead of the secure network they are used to.

Prajakta Joshi, Product Manager, Cloud Networking, GCP, said: “Standard Tier provides lower network performance and availability compared to Premium Tier. Since we deliver your outbound and inbound traffic on Google’s network only on the short hop between GCP and the POP closest to it, the performance, availability and redundancy characteristics of Standard Tier depend on the transit provider(s) carrying your traffic.

“Your traffic may experience congestion or outages more frequently relative to Premium Tier, but at a level comparable to other major public clouds.”

Read more: Google Cloud Vision gives Box customers a machine learning edge

Google also said that its network services are more constrained than in the Premium Tier. “We also provide only regional network services in Standard Tier, such as the new regional Cloud Load Balancing service. In this tier, your Load Balancing Virtual IP (VIP) is regional, similar to other public cloud offerings, and adds management complexity compared to Premium Tier Global Load Balancing, if you require multi-region deployment,” said Joshi.

The performance of the tiers can be seen in the image below.

Google Network TiersThere’s also new pricing for the Premium and Standard Tiers, available here, which will come into effect when the Network Service Tiers head into GA.

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