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July 24, 2015

Google’s come and get me plea to AWS customers

Google hopes that 100PB of free storage will entice customers to them.

By James Nunns

Watch out Amazon, Google is coming to get you with the launch of Nearline.

The cloud storage service is out of beta and into general availability, but that isn’t really the main talking point. The talking point is that to sweeten the deal, Google is offering the service with 100 free petabytes of storage.

The deal will effectively see the company haemorrhage money at $1 million for each month it lasts, based on the current standard pricing of one cent per GB per month.

I’m not sure if the company will be hoping for a large uptake of this or not, but in the fine print of the conditions it reads:

"Only for new Google Cloud Platform Customers and covers 100PB of at rest storage charges in Google Cloud Storage Nearline for the first 1 month and potentially additional months if customers commit to migrate more than 1PB of data. Customers must maintain at least 1PB in Nearline for 12 months after the initial 3-month period."

That sours the deal a bit, but it’s still likely to be an expensive move if businesses take advantage of the free month and then migrate away.

Clearly the company hopes that it can sweeten the deal enough to get users to stay and migrate away from AWS.

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One of the ways it is hoping to achieve this is through making its I/O feature available for free for a limited time. This is designed to give organisations the ability to increase I/O when data needs to be retrieved faster than Nearline’s provision read rate, which is 4MB per second throughput per terabyte of data stored.

This will be free for the first three months after launch.

The final lure to entice customers away from Amazon is the total cost of ownership calculator, which Google is using to take a direct swipe at competitors AWS.

Avtandil Garakanidze, Product Manager, Google wrote: "As a new Google Cloud Platform customer, you will be able to switch from any other Cloud Service Provider or on-premises infrastructure and significantly reduce your storage costs.

"We’ve also created a TCO calculator to help you estimate your savings on Google Cloud Storage versus Amazon Web Services."

According to the calculations displayed on the Google site, it could be at least 50% cheaper than AWS.

With Amazon posting strong Q2 figures and an 81% rise in sales of cloud compared to the same quarter last year, it looks as though Google will continue to have to sweeten the deal to lure customers.

Second quarter data shows that the big four cloud providers are speeding ahead of the market, with AWS, Microsoft, IBM and Google dominating.

John Dinsdale, Chief analyst & Researcher, Synergy Research Group, said: "Developing the necessary global hyperscale data center infrastructure along with the required marketing and operations support is simply beyond the reach of all but a very small number of players."

While he doesn’t expect this to change, he remains hopeful that all is not lost for small to medium sized cloud providers: "There does remain a wealth of opportunity for those that are focused on specific market niches or local geographic areas."

Amazon declined to comment when approached by CBR, but when reporter James Nunns spoke to Ian Massingham, UK technical enagelist for AWS, the company’s ability to scale was a main talking point: "We’ve added support for much larger storage, with even higher levels of performance that delivers 16TB volumes with 20,000 IOPS."

For the full interview, click here.


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