Google Cloud has announced pricing changes for its products to start later this year; some products will gain new, lower-cost alternatives and features, while others will see an increase in cost.
Ultimately, the company says, the goal is to provide more flexible pricing structures and options for clients that use Google Cloud services for storage, compute, and network services.
Google Cloud infrastructure VP and GM Sachin Gupta said the changes are meant to improve product suitability for customers’ use cases across a range of workloads. They are also intended to be more in line with how other prominent cloud providers charge for similar products, enabling consumers to more easily compare services.
Google has given consumers six months’ notice of the price increases, which it will bring in on 1st October, 2022.
As part of the change, Google is introducing fees for data replication, as well as network egress fees for reading data in a cloud storage bucket located in a multi-region from a Google Cloud service on the same continent.
The amount of Always Free Internet egress to each qualified egress destination will rise from 1 GB per month to 100 GB per month for each qualifying egress destination, bringing Google’s free offer much closer to AWS ‘and Azure’s.
Similarly, the pricing for Nearline Storage at-rest storage in multi-regions will rise from $ 0.01 per GB per month to $ 0.015 per GB per month.
Coldline Storage at-rest storage pricing for the Asia multi-region that will increase from $ 0.007 per GB per month to $ 0.00875 per GB per month.
However, not all products are rising in price.
Archive Storage at-rest storage pricing in the US and EU multi-regions will go down from $ 0.004 per GB per month to $ 0.0024 per GB per month; and for the Asia multi-region, Archive Storage at-rest storage pricing will decrease from $ 0.004 per GB per month to $ 0.003 per GB per month.
Network Topology – which was previously available for free – will now be a paid service, with clients paying $ 0.0011 per resource hour used.
Google Cloud will also add a free Performance Dashboard to its Network Intelligence Center.
Customers with current contracts with a floating or fixed discount have been assured that the price adjustments will not affect them until they renew their contracts.
In November last year, AWS announced a massive expansion of its free tier for data transfer, increasing the amount of data that customers can move from the cloud to the internet before they have to pay.
While AWS described the move as part of a ‘long tradition’ of lowering its prices, industry experts believed the decision was linked to competition from rival cloud providers including Cloudflare, which in September announced a new ‘R2’ Storage service, claiming it would enable customers to avoid expensive outbound data charges.
Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure charge similar egress fees, which critics see as a tactic cloud firms use to lock customers in to their ecosystem. If customers are not careful, egress charges can lead to shocking bills.
Google Cloud has historically struggled to catch up with rivals AWS and Microsoft Azure in the cloud infrastructure market, which it came to later than its competitors. For some time now its USPs have been ease of use, integrations with other Google services, and low prices – we’ll see how it performs after adjusting one of those three pillars.