The 800 pound Gorilla of cloud computing has awoken. Google today demonstrated some cool new developer-friendly features and announced major price drops for its Google Cloud Platform services.
At the Google Cloud Platform live event today, Google senior vice president Urs Hölzle demonstrated Live Migration, a feature which allows customers to seamlessly move virtual machines between data centers without interrupting service, and could be enormously useful in allowing users to route around data center outages.
The company also introduced CloudDNS, as well as added a command line tool and Managed VMs, which blur the line between Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a service, allowing developers to leverage the best of both worlds.
Google also added support for VMs using the Windows operating system, something that has long been in demand by customers. Preview support of Windows Server 2008 R2 is available starting today. The company also announced general availability of Linux operating systems from SUSE and RedHat Linux on their cloud.
Cloud Pricing Meets Moore’s Law
“Pricing hasn’t followed Moore’s Law: over the past five years, hardware costs improved by 20-30 percent annually but public cloud prices fell at just 8 percent per year,” Hölzle wrote in a blog post summarizing the announcements. “We think cloud pricing should track Moore’s Law, so we’re simplifying and reducing prices for our various on-demand, pay-as-you-go services by 30-85%:
Google will have on-demand price reductions as well as sustained-use discounts, starting with a 32 percent price drop today. Storage dropped a staggering 68 percent, at .026 per GB, or .02 per GB DRA. BigQuery prices dropped 85 percent.
“The Google cloud platform is a central part of our infrastructure development, and we’re investing heavily in it to make it as great a platform to external users as it has been to internal users at Google,” said Hölzle, who said Google has laid the groundwork for years and years of future improvements. The aim is to make developers more productive.
New Pricing Takes Guesswork Out
With Google’s new pricing, the on-demand price for VMs is now lower than the three-year reserve for most providers. Hölzle said there is too much complexity optimizing cost and performance. Hölzle says that current clouds force too many trade offs.
“Pricing is still way too complex,” said Hölzle. “It seems like you need a PhD to figure out the best option.”
That was reinforced by an analysis from cloud integrator RightScale that compared Google’s new pricing to cloud market leader Amazon Web Services, which allows users to manage future capacity through the ourchase of reserved instances.
“The new Google sustained-use pricing avoids the complexity, lock-in, and upfront costs of AWS reserved instance purchases,” RightScale notes. “Google users will automatically receive the best price for their level of usage, with no planning required on their part. However, tying the sustained-use discounts to Google’s monthly billing cycle could create an incentive to make decisions such as switching instance sizes on the monthly billing boundaries.”
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