Google Tackles Unpredictable Cloud Storage Costs with New Pricing Plan

Commit to spending $120,000 a year on its cloud storage, and Google won’t charge you if you go over (too much).

Wylie Wong, Regular Contributor

March 5, 2019

3 Min Read
Inside Google's data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa
Inside Google's data center in Council Bluffs, IowaGoogle

Google Cloud on Tuesday introduced a new cloud storage pricing plan designed to help customers better manage costs as their storage needs fluctuate.

The new “Storage Growth Plan” for Google Cloud Storage is aimed at enterprises that face explosive growth in data storage needs but need a flexible plan that allows them to scale without breaking the bank.

If IT organizations commit to spending at least $10,000 a month on the cloud giant’s various storage services for a full year, they pay only the fixed amount they commit to. In other words, if they go over their commitment, they don’t have to pay for the extra capacity they use over that 12-month period under certain conditions.

At the end of the year they have two options: 1) Commit to another year at whatever their peak usage was, with all the previous year’s storage overage free if the overage was within 30 percent of the original commitment. If it’s more than 30 percent, they repay the overage amount over the next 12 months. 2) Leave the plan and pay for the previous year’s overage.

“We expect the vast majority of users to be within 30 percent of their growth, and by recommitting to the program for the next year, their overage would not be charged,” Chris Talbott, Google’s head of cloud storage marketing, told Data Center Knowledge in an email.

Related:Survey: Most Companies are Failing at Cloud Cost Management

“We heard from customers that data growth can be unpredictable, but costs can’t be,” the company said in a blog post Tuesday. “Storage Growth Plan applies to any storage class, enabling you to move your data freely between hot and cold classes of storage and maintain cost predictability.”

The rate of growth in storage needs many enterprises face is both unpredictable and unprecedented. Companies have been having trouble controlling their overall cloud infrastructure costs, including storage, compute, and other services. In a recent survey of 786 organizations by RightScale, managing cloud spend was the top challenge and optimizing cloud usage to save money was the top priority.

The major cloud vendors – Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud – all offer discount pricing for compute services if customers agree to one- or three-year contracts. Google Cloud is now expanding that discount model to storage, said Larry Carvalho, IDC’s research director of Platform-as-a-Service.

It is very much like a financing plan, Carvalho said. “From a pricing-model [perspective] it’s definitely attractive. If you go over your commitment, you are getting the benefit of not having to pay the overage right away and being able to spread it out over the following year."

Google Cloud on Tuesday also announced that it has reduced the price and improved redundancy of Coldline, the lowest-access tier of Google Cloud Storage.

The company dropped the price of Coldline storage in regional locations by 42 percent. Prices now start as low as .004 cents per GB. It has started backing up customers’ Coldline data to another data center in a different region, at least 100 miles away, the blog post said.

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About the Author(s)

Wylie Wong

Regular Contributor

Wylie Wong is a journalist and freelance writer specializing in technology, business and sports. He previously worked at CNET, Computerworld and CRN and loves covering and learning about the advances and ever-changing dynamics of the technology industry. On the sports front, Wylie is co-author of Giants: Where Have You Gone, a where-are-they-now book on former San Francisco Giants. He previously launched and wrote a Giants blog for the San Jose Mercury News, and in recent years, has enjoyed writing about the intersection of technology and sports.

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