Google gets serious about enterprise cloud: It's about time

Google gets serious about enterprise cloud: It's about time

Summary: Recent moves from Google on the enterprise cloud computing front indicate that the company is dedicated to challenging Amazon Web Services. The Google surge comes after laying low for almost a year.

TOPICS: Cloud, Amazon, Google

How close does AWS' new pricing get to Google's?

Public cloud price wars put more pressure on internal IT

If you asked most C-level information technology buyers about Google's enterprise cloud efforts they'd wonder out loud whether there was serious interest in them.

And why wouldn't a CXO wonder if Google's plan to challenge Amazon Web Services was a passing hobby? Almost a year ago, Google launched its initial cloud infrastructure efforts. The plan sounded pretty strong in May 2013. Then there was nothing, but radio silence.

I pretty much wrote off Google's enterprise cloud effort as another Google I/O launch and leave venture.

The last two weeks changed that equation. Rest assured that Google's cloud efforts are still behind Amazon Web Services and all the previous challenges remain, but the company is at least preparing to mount a challenge. To wit:

  • On Wednesday, Google outlined its plan to launch its Andromeda networking stack to its cloud platform. The move should bolster its Compute Engine service in the background.
  • Last week, Google launched a bevy of new services and cut its pricing. Google also outlined sustain usage discounts, which could alter the cloud equation for some companies.
  • The entire infrastructure cloud market is racing to the bottom when it comes to price. AWS cut its prices a day after Google did. According to Rightscale AWS, Microsoft, Google and others simply trade price cuts. Eventually you may get to free. Google's spin on pricing though may open up a few eyes. Forrester analyst James Staten said:

Google’s new Sustained-use Discounts returns that value to customers without the hassle of forecasting or predicting your forward cloud use. It’s a simple and highly compelling value - if you use more, you get a bigger discount, automatically. Hard not to like this value as you can now use more without worrying if you will be hit by the shock bill so many cloud pioneers have faced.

Add it up and Google warrants consideration in an enterprise sandbox. AWS will still garner more wallet share, but Google---assuming it follows through in the months ahead with more enterprise cloud goodness---can be a player. Here's a look at RightScale's pricing bakeoff.

Google Sustained Use vs AWS 1 Year Heavy RI Pricing 033114
Google Sustained Use vs AWS 3 Year Heavy RI Pricing 033114_0


Like AWS' first efforts, enterprises are likely to try Google out in developer projects and then expand. Jefferies analyst Brian Pitz and team said in a research note:

(Google's) deep price cuts and simplification of the pricing structure were a direct hint that they are committed to challenging AWS on pricing and passing on any technology savings to the customer...We believe that AWS remains the leader in Cloud computing but its position would be challenged more often by big competitors such as Google and Microsoft.

The cloud dream here is obvious: If enterprises used AWS, Microsoft, Rackspace, Google and IBM's SoftLayer (or any other vendor ranging from Oracle to HP to Verizon) companies could just let a computing trading algorithm arbitrage pricing. That day is far off, but Google has made it worthwhile to play the cloud field.

Topics: Cloud, Amazon, Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Google gets serious about enterprise cloud: It's about time

    If Google is just now getting serious about the cloud then its already too late for them. Besides that, enterprises have very little trust in Google with the NSA snooping and Google employees reading emails. Its an enterprise nightmare.
    • Oh really,

      I suppose Microsoft is much better?
      • Oh really?

        Like quoting the guardian is much better?
        • Waiting on Mr. Davidson ...

          to provide a link to an Onion article that exonerates Microsoft.
          Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Microsoft vs. Google

        IAt least Microsoft Office 365 is CJIS-certified. Google is not. Therefore government offices dealing with criminal justice departments can use Office 365 but cannot use Google.
      • Still, it was Google that helped the NSA get things rolling

        So in truth, Google voluntarily partnered with the NSA long before anyone else was forced to work with the NSA.
        • Actually, it would be AT&T...

          Giving them a direct connection and local office space.
    • Enterprise uptake is increasing

      In my real world experience in working with mega-cap companies, the use of cloud infrastructure is increasing. Enterprises have large volumes of data that are simply not so sensitive that they care about "snooping".

      Plus, you can mitigate data privacy issues by encrypting enterprise data while it's stored and moved around in the cloud. It's a small extra cost compared to the TCO of operating own data centers.
    • Who do you think developed the cloud technology in the first place?

      • Darn.

        I was going to guess "jessepollard".
      • Google!? No ... [snicker]

        NetLedger (known today as NetSuite) was launched by Evan Goldberg in September, 1998, with a little intellectual and financial help from Oracle's Larry Ellison, Google's arch-enemy:

        Guess when Google was founded ... September, 1998.

        Yahoo! was founded in 1994 and Yahoo! Mail was launched in 1997. Was Yahoo! first? Nope (look-up AOL). Was AOL first? Again, nope.

        The concept of the Cloud goes back to at least 1959 with science fiction writer Kurt Vonnegut:
        "Kurt Vonnegut refers to a cloud "that does all the heavy thinking for everybody" in his book "Sirens of Titan" published in 1959"
        Rabid Howler Monkey
        • If you go into Science fiction

          Then you should go for Multivac... 1955 - Franchise, by Isaac Asimov.
  • still lacking enterprise features

    Pricing means little until they provide enterprise features such ability to run BGP in the cloud to move services around or support anycast or allow cross connect to to tier 1 ISP. Google still lacks those basic enterprise capabilities, but is possible with many other cloud providers. With the cloud, timing doesn't matter much. Claims of being late to game in this space are greatly exaggerated as long as new equipment is always faster or more efficient than equipment from a few years earlier. It should is much easier to move from one cloud provider to another compared to moving to the cloud in the first place.
    John Lauro
  • A Race to the Pinnacle of Efficiency

    A number of stumbling blocks efficient use of large systems of processors have been removed. Last but not least is flexible, software-organized virtual networks that can float around server farm like a cloud's shadow on the ground: always connected, but, rarely in the same place.
  • Good grammar is good news!

    I'm SURE you meant to say "lying" low.......not laying. Chickens do that.
    Computers and people do not. :-)
    Good story, though!
  • News flash//

    Interesting the author doesn't mention Azure.

    News flash, - Google cloud solutions are not a real contender when compared to Azure or AWS.

    Another click-bait story by ZDNet.
    • What is with the ignoring of Azure

      Nearly every time Google or Amazon has a change in price/etc., Microsoft's offerings are ignored. It must be due to journalists difficulties in comparing more than two products or something. That's the only reason I see this "need" for two-horse races. Seriously, there are more than two horses in any race.
      • Both explored cloud technologies before Microsoft.

        Google developed it first and has the most knowledge of it.

        After all, they use it internally... with the largest database in the world.
        • April fool’s day

          April fool’s day passed... but nice try

          How many enterprise cloud customers does Google have compared to Amazon & Microsoft?
        • What is it?

          What do you believe defines "cloud technologies"? Your conclusion seems to point to it being a large database. That doesn't address a better general description of it as "an ideology of outsourcing computer hardware" set forth by John McCarthy in the 60's. Nor does it address the apparent similarities of the Server/Slave, or Server-Side calculations that IBM started with, and is coming around again. You seem to forego facts, history, and even simple rationality, to push your agenda of "Google did IT first" almost as a religious belief.