Google's new cloud strategy: Apply Moore's Law to prices

Google's new cloud strategy: Apply Moore's Law to prices

Summary: Google gets more serious about taking on the likes of Amazon Web Services, slashing on-demand rates by as much as 85 percent.


SAN FRANCISCO---Cisco kicked off the week with its big cloud play, and now Google is stepping up its own game in this arena.

Speaking at Google Cloud Platform Live on Tuesday morning, Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google, outlined the Internet giant's updated cloud business strategy and portfolio.

Hölzle offered a pulse check on Google Cloud Platform, citing that there are approximately 4.75 million active applications running on GCP, with 6.3 trillion data storage requests as well as 28 billion front-end requests each day.

Those might look like astronomical figures, and they're certainly nothing to shrug off.

But Hölzle acknowledged that Google might be playing a game of catch up in the enterprise cloud platform business by positing there are a lot of ways in which the promises of the cloud still haven't been fully addressed.

The Mountain View, Calif.-headquartered corporation is making a more concerted effort about taking on the likes of Rackspace, IBM, and Amazon Web Services, among others.

Still, the timing for Google's cloud update cannot go unnoticed given that AWS is hosting one of its routine sales and customer summits just a few blocks away in San Francisco within the next 24 hours.

Furthermore, Google is finally doing what it does when it signs new, high-profile corporations for Google Apps by flaunting some of its familiar clients on Cloud Platform. This was demonstrated on Tuesday by the appearance of Bobby Murphy, co-founder and chief technology officer of Snapchat. 

Yet at the top of the agenda was a sales pitch that AWS trots out often: bargain-basement pricing done again...and again.


Touting that cloud pricing schemes should mimic hardware and "follow Moore's Law," Google is slashing prices for pay-as-you-go services, with Google's big data analytics BigQuery engine seeing its on-demand rates chopped down by as much as 85 percent.

"Pricing is still way too complex," Hölzle lamented, adding that current cloud costs might seem cheap when compared to on-premise alternatives, but there's still a lot of room for reduction.

"While we already have a strong platform, these are the early days," Hölzle remarked. "We see a clear path to making developers phenomenally more productive."

Cloud Storage follows suit with up to 68 percent in price reductions, trailed by the Compute Engine fees lowered by up to 32 percent across all regions, classes, and sizes.

Google is also promising further savings via its new Sustained-Use Discounts for on-demand virtual machines and workloads. With potential savings of up to 53 percent compared to previous rates, this promo rewards customers who use a VM for more than a quarter of each month.

"This isn't a one-time step. This is a philosophy," Hölzle stressed, promising similar price cuts and choices down the road.

Google also introduced new Managed Virtual Machines for App Engine, which can be run and managed automatically with what is touted to be only a few lines of code.

Google summed the new option of Managed VMs to offer the freedom over control supplied by App Engine merged with the robust abilities of Compute Engine.

Enterprise customers can also look forward to expanded Compute Engine support, starting with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server generally available. Per customer demand, according to Google's cloud team, Compute Engine will also support Windows Server 2008 R2 in limited preview.

Additional improvements to the system hover around making app developers more productive by making the Cloud Platform more efficient. Examples consist of aggregated logs across all instances with better filtering and search tools, detailed stack traces for bugs with one-click access to related code, and being able to run interactive SQL queries against data sets within seconds via BigQuery. 

This all lays the groundwork for ensuring better apps tied to Android, Chrome, mobile, desktop -- you name it -- further connecting the dots across Google's vast empire of software, services, and platforms for consumers and business users alike.

"While we already have a strong platform, these are the early days," Hölzle remarked. "We see a clear path to making developers phenomenally more productive."

Screenshots via Google/YouTube

Topics: Cloud, Data Management, Google, Enterprise 2.0, Google Apps

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  • Is Google Headed for Zero?

    Google makes a lot of money mining customer behaviors and selling finely tuned services to advertisers. While it's great they are reducing prices, can they really take cloud services to zero? Will folks let Google mine their cloud data in exchange for Google providing free services?
    • They can pay

      for the privacy if they so desire, after all, you do generally get what you pay for.
      Myself, I have no worthwhile secrets. My blood is still red, hate getting up in the morning, just like most, but for my financial protection I am prepared to pay a reasonable amount for information to be kept private...I think we should be grateful that competition is such that it causes prices to drop.
    • Is Google Headed for Zero?

      I didn't see anything about going for zero. They go for small margins.
    • FUD

      Google doesn't mine any data of customers employing the services mentioned. Try again.
      • Missed The Point...

        There's no FUD here. Google is a company that TRADITIONALLY offers a lot of stuff for free and the return on that investment is their ability to mine useful information from customer behaviors. My question is do we think they'll eventually offer services for free if they are allowed to look over our shoulder?
    • Will folks let Google mine their cloud data in exchange for free stuff?

  • They're pulling an Amazon on Amazon

    Amazon prices everything so low that their profits are near zero, just so they can grab market share. Now google will undercut Amazon, now the profits Amazon's cloud service used to cover heir losses from have just disappeared. If you own Amazon stock dump them, their ridiculous p/e ratio and overpriced stock is coming crashing down.
    new gawker
    • no, gawker, you don't understand the Amazon difference

      Google is fickle and hitlerian. They have a proven track record in both. They've wrecked all the 'free' stuff they offer, alienating Youtubers by the billions, and also everything and everyone else.

      Amazon, by contrast, creates very intuitive interfaces and LEAVES THE INTERFACE ALONE. You have total customization at Amazon. That's worth something.

      If Google cloud and Amazon cloud were services I needed, and the Amazon was TWICE as expensive, I'd go with Amazon hands-down. I wouldn't buy anything Google if you paid me to do it, because they prove every time, that they hate the customer almost as much as MSFT does.

      So I'd dump my Google and MSFT stock, and buy Amazon. Hands-down.
      • Investing with emotion

        is a suckers game. And in the business world no one will pay double for something because "they're not as mean"
        If Google undercuts Amazon, Amazon is doomed.
        new gawker
  • One other question

    Just like all US cloud vendors, how safe will their data/trade secrets be from big brother? Choose a server location based out of a more privacy friendly locale?
    • Maybe I'm just slow...

      ...but is privacy really an issue? ALL the time?
      I'm thinking of college students, or anyone wanting to run gcc / Xilinx IDE / whatever.

      Sure, you can download software, install it on your PC [there goes my Mac], use it for a few months or semesters, then try to wipe it for the next subject. Hoping it un-installs cleanly, or you'll have to restore from backup. You DID back up, didn't you?

      OR - rent a preconfigured Linux / Win7 VM, pre-loaded with gcc and all the packages needed to write code. Keep a local backup, compile on the VM. You want Python with that? Let the remote sysadmin blow away that VM, and initialise one with a revised list of installed goodies.

      Amazon [and Google] SHOULD be advertising this as an option, on every Devkit forum. Not to mention links on the main pages of Altera, Xilinx, Lattice etc.
      • Exactly My Point...

        Will they possibly offer this stuff free (or almost free) if they get to look over our shoulder?
  • The whole thing is a mess.

    The big IT players are pushing the cloud hard. Very hard. They see it as the clear solution to the inherent ills the original system of IT and internet created for them.

    The original, and still relatively current way of doing things is that the user, be it business or consumer would purchase the hardware and software they needed and run it into the ground, or upgrade when much better hardware and/or software came along, and purchase new again at that time.

    The problem with the original system of computer marketing and sales for the big IT companies is that firstly, the hardware manufacturers make midrange hardware now thats much better than the high end hardware of just 3 or 4 years ago. Faster and more reliable and long lived. And software? Well, it dosnt wear out like an old shirt, so, so long as what you have for software is doing what you want and you are happy with it, it runs every bit as good as the day you first got it, and maybe better if you now have it on newer hardware than when you first got it. We have entered into a new era, and its not at all the "post PC" era, its the "long lived PC" era. As in "who needs to buy a new one when the old one is still kicking ass?"

    And while that's fantastic for the pocket books of users; replacing once every 5-10 years is so much cheaper than upgrading every other year, it plays havoc with the profits of companies that make their income off of selling NEW copies of software and companies that make their profits off of selling NEW hardware. The math is so easy. You sell a lot more software and hardware when everyone upgrades every 2-3 years rather then waiting every 5-10 years. While 10 years is still a long wait for the majority of users, the way things are headed we would reach that level of longevity soon.

    Apple already seen this one coming. They have been selling Macs in "all in one" configurations for years that absolutely preclude simple or easy upgrading some significantly important parts, and as such, even those now who buy a Mac with a 21" screen and decide two years later they want the 27"....well, its out with the old and in with the new, as in completely new. Good play. And of course pushing laptops is also helpful, you sell them the first time based on the mobility factor and as they as well are difficult if not impossible to significantly upgrade many parts, and tend to break down a little quicker, the early upgrade potential is much higher than most desktops that might have some old and flagging hardware issue fixed with some new ram and a new video card.

    The solution to the whole mess for them all, to one degree or another, is to get onto a completely new track. Don't sell powerful big block hardware to people. Sell lighter scaled down systems with minimal storage, sell them the idea of cloud computing and rent them applications, games, video content, and storage and get a never ending monthly income streaming in. Just look around, the pay to play era has started its big roll in.

    And it will start a new kind of hardware cycle as well. Its going to no longer be simply who can build the biggest baddest CPU, its going to be who can build the smallest most powerful and efficient CPU. And other similarly minded parts. If nothing else, it will give hardware vendors a new opportunity to try and give customers new reasons to purchase new hardware more often than they do right now today.

    For Apple and Google, it is the first possibility of some kind of a new dawn for computing because they recognize with the cloud it will certainly lead to a new brand of computing, even Microsoft wants it desperately. For Microsoft they do not want to go through too many more instances of XP love that stunt sales of new operating systems. They love the thought of a world where it becomes not just unnecessary but perhaps even impossible for people to install programs themselves off of media files, but to purchase it, and download it instead from Microsofts trusted source online. It kills off the current mode of most types of software piracy currently in use today if we were in an entirely cloud based system.

    And Google and Apple of course at least have some sense of indication it may provide an opportunity for a new kind of operating system to take over the worlds mainstay of business and consumer computing. That is the kind of computing most people want a desktop or laptop, either of which with a large enough screen to do real workl and play big name games and watch streamed video.
    • Biased much?

      "They have been selling Macs in "all in one" configurations for years that absolutely preclude simple or easy upgrading some significantly important parts, and as such, even those now who buy a Mac with a 21" screen and decide two years later they want the 27"....well, its out with the old and in with the new, as in completely new."

      Seems others are selling "all in ones" too. Dell, and Sony come to mind. How about Microsoft and changes made to push upgrades? Office has been that way for decades. How about Adobe's products? They have planned obsolescence in them too.
      I hate trolls also
      • Ha. Your so transparant.

        Bias much??? Get real.

        I should ask you the same.

        Of course others are starting to do the same thing and a number of well known manufacturers have come out with "COPIES" of Windows versions of Macs.

        Your a complete idiot. Read closely and you will slowly, no doubt slowly realize, slowly being the KEY WORD for you, that Im actually paying Apple a pretty big compliment on their brilliant ability to foresee solutions to problems that are only just heading toward plaguing the computer industry and they move to counter the problems faster than the rest.

        Lets review:

        "Apple already seen this one coming". Good for Apple.

        AND! Lets just think about the seriously brain impaired conclusions your jumping to on one hand, and then rushing to Apples very unneeded rescue on the other hand.

        Firstly you make it sound like Im biased due to the fact I pointed out that Macs are all in ones and are very difficult and in some instances impossible to upgrade. And I don't think your even close to being able to claim Im wrong; its just that you don't like the fact I pointed out Apple was by far the most brilliant in doing it first and that I failed to mention that a few slow-poke imitators caught on later and copied Apple.

        Your position is bizarre given that most Apple enthusiasts say in the very loudest of all voices that far too many other IT companies simply copy Apples lead. And I would naturally assume the fact, and I do mean the FACT that other OEM's have seen some wisdom in, as well as the public demand for, the "all in one" design that Macs have popularized and that OEM's have made their own Windows based copies of a design for PC's where Apple took the lead, as a positive point about Apple.

        NOT SOME BIASED NEGATIVE. Common sense, and I do really mean common sense would tell any human with a brain that my comments were not only factual, they were positive towards Apple.

        In other words, the only idiot who might think Im being biased would be some IDIOT who is so bluntly biased him/herself that anything ever said about Apple that could be somehow twisted and construed to be negative about Apple must instantly be defended against because Apple is not capable of defending themselves and bloody god forbid anyone EVER read anything that some twisted mind could interpret as being a negative about Apple.

        Your own ridiculous response to my post CLEARLY shows that the plain simple FACTUAL and accurate description of how Macs are generally constructed is obviously a NEGATIVE in YOUR mind and you quickly sought to claim I was biased and decided to counter this idea in your head that an argument was being made against the way Macs are constructed was to point out others are doing it as well.

        Your a misguided madman and you need to disengage your self esteem from your computer hardware and software of choice.

        Lets just focus for a second you moron on what I clearly, and VERY CLEARLY wrote in my original post and compare that to the idiotic crud in your post.

        1. I said all the big IT players are pushing for the cloud. First line. That includes Microsoft and Dell and the whole friggin works, except some desktop Linux enthusiasts because Linux is based on a different mindset of how IT and the internet should work...generally. I think they may be the only ones left with a brain.

        2. I said ALL software companies that produce software to make an income off it, I said all hardware companies that produce hardware to make an income off it. OF COURSE YOU DWEEB this includes Dell and Sony. All of the biggest/largest dosnt mean all except some of the very biggest and largest. Don't be so biased it makes you go brain dead.

        3. You say how about Microsoft pushing upgrades????? How completely nuts are you?? Did you actually read what I wrote or did your biased madness just push you to write a pile of shit before you even tried to use your brain. I said "even Microsoft wants it desperately. For Microsoft they do not want to go through too many more instances of XP love that stunts sales of new operating systems"

        Your so transparent. I spoke plain simple unassailable truth about the nature of Macs construction and because of the obvious FACT you seen that there is at least some negative aspect to that you tried to jump all over me. In other words, YOU MADE IT VERY VERY CLEAR that you recognize that there is at least SOME negative drawback to all in one designs that Apple uses for Macs and your incredibly ridiculous bias in favor of Macs caused you to leave behind your balls and rush to Apples rescue.

        Your absolutely pathetic.
        • Oooh

          just a little bit harsh, maybe, wouldn't ya think?
          • Your vs You're

            Yes, I think so too, particularly with the abusive name calling. Also, he doesn't know the difference between Your and You're!!!
          • I agree, I was too harsh.

            I need to keep it down I agree.

            And in so far as knowing the difference between your and you're, ya, I know the difference. And I suspect you probably suspect I know the difference and just want to have something more to complain about me than my overly harsh post.

            Forgive me for not executing perfect grammar on these posts. If ever there was a place that I enjoy not having to write perfectly its here.

            We have all seen a whole lot worse than someone not properly using the proper your/you're spelling around here.
        • On And On And On And On...

          We know that you took exception to someone who dared to disagree with you, or in your view, heavens, misinterpreted you.
          Great guns a-blazing. Call out the Artillery. A Bazooka per each niggling point.
          Where's a Moderator when you need them?
  • Google's new cloud strategy ....

    .... Drop the price to be cheap so that they can legally STEAL as much IP from all the users.

    In other words, you have to be a complete mo ron to sign up to Google's cloud services when they EXPLICITLY state in the TOS that Google gets a PERMANENT and PERPETUAL license to everything you upload into their servers (with full rights to resell without compensation).