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

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

Summary: Amazon and Google race towards the cost of hardware, but which one will take you there first?

TOPICS: Cloud, Amazon, Google

Amazon's and Google's compute, storage and analytics cloud pricing just keep on dropping and dropping — so who's offering the better deal?

Low upfront costs are one of the benefits of using cloud services from Amazon, Google, Rackspace and Microsoft, yet in-house hardware — which at datacentre scale has also seen massive price reductions over the year — still undercuts the cloud for some enterprise workloads. 

Nevertheless, all major cloud providers have been slashing prices over the past year, with the latest and largest cuts coming from Amazon in response to Google's own reductions the day before.

Amazon took the axe to EC2 cloud computing prices for both on-demand and reserved instances; as well as S3 cloud storage, with the biggest cuts to the smaller requirements; Amazon's Relational Database Service; and its cloud analytics platform, Elastic MapReduce. All price cuts will come into effect from April 1.

Amazon's new on-demand pricing for M1 (current generation), M2 (memory optimised current generation), C1 (previous generation) Linux/Unix instances on EC2 will fall between 10 to 40 percent, while its Windows pricing for those instances falls between seven to 35 percent.

Amazon's one and three-year reserved instances for Unix/Linux also saw overall price cuts of between 10 to 40 percent for M1, M2, C1 instance classes, and 30 percent for C3 and M3 classes. There are also smaller reductions of between 13 percent to 23 percent for Windows reserved instances.

Customers on light utilisation reserved instances should take note as Amazon appears to have removed that altogether, with only medium and heavy remaining after April 1.

Cuts to S3 pricing range from 65 percent at the 0 to 1TB range, bringing the cost to 3 cents per GB per month while storage requirements above 5,000 TB have been reduced by 36 percent to 2.75 cents per GB per month. (Customers in non-US regions should check their individual pricing.)

Elastic MapReduce pricing has also fallen between 27 percent for small instance types to 61 percent for larger optimised instances.

"With this price reduction, you can now run a large Hadoop cluster using the hs1.8xlarge instance for less than $1000 per Terabyte per year (this includes both the EC2 and the Elastic MapReduce costs)," Amazon Web Services said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Amazon RDS DB instances will see a reduction of an average of 28 percent.

But really, hearing about a provider's price cuts without being able to directly compare them against prices for a rival's equivalent products is pretty useless. Fortunately, RightScale, a cloud portfolio management company, has done this with two very useful tables.

Two handy observations RightScale makes are that while AWS matched Google's new on-demand pricing for standard compute resources and offered comparable pricing for higher memory and high CPU options, a few differences may play out when it comes to Amazon's reserved instances.

Since Amazon requires a one to three-year commitment on reserved instances, should it in future reduce prices, customers on these won't necessarily get the lower price. As RightScale notes, Amazon has a record for not passing on discounts.

"In contrast, Google sustained-use pricing is calculated as a percentage of the on-demand baseline rate. As Google’s baseline rates go down, the sustained-use prices will fall as well. As a result, all future Google price drops are passed on to all customers immediately when they take effect. Given the continual price reductions in cloud pricing, you may find that the ability to take advantage of future Google price drops might bring the price below the AWS heavy RIs," RightScale adds.

Here's the company's two tables for on-demand and reserved instances to make a like-for-like comparison.

2014-03-27 11.11.26 am
Image: Rightscale
2014-03-27 11.13.30 am
Image: Rightscale

Read more on AWS

Topics: Cloud, Amazon, Google

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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
  • pricing isn't everything

    I have never used AWS so cannot comment, but I enquired about Google Cloud storage several times, and in the end gave up, and then months later I finally got a response. I have heard other complain about their lack of response also.
    This alone would put me off using them, if they are this slack with sales enquiries, it is hardly a good advert for their customer service and support.
    Capt Obvious
    • Nothing comes for free

      I agree that it's not about pricing. There's a reason Google is going cheap - they want your data! If privacy is not a concern of yours and you don't mind Google snooping through everything, then this is a great deal for you.
      Key Lime
      • Nothing comes for free

        "There's a reason Google is going cheap - they want your data! If privacy is not a concern of yours and you don't mind Google snooping through everything"

        Definition of snooping: "investigate or look around furtively in an attempt to find out something, esp. information about someone's private affairs."

        Now most people are (hopefully) no conspiratists. So they won't think people at Google have the time to snoop around in our mailbox etc. - and they also realize its just machines running algorithms against data in order to find out more about our interests, so if we are to view advertising (which in most cases is neither obstructive nor annoying when it comes from Google) at least it will be ads properly tuned to our interests.
        • Sorry to Disagree

          I don't believe that this is just "advertising" since Google claims many rights to your data in their Terms of Service that include public display of data. And the latest reports say they are NOT CJIS (Criminal History) compliant so you can't legally put criminal justice records on their. You have to remember that their employees can (and do), according to their website, read your data and they are not subject to background checks. If it was just algorithms, that would be one thing. But, at least in some cases, using Google is not legal. Search on Google and City of Los Angeles (LAPD).
      • @Key Lime- Yeah, really. Google. Always at it...spying.

        And then I hear MS is doing the same sort of thing. Some guy in some forum told me. Can't trust any company these days. Thanks you guys for pointing this stuff out.
  • "just keeping dropping"

    What language is this?
    • It's

      Inglish, of course.
    • "just keeping dropping"

      If you want to read proper English, you don't come to this site !!
      It's been going on like this for years.

      "Proof Reading" seems to be a thing of the past.
      Just checking what you've written might be a start !!
  • Security remains a concerns

    I am hesitant to use Google over local servers, as Google, like Microsoft, has been extremely susceptible to Malware in their mobile devices and Google, as well as Microsoft, are often found skimming information from consumers, so I am unsure why the same companies would behave differently if they had opportunity to "spy" on sensitive data on the cloud.
    • Actually, where did MS or Google "skim" information from consumers?

      And if Amazon is sitting behind closed doors, what are they doing with your data, seeing they are all about the money themselves?
      • @William.Farrel

        You have personnel experience using Amazon products?, If not why the need to write?

        “And if Amazon is sitting behind closed doors, what are they doing with your data, seeing they are all about the money themselves?”
        • @RickLively

          I don't think W.Farrell needs "personnel experience", the question was rather rhetorical methinks. Google is not behaving worse than Amazon, both do advertising which is tuned to the interests of their customers (that's where all the "skimming" is about - but "skimming" is an odd word in this context)
      • They say so

        On their own websites.
    • What are you talking about?

      Companies such as Google and Microsoft treat their B2B far different than services they give away for "free". All of these companies make billions off of managing corporate data and in no way whatsoever would they risk their reputation by spying or "skimming" or whatever that data. Now they have no control over the stream or internet trunks that entities like the NSA tap into nor can they refuse formal data request demands but a company making widgets really is of no interest to the NSA or the US government.
      Rann Xeroxx
      • Sorry

        But Los Angeles is supposed to be getting away from Google even in contract because their "skimming" by people without background checks does not meet federal requirements (CJIS).
  • How does Azure compare?

    It is more than a two horse race here. If anything Google is coming in late to this party. It would be nice to see how Azure compares with the latest round of price cuts.
    • microsoft pricing

      Microsoft said a while back that they would always match AWS pricing, so they should drop their prices pretty soon.