Google Vs. Amazon: How Do Their Cloud Compute Prices Stack Up?

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It's been a while now since a good price war flared up in the public cloud market.

But Google may have fired the opening salvo this week when it slashed prices on multiple types of compute instances, some by 30 percent. Google is now significantly cheaper than rival AWS for most use cases, according to a new report published by RightScale, a developer of software for managing IaaS platforms based in Santa Barbara, Calif.

In light of Google's first Compute Engine price reduction in seven months, RightScale crunched the numbers to take a deeper look at how Google and Amazon Web Services actually stack up price-wise.

[Related: Here's Who Made Gartner's 2015 Cloud IaaS Magic Quadrant]

"This week's price cut by Google is another strategic move in the Google vs. AWS pricing battle that ultimately benefits cloud consumers," the RightScale report, authored by Kim Weins, vice president of marketing, stated.

Weins told CRN she would be surprised if AWS didn't respond by dropping its own prices sometime this year, especially now that the world knows how profitable the business is and how fast it's growing.

It's been more than a year since AWS delivered significant across-the-board reductions in compute prices, opting to ignore the last two Google cuts. Instead, AWS has aimed to differentiate its cloud by shifting its message to focus on the broad set of features available on the platform, Weins said.

But by standing idle once again, Amazon could be playing into Google's hands, she observed.

"With this price cut Google has likely created enough of a price differential to get people to sit up, take notice, and try Google Cloud Platform," she told CRN.

It's not always easy to compare cloud prices apples to apples. When stacking up clouds across multiple instance types, pricing plans, payment options and resources to be optimized, things can get messy.

For its analysis, RightScale first looked at the costs of on-demand computing, billed by the hour, for standard, high-memory and high-CPU instances.

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