Google has rolled back prices on its so-called preemptible virtual machines by up to 33 percent in an apparent bid to spur broader enterprise interest in its cloud machines by up computing services.
The new pricing is already in force and in some instances makes it up to 80 percent cheaper for enterprises to sign up for the preemptible option compared to the equivalent standard option, Google said.
Google introduced Preemptible Virtual Machines last year as a cost effective option for running enterprise applications that require a lot of computing resources, but are not particularly time sensitive or run only periodically.
The resources for the service comes out of the excess cloud capacity that Google might have at any time in its data centers. Google has noted that the load in its data centers varies with location, time and day with weekends and nights generally having the lightest loads.
With its preemptible service, Google is making that excess capacity available to customers at a deeply discounted rate on the condition that the company can preempt—or take back that capacity at any time the need arises.
Google has argued that the model allows the company to use its data center resources more fully while making cloud resources available to customers at very cost-effective rates.
For instance, a standard virtual machine configuration with 1 virtual CPU and 3.75GB of memory has a current lowest price of 3.5 cents per hour of sustained usage compared to 1 cent per hour of preemptible use. Similarly, a standard machine type with 32 virtual processors and 120GB of memory has a currently lowest price of $1.20 cents per hour of sustained usage versus 32 cents with the preemptible option.
Google says that companies have been typically been using the option to run applications like movie rendering, analyzing genomic data, processing satellite images and transcoding media files.
The price cuts introduced this week stem from a greater understanding of cloud infrastructure usage patterns, Google product manager Michael Basilyan wrote in the company’s Cloud Platform Blog this week. The experience that Google has gained since launching the service combined with the overall growth of Google’s cloud platform has allowed the company to offer the new discounts, Basilyan said.
According to Basilyan, Google has avoided preempting too many Virtual Machines from a single customer as much as possible to minimize workload disruptions. The company says it does not charge customers for services that are preempted in the first 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a separate development Google's Cloud Platform group this week announced that it had acquired Orbitera, an e-commerce company that helps companies selling cloud-based products to manage their billing, pricing and related processes.
The acquisition will enable Google to improve its ability to help software vendors using its cloud services to sell their products, according to Nan Boden, head of global technology partners at Google. The acquisition also broadens Google support for multi-cloud platforms, Boden said in a blog post announcing the acquisition.
Google didn't disclose the deal's financial terms.