Google Cuts Cloud Storage Prices, Answering Amazon

Google answers Amazon Web Services' 19th price reduction by trimming its Cloud Storage service costs per gigabyte. Both companies are competing for customers in the platform as a service (PaaS) game.

One day after Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Web Service slashed its cloud infrastructure prices for the nineteenth time, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has chopped the rates for its Cloud Storage software product, which lets developers sock away great chunks of data on the search engine company's servers.

Google first introduced Cloud Storage at Google I/O in May 2010. The service leverages the RESTful application programming interface (API) and Google's storage and networking infrastructure to store data and code from cloud computing projects while they are being built. The service provides storage for computation, static content hosting, Web applications, as well as the classic backup and recovery scenarios.

Enterprise storage providers have also integrated Google Cloud Storage to provide a Web-based alternative to their existing services. For example, Panzura allows global businesses to store, collaborate and back up files in the cloud using its Panzura File System and Cloud Storage.

Cloud Storage pricing is based on storage and bandwidth usage, which are are calculated in gigabytes (GB).

By and large, Google has shaved off pennies per GB. The new pricing, effective retroactively from March 1, 2012, starts at $0.12 up to a terabyte (TB), down from $0.13 up to a TB. The next 9TB now costs developers $0.105 per GB, down from $0.12 per GB.

Amazon's popular Simple Storage Service (S3) costs $0.125 GB for up to 1 TB of standard storage each month, and $0.093 for up to 1TB for reduced redundancy storage.

Google will continue to offer its Cloud Storage free trial quota through June 30, 2012. Users of this offer will get up to 5GB of storage and can access 25GB of download data free for their first project that uses Cloud Storage.

Google's Cloud Storage cost-cutting came one day after Amazon Web Services (AWS) cut prices for its Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon RDS, Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon Elastic Map Reduce cloud computing services. SS3 was not part of these cost cuts.

Even so, AWS provided some anecdotal evidence of cost savings one of its customers has seen with the new pricing scheme. This unnamed customer was running 360,000 hours worth of Amazon EC2 instances.

"Without this customer changing a thing, with our new EC2 pricing, their bill will drop by over $25,000 next month, or $300,000 per year€”an 8.6 percent savings in their On-Demand spend," wrote Jeff Barr, senior manager of Web services evangelism at, in a blog post.

That's the type of savings that C-level executives drool over. It isn't clear how much Google's Cloud Storage price cuts will save its customers, but it's a sign that the company is committed to competing with AWS, which kick-started the platform as a service (PaaS) last decade.

Google is also reportedly preparing to launch Google Drive, a lighter-weight storage locker geared to help consumers and businesses store documents, photos and files.