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Google slashes cloud storage prices

Today, Google took its turn dropping its cloud storage prices.

Google today announced it was cutting pricing by as much as 68 percent for its cloud storage services, while also eliminating pricing for tiered services and introducing a flat rate for its Google Cloud Storage standard and Durable Reduced Availability (DRA) storage.

The price for the Google standard storage is 2.6 cents per Gigabyte per month and the DAR costs is down to 2 cents per Gigabyte a month. Previously, Google’s cost structure was more complicated because customers paid a higher price on the first terabyte stored and the price per terabyte dropped as the capacity stored in the cloud grew.

“This is the most dramatic price drop we have seen and it’s the most dramatic change of the model as it goes from tiering to a flat rate,” said Nicos Vekiarides, CEO of TwinStrata, a cloud storage gateway vendor whose products move data to the Google cloud. “We were informed as a partner. Did we expect it to be this dramatic? I think a lot of folks are surprised right now.”

Competitors like Amazon and Microsoft Azure will likely respond in kind, given the pattern of these price drops in the past. Cloud providers have been engaged in a price war in what analysts characterize as a land grab or “race to the bottom.”

“What is interesting is how they will respond,” Vekiarides said. “Traditionally, it’s been an even playing field and they all kept it that way.”

Google’s price slash makes its storage services one of the cheapest on the market. The only options that cost less are cold storage services Amazon Glacier, priced at a penny per Gigabyte per month, and EVault LTS2 Local-Redundancy at 1.5 cents a Gigabyte per month. However, both Glacier and EVault have extra costs baked into their offerings.

“Both have greater charges for taking data out, particularly if they do it sooner than 90 days,” said Lorita Ba, TwinStrata’s director of marketing.

The low pricing is designed to lure more customers into the cloud but it’s not the only variable that companies look at when considering moving data to the cloud. They need to look at performance, how the cloud service integrates with environments, and how it helps solve the issue of maintaining capacity and growth along with how it works in a disaster recovery situation.

“There are a lot of elements to cloud storage solutions,” Vekiarides said. “But this enhances the value of replacing on-premise storage with the cloud. It makes the economic case that much easier.”

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