Google Cloud Expands Pricing Options
The company is expanding the reach of its committed use discounts beyond CPUs to include GPUs, Cloud TPU (Tensor Processing Unit) Pods and local SSD storage, enabling customers that commit to using the technologies to see discounts of up to 55% off on-demand prices. In addition, Google Cloud introduced capacity reservations for the Compute Engine infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform component. Through the offering, enterprises can reserve resources in a specific zone and use them later, ensuring they have the capacity needed to handle spikes in demand – think Black Friday or Cyber Monday for retailers – as well as backup and recovery jobs.
The new pricing options are part of a larger push by Google Cloud to reduce the challenge of managing cloud resources and ensuring customers are getting the cloud resources they need for money they’re paying, according to Paul Nash, director of product for Google Compute Engine.
“There’s a lot of innovation happening in cloud in general,” Nash told Channel Futures. “When you’re innovating and adding functionality to a complex product or set of products, if you’re not paying attention, that complexity tends to creep into everyone. One of the things it can creep into is how you’re pricing and positioning the product.”
Pointing to conversations with customers and industry surveys, he noted that pricing and cost management are usually at the top – along with security – of enterprise concerns when it comes to the cloud. A survey by network analytics firm Kentik earlier this year found that while enterprises continue to pursue multicloud strategies, cost management and controls in these increasingly complex environments were a key challenge.
Google Cloud engineers have tried to address cost issues when developing new services, Nash said.
“What we’ve tried to do is think about pricing as just as important a design consideration as how the rest of the product works,” he said. “You shouldn’t have to have a finance degree or a Ph.D. in economics to understand what the correct behavior would be for you to optimize your spend.”
Over the past few years, Google Cloud has introduced a number of new pricing models, including per-minute and per-second billing, committed and sustained use discounts, and resource-based pricing.
The expansion of committed use discounts and the introduction of capacity reservations fall into this push. Extending the committed use discounts to include GPUs, Cloud TPU Pods and local SSDs is designed to ease the burden of managing commitments, particularly as workload demands evolve and change, according to Manish Dalwadi, product manager for Compute Engine.
“You don’t have to tell us the exact shape, the exact zone, the exact operating system [or] the exact networking type,” Dalwadi told Channel Futures. “All you have to do is tell us in aggregate the amount of resources that you want. If you want 100 vCPUs or 100 [Nvidia Telsa] V100 GPUs, you enter those in as an aggregate amount and the discount will apply to any of the [virtual machines] that you’re running that happen to use any of those resources.”
Customers are “able to evolve [their] workload without having to worry about getting locked into things they don’t want or can’t use in the future,” he said.
The discounts apply to …