Google is battling head-to-head with Amazon to project its cloud services as the superior choice. With its newly launched IaaS Cloud, Google is trying to grab share in the market, and especially to steal attention from Amazon’s product that is well established in the market for its web and cloud services. Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Compute Cloud has been going strong for the last 4 years, and offers ample features to a variety of customers. So, what is Google boasting about its IaaS Cloud? Let’s find out by making a quick comparison of both of them.
Google uses Xeon E5-2670 chips, the high-capacity chips across its cloud infrastructure, while Amazon makes it available in certain instance types for Elastic Compute Cloud customers, including in its recently announced high I/O extra large cluster compute offering. This means that the former is running only the latest and greatest chips on the market, while the latter has a wide variety of chips for customers to use.
While Google has four compute instances, Amazon has 11 different sizes of compute instances, ranging from small virtual machines with 1.7GB of memory, to extra-large compute clusters with 60.5GB of memory. This is an area where Google needs to expand the breadth of its offerings.
Next, Google makes the fiber-optic links between its own data centers available to cloud customers. On the flip side, AWS has a variety of accommodating features in its cloud, such as the EBS volumes, relational database services, load balancers, and others.
“With the intermittent failures we’ve seen darkening Amazon’s cloud services over the past year, Google may be poised to offer a public cloud alternative to overtake AWS,” says Kit Dotson, editor of DevOpsANGLE. “But although the search giant is well known for their ability to deploy powerful amounts of computing anywhere, and court enterprise needs, they’re still new in this particular market and may be angling for a specific niche audience, as we’ve seen from their marketing and underlying architecture.”
What we can probably conclude from this comparison is that Google is initially focusing on research and development teams that may need high-performance computing to complete a project. This reflects its pricing model as well as how Google’s cloud is priced for smaller time chunks and aimed at shorter-lived projects. On the other side of the fence, Amazon Web Services offers reserved instance pricing discounts, in which customers use a compute instance for a long time, extending to several months and even years. This is again an area for Google to expand as it needs to offer long term viable pricing options for customers, if it wants to stay in competition with AWS.
AWS is making several other developments to retain existing customers and grab the new ones. It is now offering several attractive deals with more competitive pricing, but with the less flexible terms and a lock-in. For example, it allows enterprises to exchange the pay-as-you-go model for a fixed monthly rate based on anticipated use. Customers don’t pay more if they exceed the fixed amount, but they also don’t get a refund if they use less. Not lagging behind, Google Cloud Platform has also expanded by launching a new partner program that’s bringing service providers, systems integrators, and technology vendors into the search giant’s cloud fold as it tries to build its ecosystem. It has joined hands with several technology vendors, such as Opscode and Puppet Labs, and has also support for these third-party solutions. This clearly signifies that Google is aiming to make Google Cloud Platform the foundation for a whole new developer ecosystem. Of course, AWS has the early-mover advantage, but Google is definitely working out to build a healthy and profitable ecosystem for itself.