Like Amazon, Google starts eating its cloud cost tracking partners

Cloud cost optimization tools, once offered only by partners, are now becoming features offered by vendors

This week Google released a new tool that makes it easier for customers to plan for how much it will cost to use the company's cloud resources, and optimize them to the users' needs.

These types of cost predicting and optimization tools have in the past been offered primarily by third party partners of the big cloud vendors, such as Cloudyn, Cloud Cruiser and others. But, with the latest moves this week by Google, the company is offering cost estimation and tracking services directly to customers, eliminating the need for customers to go to partners. Google this week announced its Cloud Platform Pricing Calculator, which provides customers with an estimate of how much their cloud project will cost running on the company's platform.

Amazon Web Services has been doing the same thing. Companies like Newvem had offered Amazon cost tracking and optimization, but AWS began rolling out tools that allow customers to track their usage using either a dashboard or application programming interfaces (APIs) that can then be mangled to create usage metrics.

Partnering companies offering these types of services say they still have value beyond the basic tracking and functionality that Google and Amazon offer users. They provide more granular tracking, more detailed forecasting and better comparisons between providers. Customer save more money using specialized tools, they argue. But, they come at a cost and it sure seems like their market is getting squeezed out. It's only natural for companies like Google and Amazon to offer these types of services, and they can be expected to add functionality moving forward - why make customers go to a partner when they can do it themselves?

These third party companies have taken steps to recast themselves to stay relevant. Cloud Cruiser recently rolled out the ability to track not just public cloud, but now private cloud resources as well. Their latest feature recommends to customers when a workload should run in a public vs. a private cloud.  Cloudyn expanded beyond just supporting AWS to support Google earlier this year.

In the end, customers of Amazon and Google are the winners here. Their IaaS providers may be snubbing some partners, but they're providing end users with one-stop shopping.

Senior Writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing for Network World and NetworkWorld.com. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

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