Google chases Amazon, both drop cloud prices

Cloud pricing wars continue as Amazon and Google focus on improvements to cloud databases

It’s become a common scene in the cloud industry nowadays: Every few weeks or months a cloud vendor announces a price reduction on its services, and then within a couple of days at least one other competitor announces a price reduction as well. Today, it took just hours.

[WE’VE SEEN THIS BEFORE: Non-stop cloud computing price wars continue]

Amazon Web Services opened the day announcing that prices for its Relational Database Service (RDS) service were dropping between 18% and 26% on average, effective June 1.

Not to be outdone, Google released a blogpost this morning announcing upgrades to its BigQuery service, including a 33% drop in the price for its big data analytics platform. In a move that suggests that Amazon’s news today may have prompted Google’s announcement, the search giant said its price reduction will go into effect next month.    

In addition to the price reductions, each company also rolled out new features for its services. Amazon RDS, which is a database platform that supports multiple software applications, became generally available earlier this month. In doing so, AWS added features to make RDS more fault tolerant, including allowing RDS instances to replicate across Availability Zones, which are distinct parts within AWS’s cloud. AWS also added additional security features, including the ability to encryption files at rest.

Google, meanwhile, says that BigQuery can now return even larger results on queries and put these large-scale results in new tables. It also expanded integration with SQL for easier management of the data it returns from searches.

Given the history of price reductions and feature enhancements announcements in the cloud industry, don’t be surprised if some other vendors in the market make advancements of their own cloud offerings soon too.

Network World senior writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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