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Wednesday, 27 February 2013

AWS vs Google Compute Engine Costs

Google Steps Up Its Game With 
Cheaper than AWS Support Plans

Last week we announced a new feature in PlanForCloud that enables you to choose your support requirements from different cloud providers and calculate your total cloud costs, including support, using the PlanForCloud simulation engine. This feature also includes Google’s recently announced premium cloud support plans.

This news has started to draw analysis of AWS vs Google support pricing. A recent article in the Register, Google in cloud-support price war with Amazon, Microsoft, stated: “This tariff model makes Google marginally more expensive than Amazon at low usage levels”, however, we wanted to find out what ‘low usage’ actually means - what is the breakeven point between AWS vs Google support plans.

AWS vs Google support plans
We chose to compare AWS’ Business level support with Google’s Gold level support due to their similarities - both have the similar response times and tiered pricing. Here are the results:

AWS vs Google support plans - PlanForCloud

It is interesting to see that in a market where AWS is perceived as ‘the cheapest’, Google has actually announced support plans that are slightly cheaper than AWS when usage increases anywhere above $4,000 total cloud spend per month. This might be a sign of things to come from Google and reinforces the idea behind using a solution that prevents cloud vendor lock-in.

After talking with Google and AWS regarding their support plans, we thought it might be useful to highlight that each provider will offer different solutions as part of their support plans. We advise that you read the specifics of these plans to assess which is right for you: AWS Support Plans & Google Support Plans 

Next, let’s look at what we can get for our monthly cloud budget. Since each cloud provider uses different hardware and claims different levels of performance, it wouldn’t be a fair comparison if we were to assume the same number of servers and look at costs. Instead, we can take a low spec and a high spec server from each cloud provider and look at how many of these we can launch with our monthly cloud budget.

AWS vs Google instance types
Keep in mind that it’s difficult to get an apples-to-apples comparison due to the varying performance characteristics of each cloud provider, so in this blog we are only comparing price, not price/performance ratio. For this analysis, we chose to compare AWS m1.medium vs Google n1-standard-1 and AWS m3.2XLarge vs Google n1.standard-8. Specifications are as follow:

AWS vs Google servers - PlanForCloud

*Please note Google documents virtual cores, which equal 2.75 Google Compute Units (similar to EC2 Compute Units). Each of which are comparable to a 1-1.2 Ghz processor (

Now, let’s look at how many of each type we can launch:

AWS vs Google servers - PlanForCloud

The low spec servers (AWS m1.medium and Google n1-standard-1) are priced exactly the same and therefore you are able to launch the same number of instances with the maximum monthly cloud budget. However, note that with the Google server, you will get an extra core but no attached storage.

When it comes to the high spec server, you can get more instances with Google, however, it should be noted that AWS m3.2Xlarge comes with 26 CPU cores vs Google’s 22 CPU cores.

You can see some of the basic issues with attempting a blanket comparison. Not all clouds are born equal and it pays to do some upfront forecasting and assessment of the different cloud providers.

With the interesting ‘slightly cheaper than AWS’ support plans, it seems that Google is stepping up its game, so it pays to keep your future options open, specially since functionality, performance and costs of the cloud providers are constantly changing. It makes sense to use a cloud management solution that enables you to choose from a portfolio of cloud providers, and make changes to your mix of cloud providers in the future. RightScale can help you with your multi-cloud & hybrid cloud strategy; get a free demo of RightScale cloud management solution.

With the launch of its premium support plans, Google has sent out a message to the cloud community that it is able to compete on price as well as service with other providers. This is a significant step in the evolution of the multi-cloud market. If you would like to get a demo of Google Compute Engine in action, please get in touch using our free demo contact form.

Next Blog post: The Cost of Keeping your Application Running During Cloud Outages

-- Hassan Hosseini
Product manager at PlanForCloud

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