The Storage Wars
The past week witnessed Google and Amazon slashing the price tag associated with their respective cloud storage services one after the other. Interestingly, the price lowering spree from both the giants seems more like an immediate business reflex rather than a thoroughly chalked out pricing plan.
Google started the sequel by introducing to the world a novel storage form, the Durable Reduced Availability, priced at a mere $ 0.7 per gigabyte per month. This translated to a price reduction as significant as 20 percent on Google’s storage solutions, setting off shockwaves at the Amazon base camp. Amazon was prompt to respond. Its web services division bit back by announcing a price cut as much as 25 percent on its S3 services, sprinkling the essential ‘economies of scale’ flavour to its cloud recipes. What was Google’s take on the move? Dave Barth, product manager at Google, reiterated in an official blog post that the company is committed to deliver on the “best value” in the market to ventures and developers set to carry out operations in the cloud. Google meant exactly what it said, and (to our delight) sprung back with an additional 10 percent shed on its cloud storage pricing, effectively raising the price-cut bar to a whopping 30 percent.
Surprisingly enough, things at Microsoft are headed quite the other way around. Instead of coming up with a pricing offer that would pin Google and Amazon to the ground, Microsoft has, as Amit Singh puts it, “increased their price by 15 percent for no (apparent) reason“. Singh, president of Google enterprise, deems the competition posed by Microsoft nothing serious to be worried about.
Google’s pricing structure sure is competitive, and the associated migration procedure a piece of cake. The consumer base is now looking up to Amazon in hopes of a compelling reason for them to stay on-board. For Microsoft, it needs to haste in re-formulating the pricing model for its cloud offerings in response to the recent price cuts by Google. Sure, Microsoft is known for being ever-loyal to its pro-enterprise product design philosophy. However, in a market studded with blossoming tech startups, failure to capitalize on the small business consumer segment might land the software a serious blow.
There you have it. This one-of-a-kind war between Google, Amazon and Microsoft has painted a significantly vibrant and competitive cloud-storage landscape for consumers to breathe in. The consumer folk can only hope for other service providers to plunge into the battlefield, an occurrence that would ensure further price drops – fingers crossed.
By Humayun Shahid