Google launches committed-use discounts for its Cloud Platform

At its Cloud Next event in San Francisco, Google today announced the beta of a new pricing option for virtual machines on its Google Compute Platform.

These new committed-use discounts lock you into a one- or three-year commitment. You decide how many cores and how much memory you want to buy in bulk for those years, but you can then distribute that allotment between machines at will. In return, you get a discount of up to 57 percent. The company didn’t announce the exact pricing at the event today, but we will update this post once the company announces them.

None of Google’s competitors currently offer this exact kind of pricing scheme (though AWS would probably argue that its convertible reserved instance pricing is comparable). This new option is obviously only attractive to users who have already committed to the Google cloud, but for them, it looks like it would offer quite a bit of flexibility even if they have to make at least a one-year pre-commitment.

Urs Hölzle also noted that on other public clouds, you must pay for three-year leases to get the best price. Google has long offered sustained-use discounts that give developers a discount for using a machine for a full month. In addition, Google has also long offered custom machine times that allow you to choose how many cores or how much memory you need for your use case.

“GCP — and only GCP — is truly an elastic cloud,” Hölzle said.

Given the complexity of cloud pricing, many cloud users say that optimizing spend is their top problem in the cloud. Google, of course, argues that its various pricing schemes alleviate this issue and that these new committed-use discounts add another option for its users.