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Google Cloud Leads the Way by Abolishing Data Egress Fees in Cloud Industry Shift

 |  January 22, 2024

Google Cloud has become the first major cloud provider to eliminate certain data fees, marking a significant shift in the competitive landscape of cloud computing. The decision to waive charges associated with moving data out of Google Cloud Platform has garnered attention, especially at a time when businesses are intensely focused on trimming technology costs, reported Wall Street Journal.

Amit Zavery, Vice President and Head of Platform for Google Cloud, emphasized the company’s commitment to offering customers greater flexibility. “We wanted to take that off the table, because we believe that if customers want to move out of Google Cloud Platform and they find a better provider, they should be able to do that easily, quickly, without any kind of cost,” said Zavery.

The move aligns with the current trend of heightened scrutiny of cloud competition by regulators. As companies increasingly audit their cloud bills, data fees have come under fire for potentially hindering fair competition. Google’s decision to eliminate data egress costs has received praise from some Chief Information Officers (CIOs), who view it as a positive step toward addressing restrictive pricing practices.

Rob Zelinka, CIO of financial technology firm Jack Henry & Associates, lauded the move, stating, “Now that they give you a pathway out, which other providers aren’t giving you yet, it is a differentiator to me.” Jack Henry & Associates uses multiple cloud providers, including Google Cloud.

Related: Google Cloud Waives Data Transfer Fees When Moving to Rival Clouds

However, not everyone is convinced that Google’s action goes far enough to tackle broader challenges associated with cloud pricing. Mike Anderson, Chief Digital and Information Officer of cloud security firm Netskope, cautioned that while the offer presents a potential cost-saving opportunity and increased flexibility, its conditional nature and limited scope must be recognized.

One notable limitation is the fine print: the fees are waived only if companies terminate their relationship with Google Cloud. The waiver does not cover the costs of moving data between Google Cloud and other providers, such as Amazon Web Services. This exclusion has left some critics unsatisfied, especially those advocating for a more comprehensive solution to the complexities of cloud pricing.

Shawn Michels, Vice President of Product Management for Cloud at Akamai Technologies, a cloud competitor, noted that while the move removes cloud switching fees at a high level, it falls short in addressing the needs of next-generation, distributed, data-heavy applications.

Additionally, the exclusions extend to the costs associated with moving data in and out of content delivery networks like Akamai. Customers must apply for credit covering these fees, and the data must be moved within 60 days after the contract ends, posing challenges for those dealing with large volumes of data.

Source: WSJ