Google has made several announcements that could increase the pressure on other enterprise cloud vendors. New service level agreements, lower cloud storage pricing and a new relational database service might give Google the momentum to move from the developer ranks to true enterprise class.
New and Slightly Used Features
Google began offering a limited preview of its new relational database as a service, Google Cloud SQL, last week. The service allows users to leverage a database for their applications without the administrative effort. The service is continuing in preview status at no charge. Perspective users can contact Google to participate in the preview.
Google has also promoted its storage offering from the lab to a production offering. The cloud storage service was introduced last year targeted at developers, but Google had larger ambitions for the product -- the entire enterprise.
In addition to leaving the lab, the service is gaining several new features such as access to usage analytics, that should also improve enterprise attractiveness.
Google is also lowering the pricing for the service. Google is now offering data uploads at no charge and downloads begin at $0.12 per TB in the U.S. and Europe, $0.21 per TB in Asia. Google also charges minimal fees for requests for manipulating data (PUT, GET, POST, etc.). This was probably a good move after their Google App Engine price increase debacle.
Google also announced a new release, version 1.4, of their cloud based prediction API, which gives users access to machine learning in the cloud. Customers seeking to create recommendation engines or similar services will be pleased they don’t have to do all of the heavy lifting to create the functionality.
Enterprise Support Options
Service and support is a big deal in the enterprise market. Risk averse executives like someone to call if things bite the dust. Google likely realized that to be truly competitive in the enterprise market it was critical to offer this technology insurance policy, spurring their introduction of the new Google App Engine Premier Accounts.
In addition to support, subscribers to the new services receive a 99.95 percent uptime guarantee and the ability to create an unlimited number of applications. Pricing for the service is US$ 500.00 per month, which has can be paid via invoice in addition to credit card -- another necessity for many corporate customers.
The competition in the cloud market is intense, and it’s not likely to settle in the near future as more companies embrace the environment. It remains to be seen who the actual leaders in the space will be Do you think Google’s move will give it footing in the enterprise? Let us know your thoughts.