Google cloud may be easier to use and understand than the 800 pound gorilla it is taking on. Amazon Web services (AWS) and Amazon’s object storage (S3) are easily the most well used cloud computing and storage platform at this point. But ask someone to explain what their bill will be, and they stare at you with a blank expression on their face.
While doing research into the Google cloud for our webinar with Sureline Systems, I discovered that Google had created a solid competitive offering to compete with AWS and S3. Let’s first talk about object storage. Google has four object storage classes to compete with Amazon’s four object classes, and appear to be supporting all of them equally. (Amazon appears to be sidelining their reduced redundancy storage class by making it actually more expensive than the full redundancy class.) Google also made their product more competitive by offering the same access time and durability to all four classes.
Billing for Google’s object storage products is also much simpler to understand than offerings from Amazon. To understand just how complex Amazon’s billing for object storage can be, you really need to watch that section of the webinar, as I go into it with a lot of detail.
Suffice it to say that your bill can vary greatly based on how you use S3, and it’s not necessarily easy to understand up front. That’s what happens when you distribute pricing information across to the three different pages that are often difficult to find, and include important pricing information in small print in asterisks at the bottom of the page. The pricing for all of Google’s storage products are all mentioned in a single page and are much easier to understand.
While Google has its own APIs, it also supports Amazon’s S3 API for compatibility reasons. Amazon S3 customers simply need to change where the data is going and they can start using Google’s object storage. If you are interested in using some of the less expensive storage classes, Google makes that actually much easier than Amazon does. Unlike Amazon, a bucket can easily be assigned to a particular storage class.
It is clear that Google is doing its best to compete with Amazon in this area. Its cloud computing platform is also easy to use, and provides solid support even to those trying out Google storage for free. (I personally experienced this. I submitted a help desk ticket and received a prompt reply, especially considering that I wasn’t paying for the service.)
All of this could be why Sureline worked very hard to make sure its product is compatible with Google’s cloud. In our joint webinar last month, I spoke to Sureline COO George Simon about the things that Sureline did in order to ensure Google compatibility. Be sure to check it out.