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Cost Management

Introducing new cloud services and pricing for ultimate flexibility

February 15, 2023
Kelly Ducourty

Vice President, GTM Strategy and Operations

Joe Matz

Vice President Business Planning and Pricing

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As the saying goes, “it’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.” Some organizations find it challenging to predict what cloud resources they’ll need in months or years ahead. Every organization is on its own unique cloud journey. To help, we’re developing new ways for customers to consume and pay for Google Cloud services. We’re doing this by removing barriers to entry, aligning cost to consumption and providing contractual and product flexibility. Read on to learn how we’re rolling out several new go-to-market programs across these key areas to help our customers purchase and consume Google Cloud services more easily.

Removing barriers to entry with Google Cloud Flex Agreements

Many customers choose multi-year commitments because they provide better line-of-sight into IT spend and budgeting. However, these commitments can create difficulty for those who don’t have clear visibility into their future cloud consumption needs. That’s why today we’re launching Flex Agreements, which enable customers to migrate their workloads to the cloud with no up-front commitments. As part of this new licensing option, Google Cloud customers still get access to unique incentives, such as monthly spend discounts1, committed use discounts, cloud credits, and access to professional services, based on monthly spend and workloads migrated to Google Cloud.

Flex Agreements are just one example of how we are removing barriers to help customers start using Google Cloud. In 2022, we launched the Innovators Plus annual subscription, which gives developers a curated toolkit to accelerate their expertise, including access to live and on-demand training through Google Cloud Skills Boost, Google Cloud credits, and more. 

We also recently expanded trials for Google Cloud products. For example, the new Spanner free trial instance is good for 90 days, allowing developers to create Google Standard SQL or PostgreSQL databases, explore Spanner capabilities, and prototype applications—with no commitment or contract needed. 

Contractual and feature flexibility  

Contractual flexibility has always been one of our core principles. Committed Use Discounts (CUDs), for example, provide discounted prices in exchange for a commitment to use a minimum level of resources for a specified term. Last year, we introduced Flexible CUD, spend-based commitments that offer predictable and simple flat-rate discounts that apply across multiple virtual machine families and regions.

In addition to contractual flexibility, our customers also need the flexibility to choose features and functionality based on their stages of cloud adoption and the complexity of their business requirements. Therefore, over the next few quarters, we will launch new product pricing editions—Standard, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus—in parts of our cloud portfolio. This new commercial packaging model will help give customers more choice and flexibility to optimize their cloud spend.

For customers running workloads such as those in regulated industries like banking and public sector, the higher-end Enterprise Plus tier will offer compute, storage, networking and analytics services with high availability, multi-region support, regional failover and disaster recovery, advanced security, and a broad range of regulatory compliance support. The Enterprise pricing tier will include a broad range of features designed for customers with workloads that demand a high level of scalability, flexibility, and reliability. The Standard pricing tier will offer cost-efficient and easy-to-use managed services that include all essential capabilities such as autoscaling to meet the core workload requirements of customers.

Align costs to consumption with autoscaling

At Google Cloud, a core requirement for the products we build is providing customers industry-leading capabilities to automatically scale (autoscale) services up and down to match capacity with real-time demand. Autoscaling improves uptime, reduces infrastructure costs, and removes the operational burden of managing resources.  

Many Google Cloud products include autoscaling capabilities to help customers manage unplanned variations in demand. For example, Dataflow vertical and horizontal autoscaling, in combination with granular adaptive resource configuration (aka “right-fitting”), has resulted in up to 50% saving in infrastructure costs for streaming by automatically choosing the right number of instances required to run the jobs and dynamically re-allocating more or fewer instances during the runtime of jobs. Bigtable also provides native autoscaling capabilities, and Spanner’s autoscale is an open source tool that works across regional and multi-regional Spanner deployments. 

Similarly, we added multiple features such as Cluster Autoscaler, Horizontal Pod Autoscaling, Vertical Pod Autoscaling, and Node Auto-Provisioning to GKE for elasticity and cost efficiency. 

For L.L.Bean, the ability to quickly scale capacity to meet changing usage patterns (e.g., during the holidays), as well as to rapidly perform load tests to test capacity, are "night and day" with Google Cloud compared to L.L.Bean's legacy on-premises IT system.

"We won’t have to pay for peak capacity to have it available during peak shopping times. We just scale capacity up or down as needed.” Randy Dyer, Enterprise Architect, L.L.Bean

We are now taking these capabilities to the next level by enabling autoscaling in BigQuery at a more granular level so you never pay more than what you use. This allows you to provision additional capacity in smaller increments, so you never overprovision and overpay for underutilized capacity. BigQuery customers can now try the new BigQuery autoscaler (currently in public preview) in their Google Cloud console.


A commitment to flexibility and choice

At Google Cloud, we remain deeply committed to the success of our customers and partners, and we are uniquely positioned to help organizations transform their business. By providing you with more flexibility and choice in how to purchase our products, we are empowering you to be more efficient and resilient.

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1. Not available for customers buying through Partner Advantage.

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