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If you’re looking for more proof that Google’s public cloud is a competitive threat to market leader Amazon Web Services, consider this.

Just a day after Google announced that it would back up its rentable computing resources with fast solid-state drives (SSD) instead of more traditional disks for block storage, Amazon basically made the same move.

The new Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes featuring SSDs will cost 10 cents per GB per month at Amazon’s popular U.S. East region of data centers, according to a blog post today from Amazon cloud chief evangelist Jeff Barr. The price undercuts Google’s 32.5 cents per GB per month.

This marks the second huge competitive gesture Amazon has made in swift response to Google since Google brought out the Google Compute Engine cloud infrastructure for anyone to use in December. The first one was the cloud price drops from Google and then Amazon one day later.


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The chronology of both sets of events suggests that either Google knows what Amazon is working on, or Amazon can act quickly and can’t stand to spend a long time catching up to Google on features, prices, and other characteristics.

Whatever the reason, it does look like Gartner was right to say Google is starting to present serious competition to Amazon in the cloud business.

On top of the new SSD blcok storage, Amazon also cut prices again today, just for good measure. From here on out, the price for input-output operations per second (IOPS) in the EBS service will now cost 35 percent less money. That sort of maneuver helps Amazon look better for future customers. And it’s the kind of move that the biggest providers, with the largest scale, can do, as they buy more and more hardware at better and better prices.

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