Google today is announcing price cuts for one flavor of virtual machines (VMs) that it offers through the Google Cloud Platform cloud infrastructure business. Preemptible VMs — which are cheaper than standard VMs to start with because they won’t work any longer than 24 hours (and Google can even terminate them in less time than that) — will now cost up to 33 percent less than they did before.
“Our customers are using Preemptible VMs to analyze data, render movies, process satellite imagery, analyze genomic data, understand financial markets, transcode media, and complete a variety of business and engineering tasks, using thousands of Preemptible VM cores in a single job,” Google product manager Michael Basilyan wrote in a blog post. “We believe that the price reduction for Preemptible VMs will unlock even more computing opportunities and enable you to tackle interesting science and business problems.”
The Google cloud’s Preemptible VMs will not necessarily be the best choice for long-running applications. But some people are clearly finding uses for them, and today’s price cut could make them more tempting.
Cost-lowering is one of the most popular weapons that Google employs in its war against public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services, which collected nearly $3 billion in revenue last quarter. Other competitors include IBM SoftLayer and Microsoft Azure.
AWS offers Spot Instances that cost less than regular EC2 VM instances and can be terminated, but they’re different from Preemptible VMs because Amazon lets customers bid for them, while Google lets customers pay specific set prices for the Preemptible resources that they provision.