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Public-cloud market leader Amazon Web Services can cut prices like nobody’s business, but now that Google is playing harder than ever, Amazon cloud executives will have to huddle up and reflect on new ways to keep customers from flocking to Google.

Today Amazon announced prices and specifications for new instances — slices of physical servers in its cloud — that are optimized for applications that need lots of memory resources. And by one comparison, it looks like Google’s memory-optimized instances cost less.

Amazon announced the new R3 instances last week and also lowered prices for other instances. But just one day before that, Google slashed its prices, and those lower Google cloud prices undercut the cost of Amazon’s new R3 instances, at least in terms of the number of virtual cores, not the amount of memory per instance.

To wit: Amazon’s new r3.large instance, with two virtual cores and 15 GB of RAM, costs 17.5 cents an hour when they run in Amazon’s US-East region. But Google’s n1-highmem-2 instance, with two virtual cores and 13 GB of RAM, costs 16.4 cents an hour. Similar patterns can be found with instances containing more cores. Amazon does offer a 32-virtual core option, which Google doesn’t currently have.


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At this point, if companies don’t like the prices from big-name cloud providers like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, they can just wait a few weeks — because that seems to be the new pace for price cuts. In other words: Expect more news of cloud price cuts soon.

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