It’s gotten to the point where if one cloud vendor makes a move, there’s a pretty good chance the competitors will answer with a similar service offering — and we’ve seen this playing out in a big way this month.

Last week, Amazon shocked the market when it moved from per minute to per second pricing. That could add up to big savings in an industry where you are only supposed to pay for what you use.

Not to be outdone by Amazon, a week later Google decided to do the same thing, announcing a similar plan on Monday. And to stick it to their rivals just a little bit, they said the new pricing would go into effect immediately, whereas Amazon is making the transition next week. Take that!

And it’s not just Amazon and Google, this week at Microsoft Ignite, the company made a number of cloud announcements in an onslaught of news including a new appliance for moving large amounts of data from an on-prem data center to the cloud. If that sounds familiar, it should. Amazon introduced Snowball last November to do something similar and Google announced the Google Transfer Appliance in July. They each carry varying amounts of data, but the idea is to do what Google’s Diane Greene has called “lifting and shifting” data loads from on prem to the cloud (whichever cloud you happen to choose). 

These are just the latest examples of the back and forth that has gone for years among these companies. One makes one move and eventually the others will follow because they need market parity to survive. It just seemed particularly pronounced this week.

Does it matter?

It’s all well and good to have healthy competition going on among the top vendors. It’s certainly working out pretty well for consumers (even if those consumers are businesses) when these companies compete. The move to per second pricing is a perfect example of the power of the market working for you to improve products and pricing.

Google and Microsoft remain worthy competitors to AWS, but at least one market analyst thinks it doesn’t matter what they do to achieve parity. Jefferies & Co.’s Brent Thill went on record as saying, “the notion of a “multi-cloud” public cloud computing environment, where customers balance workloads between different providers, is largely irrelevant, as most are opting for Amazon,” as reported by Barrons.

That’s a pretty grim view of the market, and while AWS clearly has a strong market position, by just about any measure, there is still plenty of room for the other big players to have an impact. Even Andy Jassy, CEO at AWS, has gone on record as saying there is room for more than one winner in the cloud market.

Regardless, as long as these companies continue competing for your business, we are going to see a continuous stream of similar announcements. If one does it, the others are bound to follow, sooner or later. You can pretty much count on it.

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Photo: Joint Hometown News Service. Used under CC by 2.0 license.

Posted by Ron Miller

Ron Miller is a freelance technology reporter and blogger. He is contributing editor at EContent Magazine and enterprise reporter at TechCrunch.

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