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Summary:

New service promises to help companies weigh which of the two giganti public clouds is most cost-efficient for a given workload.

Google Compute Engine vs. Amazon EC2

Cloudyn, which has offered a cloud monitor and cost allocation service for Amazon Web Services, is adding support for Google Compute Engine. Not only that, it will look at your workloads and advise you when it might be cheaper to run it in, say, Google vs. AWS or vice versa, the first of several cloud monitoring and cost analysis companies to offer that capability, said Cloudyn CEO Sharon Wagner.

This is the latest sign that while Google’s cloud may be a feisty upstart compared to market leader Amazon, it’s getting some good looks from third-party partners and customers. Rightscale, a multi-cloud analysis and monitoring system was early to this game, not only supporting Google cloud last year but becoming an early reseller.

But back to Cloudyn. It’s done the research, Wagner told me. “We took 500 clients from our installed base and looked at how they could benefit from Google Compute Engine and found 53 percent of them could,” he said.

cloudyn dataThat’s a pretty healthy percentage, but there are some caveats. First, Cloudyn looked only at customers using basic AWS services — EC2, S3 storage etc, not the higher-end services like RedShift data warehousing. Second, AWS did much better when customers used AWS Reserved Instances — which are cheaper than on-demand instances because customers commit to them for 1- or 3-year periods. Google does not offer such long-term discounts. (Yet.)

And Google, which charges by the minute while AWS charges by the hour, may be the better choice for lots of big data analytics workloads that tend to spin up and down fast. Sixty-five percent of MapReduce jobs are done in less than two hours, Sharon said.

Cloudyn’s new GCE module provides the same analytics, aggregate data findings as its AWS cousin and will be offered as a free 3-month trial. The company plans to add a module for OpenStack-based clouds next; there are no plans for a Microsoft Windows Azure version.

If customers can save money moving their work from cloud to cloud, they can use services like Scalr or Dell’s Enstratius to do so, or figure out their own transit strategy.

Cloudyn competes with a handful of cloud monitoring and costing vendors including Cloudability, RightScale and Newvem, now part of Datapipe, that tend to leapfrog each other in capabilities, so stay tuned.

But the bigger story here is that a growing number of would-be customers — and ecosystem vendors — see Google Cloud as the real deal. Slowly but surely, Google — the search engine company — is convincing skeptics that it’s in this whole public cloud area for real.

And that has got to be sparking some concerns up in Seattle.

cloudyn cost

  1. Is “Cloudyn” sponsored by Google? Amazon is cheaper and better. I question the authenticity of the comparisons used for the glossy promotional infographics and conclusions above,

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    1. sebastianstadil Tuesday, January 28, 2014

      As far as I know, they aren’t sponsored by Google, and I think GigaOm editorial policy requires such disclosure.

      Google seems to have gone to great lengths to match Amazon on pricing, so I don’t think they’re substantially cheaper on instances; for IO, some recent tests I made indicate that each have their sweet-spots. PIOPS kills persistent disks for high IO on small datasets, for example.

      You are right however, AWS has a larger breadth of services, which needs to be accounted for.

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    2. Sharon told me there was no business relationship between Cloudyn and Google. i will ask him to respond here.

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    3. Cloudyn always was a self-independent vendor, and will always be.

      Cloudyn is not sponsored by google or amazon web services. Cloudyn doesn’t have commercial relationships with amazon web services or google expect for being a technology partner.

      Our benchmark if based on more than 500 AWS clients. We compared their usage trend and cost vs. current google offering and came up with the conclusion that articulated very well by barb.

      Should you be interested to get more details about the benchmark and the results of the individual tests, you are welcome to contact me : sharon@cloudyn.com

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  2. sebastianstadil Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    That’s a really cool piece of information: 80% of AWS instances run less than 6 hours. Props to AWS for having spotted the need.

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  3. Compute and storage are fairly easy to compare across vendors because they’re now commodity services. The different vendors differentiate with all the supporting products like Route 53, Redshift, RDS, etc. These are a lot harder to compare because they’re not like-for-like services.

    There will always be competition on the commodity pricing and the features around those (higher networking, SSD local storage etc) but I think we’ll see the vendors focus more on innovative services and that means it’ll be harder for the likes of Cloudyn, Newvem, etc to offer useful broad analysis.

    However, one of the biggest use cases for the cloud is flexibility for processing or handling demand and indeed, this is where private clouds might want to hook into public cloud resources. So picking the right one and switching workloads across these commodity services will be interesting. That’s where I think the value with these cross platform pricing analysis tools will ultimately lie.

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  4. David, your observations are very correct. I would like to divide the provider into two categories: the “standard” services, like DNS, CDN, SQL/No-SQL databases, etc., and the innovative services, for which there’s no real alternative.
    Looking at Amazon, it’s true that they provide a plethora of supporting products, but for most of these there’s an alternative. These fall into a category of “standard” services, and will not prevent someone from moving to a different provider.
    However there are few services, like Redshift, Glacier, DirectConnect etc., which are unique and have no, or almost no alternative. And I think we, at Cloudyn, are in a very unique position to tell what percentage of users are actually using these services, and also to point out to our customers when the use of such services is the most beneficial for them.
    The comparison tool we are offering now is a first approximation. As we accumulate Google customers (and the customers of other clouds), we’ll be able to offer much more accurate and valuable statistics and best practices.

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  5. Well in some narrow comparison criteria other clouds could be cheaper. But AWS keeps on reducing prices largely in the absence of competitive pressure. So any cost studies are temporary.

    If I were Cloudyn, I would be careful about ratting the cage of the 800 lb gorilla with advertising generic pricing differences with a “study” that has multiple caveats . AWS can easily provide similar cost management solutions and in one swoop take Cloudyn out of business.

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  6. Reblogged this on Abdel Rahman Farag Hegazi and commented:
    Finally it is a legitimate competition .. #Amazon AWS Vs #Google GCE !!

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