Following in the footsteps of Amazon Web Services, Google has announced that it will now start billing customers by the second for its cloud computing service — the latest front in an ongoing tug of war among major cloud competitors over pricing.
Google has actually billed by the second since 2013 for its persistent disk offering. But the new billing option, which goes into effect immediately, will extend to Google Compute Engine, Container Engine, Cloud Dataproc, and App Engine, the company said in a blog post.
Amazon made headlines last week when it rolled out details of its biggest pricing structure change in years, opting for a granular approach to cloud pricing by switching up its bill-by-the-hour model to instead charge by the second.
In its announcement, Google was a bit dismissive of the per-second billing method, saying they haven’t had many customers asking to be charged by the second and that it is not likely to dramatically lower costs. Google estimates that only a “fraction” of one percent of customers have requested the service.
“In most cases, the difference between per-minute and per-second billing is very small — we estimate it as a fraction of a percent,” Paul Nash, Group Product Manager, Compute Engine, wrote in the blog post. “ On the other hand, changing from per-hour billing to per-minute billing makes a big difference for applications (especially websites, mobile apps and data processing jobs) that get traffic spikes.”
Nash added: “But, we don’t want to make you choose between your morning coffee and your core hours, so we’re pleased to bring per-second billing to your VMs, with a one-minute minimum.
Google’s new pricing options will apply to virtual machines running on Windows and Linux. Amazon per-second billing extends only to machines running basic Linux operating systems and is set to start Oct. 2.