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Can GCP's flat-rate plan tame cloud cost volatility?

By Mattias Andersson  |  April 23, 2019  |   Enterprise Google Cloud Platform   |  

Surprise bills are no fun, but it’s one thing to space on canceling YouTube Premium before the free trial ends and another altogether to face finance’s fury over an eye-popper of a bill for last month’s cloud storage. Google has unveiled a plan to help with the latter called the “Storage Growth Plan for Google Cloud Storage.” This new fixed monthly fee option doesn’t have the snappiest name, but it could be big for big GCP customers looking to take the guesswork out of cloud spending.

As the folks at Google put it, it’s “a way to provide flexible, ready-when-you-need-it data storage that won’t result in unexpected bills.” Is this an all-you-can-eat-buffet approach to cloud storage? Not exactly. Here’s the gist:

  1. You commit to a fixed rate of (at least) $10,000 a month for one year of Google Cloud Storage usage. Yep. That’s the baseline, so this is not made for everyone.
  2. You can grow that storage at no cost over that commitment during the year. Your rate stays the same. Go wild!
  3. At the end of the year, you’ve got some deciding to do:
  4. You see how deep the rabbit hole goes and commit to another year at your peak usage from last year. If that peak usage is within 30% of your original commitment, all the previous year’s overage is comped. If it’s more than 30%, you pay the remainder over the next year.
  5. You walk away from the plan and pay for the overage.

A predictable bill makes a nice chaser for the predictable data growth we’re sure to keep seeingwell, it’s predictable that your data will grow, but the question is how much? That’s the million-dollar (or $120,000-a-year) question at the heart of cloud cost volatility heartburn. For some, forking out a little more cash even on a light month could be worth the insurance of no unexpected bills (until the end of the year, at least).

The best deal really hinges on you staying committed to Google Cloud Storage, but with cloud adoption and use cases ever-increasing, that’s probably in the cards for those relying on GCP, anyway. 

With fixed-rate monthly pricing becoming the name of the game for so many business tools, it makes sense that Google would want to get in on the no-surprises action. But is it the right deal for you? Your mileage will vary depending on usage, so it's best to dust off the old number pad and run the numbers for yourself. Google has more details (complete with a nifty animated chart) over on their blog.

While you’re looking to get the most out of your cloud spend, why not also look to make sure you’re getting the most out of GCP—and your career? You could add a predictable boost to your skill set (and paycheck) with GCP certification, giving you the skills needed to set up and manage GCP applications.


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