Google Cloud Next 2017

Google announces three new cloud regions, contract discounts

The company is launching data centers in California, Canada and the Netherlands

urs holzle google next 2017
Credit: Blair Hanley Frank

Google's cloud regions are going places. The company announced Thursday that it's launching three new data centers in California, Canada, and the Netherlands, in addition to the company's existing footprint of 14 announced and live regions around the world.

Adding more regions will help Google compete with other public cloud platforms like Microsoft and Amazon. The Canada region is important for serving customers who need to comply with data sovereignty requirements inside that market.

On top of that news, the company is also changing its cloud pricing to let customers get discounts of up to 57 percent off list price in exchange for committing to buying a particular volume of CPU cores and memory. Customers must commit to either a one-year or three-year contract with the cloud provider in order to get the discounts, however.

The discounts are part of the continued war between cloud providers to cut the prices of their offerings to attract customers. Google, Amazon, and Microsoft frequently cut prices, sometimes in response to one another.

Google's new offering is somewhat similar to the Convertible Reserved Instance offering from Amazon Web Services, which lets users reserve a particular compute instance in that cloud with the ability to change the instance type they want in the future.

Google's major differentiator is that customers don't need to commit to a particular instance size. The Committed Use offering allows users to pick and choose the virtual machine configuration that meets their needs without having to select from a set menu.

The contract discounts won't do away with Google Cloud Platform's Sustained Use Discounts, which provide customers with automatic savings based on their consistent, sustained use of the company's compute platform. On average, customers save 24 percent off the list price of a virtual machine under that program. Any customers who go above their use commitment will have those discounts kick in automatically as well.

Google is also cutting the price of its virtual machines by up to 8 percent. Those savings won't be evenly distributed worldwide, however: Costs for U.S. instances will drop by 5 percent, while those running in Japan will drop by 8 percent.