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Google will cease charging for data transfers out of Google Cloud.

Google Cloud users will no longer be charged to relocate their data to another cloud provider or on-premise data center, beginning immediately.

BigQuery, Cloud Bigtable, Cloud SQL, Cloud Storage, Datastore, Filestore, Spanner, and Persistent Disk users may migrate out of Google Cloud for free, but must fill out a form. After permission, they have 60 days to transfer their data; if not, they must resubmit.

Only once an authorized user transfers their data out of Google Cloud and terminates their cloud-written agreement will the data transfer cost be eliminated (via bill credit). In a support post, Google states that it may audit data transit beyond Google Cloud “for compliance with program terms and conditions.”

Google’s action followed regulators and competitor public cloud providers’ criticism of cloud “egress,” or outbound data transit, costs.

Destination, data origin, and volume affect egress costs. For outgoing data to the public internet, AWS charges $0.09 per gigabyte for the first 10 gigabytes. In comparison, data transfer between two AWS EC2 instances in separate regions costs $0.02 per GB.

Switching cloud providers may be costly for both large and small consumers. The information says that Apple paid AWS $50 million in egress fees in one year.

IDC found that 99% of cloud storage customers had paid egress fees, averaging 6% of their expenditures. According to a second Global Market Intelligence study, 34% of organizations repatriated data on-premises or switched to a service provider without egress costs due to cloud storage egress fees.

Cloudflare founded the Bandwidth Alliance in 2018 to abolish data egress costs. The group includes Google, Alibaba, Microsoft, and Oracle (which has openly challenged Google and AWS over their egress costs), but not Amazon.

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said in October that it will investigate public cloud providers like AWS and Azure’s egress costs and how they may inhibit cloud interoperability or impose restrictive software licensing. AWS said it “doesn’t charge separate fees for data switching” to other cloud providers and that 90% of its customers pay nothing for data transfers in response to the examination.

The EU’s newly passed Data Act may require all public cloud service providers in Europe to cease charging for egress. The Data Act stipulates the progressive elimination of switching costs, including data egress charges, over three years, with exceptions for multicloud partnerships.

Last summer, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission started investigating the domestic cloud sector, including cloud data egress cost structures.

Competition gives Google another reason to distinguish itself in the public cloud market beyond regulatory hurdles. Statista data shows that Google Cloud held 11% of the worldwide public cloud market in August 2023, behind Azure (22% and AWS 32%).

Eltrys Team
Author: Eltrys Team

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