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As someone who is currently struggling with Google Cloud's mediocre support, this is not surprising. We pay lots of money for support and have multiple points of contact but all tickets are routed through front-line support who have no context and completely isolate you from what's going on. For highly technical users the worst support is to get fed through the standard playbook ("have you tried turning it off and on again?") when you're dealing with an outage. Especially since the best case is your support person playing go-between with the many, siloed teams trying to troubleshoot an issue while they apparently try to pass the buck.

Not to mention the lack of visibility in changes - it seems like everything is constantly running at multiple versions that can change suddenly with no notice, and if that breaks your use case they don't really seem to know or care. It feels like there's miles of difference between the SRE book and how their cloud teams operate in practice.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to praise Vultr. I've been using them for years and their support has always been good, and contrary to every other growing company, has been getting better over time.

I had an issue with my servers 2 days ago and I got a reply to my ticket within 1 minute. Follow-up replies were also very fast.

The person I was talking to was a system administrator who understood what I was talking about and could actually solve problems on the spot. He is actually the same person who answered my support requests last year. I don't know if that's a happy accident or if they try to keep the same support staff answering for the same clients. He was answering my requests consistently for 2 days this time.

I am not a big budget customer. AWS and GCP wouldn't think anything of me.

Thank you Vultr for supporting your product properly. And thanks Eric. You are very helpful!

Google Cloud provides more than just VMs and Containers. It has a bunch of services backed in, from a variety of databases such as Firebase (that have powerful built in subscription and eventing systems) to fully baked in Auth, (Google will even handle doing two factor for you!) to assisting with certain types of machine learning.

Vultr looks like they provide more traditional services with a few extra niceties on top.

Within Google's infrastructure, I can deploy a new HTTPS REST endpoint with a .js file and 1 console command.

Could I set up an ecosystem on a Vultr VM to do the same? Sure, it isn't magic. But GCP's entire value prop is that they've already done a lot of that work for you, and as someone running a startup, I was able to go from "I have this idea" to "I have this REST endpoint" in couple of days, without worrying about managing infrastructure.

That said, articles like this always worry me. I've never seen an article that says "Wow Google's support team really helped out!"

Using such proprietary features sounds like a great way to subject yourself to vendor lock in and leave you vulnerable to your cloud provider's every whim. I understand that using ready made features is alluring, but at what point are you too dependent on somebody else? All these cloud services reminds me a bit of left-pad, how many external dependencies can you afford? Maybe I'm too suspicious and cynical, but then I read articles like these from time to time...

The difference, IMO, is that you're generally leveraging the cloud providers platform in addition to using their hosting.

There are ways to make the hosting relatively agnostic, but choosing a pub/sub solution (for example), that operates at 'web scale' will have a distinct impact on your solutions and force you into their ecosystem to maximize value. Why bother with BigCorps UltraResistant services if you're only going to use some small percentage of the capabilities?

I've made systems that abstract away the difference entirely, but I think the 'goldilocks zone' is abstracted core domain logic that will run on anything, and then going whole-hog on each individual environment. Accept that "cloud" is vendor lockin, and mitigate that threat at the level of deployment (multi-cloud, multi-stack), rather than just the application.

You're not alone. I worry the same about many things, but everyone just thinks I'm a negative nancy for discounting THIS AWESOME SERVICE with these awesome, 100% non evil people behind it!

I do use AWS, and have tried out GCP before. Just because I use Vultr doesn't mean I can't also use others.

I should have quoted more. :) I was indicating why you might have gotten some early down votes, your comparison wasn't like to like.

Thanks for the info. You may be right about the downvote reason (though it's a pretty ridiculous reason), but I don't think that matters since they are in the same industry providing a similar service and there's no reason why GCP can't provide the same service as Vultr, especially since they charge a lot more for their instances than Vultr does.

Downvotes here on HN often don't make sense. You can be exactly 100% correct about something and still get downvoted to hell.

The best thing to do is to simply ignore them as asking about downvotes just invites more of them.

Well, I don't really care about the precious internet points disappearing. I'd much rather hear from someone what their reasoning is since I might actually learn something.

But it is telling that there have been at least 5 downvotes but no one is willing to comment as to why.

Edit: since I see you have a downvote (surprise, surprise) I'll clarify that it wasn't me.

Your new downvotes may be because HN guidelines say not to ask about or discuss downvotes.

What is this? Fightclub? "Rule #1 of fightclub: You never talk about fight club" :D

Seems like a recipe for breeding unfairness. "Don't talk about the system", :sigh:

It just generates a bunch of unnecessary comments in a thread. There's already like 8 in this chain for example.

Please don't break the site guidelines by going on about downvotes. That's a strict reduction in signal/noise ratio, which mars your otherwise fine comment. We're trying for the opposite here.

Downvotes can irritate, but there are at least two balms that don't involve adding noise to the threads. One is to remember that people sometimes simply misclick. The other is that unfairly downvoted comments mostly end up getting corrective upvotes from fair-minded community members (as happened with yours here).


Thanks for the info. I forgot about that guideline. Too bad I can't edit my comment.

I've re-opened it for editing for you and will happily delete my comment if you take that bit out.

Thanks. Done.

I'm happy for you to leave your comment. It might help someone else in future.


I’ve seen other companies walk away from Google Cloud for similar reasons. Automate everything to scale doesn’t work for the Fortune 500. They should absolutely own this market.

This is why AWS and Azure continue to gain market share in cloud, while Google remains relativity stagnant, despite (in many cases) superior technology.

Their sales staff is arrogant and has no idea how to sell into F500 type companies.

Source: 10+ meetings, with different clients, I attended where the Google sales pitch was basically "we are smarter than you, and you will succumb". The Borg approach. Someone needs to revamp the G sales and support approach if they want to grow in the cloud space.

Even for small businesses their sales is pretty bad. I once got a package in the mail from them with a URL containing a tracking code printed on it to contact them that was so obviously Google being Google and treating people as part of a funnel. There was no phone number to be found and nothing personalized.

The other funny thing is the package had a neoprene sleeve for a Chromebook. Eventually a sales person reached out via email assuming I owned a Chromebook and acted like I owed them a phone call because they gave me a neoprene sleeve I couldn’t use.

The entire package ended up going in the trash, which was an unfortunate waste of unrecyclable materials.

If you filled in a form at the link provided from one of the bits of paper in the box they would have sent you a Chromebook for the sleeve. I'e got one here gathering dust. My boss threw away the same package but I was curious and looked through it carefully.

Sounds like it functions as some kind of filter, whether intentional or not. ;)

"People who will look through every bit of advertising crap company x sends", vs those who don't.

Something, somewhere is probably making stats on that. ;)

I found it interesting that you wrote "Something, somewhere", and not "Someone, somewhere"

Yeah, that was on purpose. It's no longer obviously just humans potentially doing this. ;)

Yes, this is our experience as well, and the root cause of their many problems with GCP. Tech is nice but matters little if the account team just ignores us.

> "we are smarter than you, and you will succumb". The Borg approach.

Well, that seems to be the approach at Google. Starting with hiring

Not surprising they end up with a hivemind that can't see past their mistakes.

Reminds me of a thread I saw on the Google Inbox mobile app a while back. Brilliant app, but no 'unread message counter'. There was a huge number of people on the thread begging for that feature and going so far as to say that it was the one thing that prevented them from using the app. Their thinking was apparently that you should have filters for everything and it all should've fallen neatly into little boxes, but for people that have been using email 10 times longer than those developers have been out of college, that's not very practical. One G dev chimed in and said 'But that's now how I use email' and closed off the discussion.

That's interesting. I was of the understanding that everything at Google office tries to de-stress you/undistract you. I thought that would result in people being calmer/ more empathetic.

Arrogance is arrogance, whether stressed or not. Hiring arrogant people tends to create an environment non-conducive to empathy.

I have less experience with their sales/account managers but every time I got a super weird patronizing and even cultish vibe that really put me off.

Yes that's exactly what I'm talking about they are super arrogant and unwilling to discuss things at a practical level.

And I've seen it cause them to lose at least 10 potentially good sales.

They have advantages but they're so arrogant that it puts people off.

It's more than 10 times or more people told me they prefer Google's solution to Microsoft or Amazon's but they're going with a competitor because they can't stand Google's arrogant attitude. It's close to laughable because of throwing money away just because they won't back off.


It blows my mind that GCloud, with arguably superior tech and performance compared to AWS/Azure, can't handle support. I have my own horror stories from 2 years ago, but still they haven't fixed it.

Google just doesn't seem to be able to focus on products that requires service and customer support. Maybe they just don't care about it while they have an infinite revenue stream from search and advertising. Whatever it is, they should be humiliated.

I love the tech, and the ux details like in browser SSH (AWS hasn't improved UX EVER) but they can't get support right? Amazing.

> Google just doesn't seem to be able to focus on products that requires service and customer support

That's literally any product that people pay for (instead of viewing ads).

Customer support isn't and never has been in their DNA. It's often rage-inducing how hard it is to contact a human at Google.

They seem to think they can engineer products that don't need humans behind them.

That's the meme, but my experience with the business support for G Suite does match it at all: I can easily call the phone support, get a competent human quickly, and they are very helpful.

I think I read recently that they outsourced g suite support

Ironically, they let you know every time they can that you can contact your personal adwords sales person by phone.

The reason for this is obvious, but it's a good point. It's like someone whose personality becomes awful right after you marry them.

I'm actually going to take this back to my company as a principle: "Treat locked-in/subscribing customers as well as our salespeople treat prospects."

I didn't write that article, but last week I came to the same conclusion and began my migration from GCP to AWS. I admire Google's tech but Cloud Platform lacks fit and finish. It's not fully productized. It's not even fully documented. (Is it indolence or arrogance to publish a link to the source code as the only explanation of an important API?) I'm sorry, Google, you ignored me when I was crushing on you. Now I have Amazon.

I think they still are mainly focused on their ad business as the core of the company and cloud is something they 'do on the side'. For Microsoft, Azure is core business, it's the future of the company. If they fuck it up, they're dead. Google apparently doesn't see their cloud offering as their core business and therefore doesn't get the attention it needs.

In my limited experience, Google has worse support than facebook (when it comes to advertising agencies). They simply don't care because you are a tiny multimillion euros company and they are THE GOOGLE.

AWS has acquired Cloud9 for in browser for desktop environment/ SSH, it inherits account credentials. You should check it out.

Yeah, Cloud9 is billed as an IDE, but it's really more useful as a terminal inside your cloud environment that happens to have a text editor. Workspaces has been great for a cloud-based development environment, and the new Linux Workspaces will be more useful than the Web-based "cloud IDEs".

I haven't tried workspaces. Will I get better performance from my chromebook than just using cloud9? Cloud9 is also incredibly cheap.

They are very different things: Workspaces runs a full desktop environment (Windows or Linux) on an EC2 instance, and enables you to remotely access it through client software. The client software uses Teradici PCoIP, rather than VNC or RDP, and Teradici is amazing: it is so fast that the desktop feels like it is running on your local computer.

This means that you can run whatever development tools that you want on the EC2 instance, rather than the very limited code editor that Cloud9 provides. You can easily run a full copy of Visual Studio on a Workspace, and get the full resources of an EC2 instance with SSD drivess.

If it can make you feel any better, the AWS support is the same.

AWS sends you emails 9 months in advance of needing to restart individual EC2 instances (with calm, helpful reminders all the way through). IME, they're also really good about pro-active customer outreach and meaningful product newsletters... Even for tiny installations (ie less than $10K yearly).

Anecdotally: I've been an MS gold partner in a bunch of different contexts for years. The experiences I had as 'small fish' techie with AWS were on par or better. YMMV, of course, but I'd be more comfortable putting my Enterprise in the hands of AWS support than MS's (despite MS being really good in that space).

It costs a pretty penny, but I’m very happy with AWS enterprise support. When we had a ticket that we didn’t escalate get a crappy answer, our TAM escalated on his own initiative to get us a better answer.

Are you on insiders? Only way to get anyone to care.

Let's see if the current logging thread will result in anything. :-)


It's a referral-only group where you get to play with and complain about their tech before everyone else does

How would one go about getting an invite to the secret club?

Two people either on the list already or working for Google have to endorse you.

Haha :D

Higher paying (premium) customers actually get premium support in GCP, e.g. SRE who can get paged on an outage.

Prices seem high though: https://cloud.google.com/support/?options=premium-support#op...

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