Without these two I would not touch any of these services. They are, almost without a doubt, radioactive.
It's an old story, really: Get tangled with Google algo's for any reason and your account is suspended with no recourse. There goes everything: adsense, adwords, plus, gmail, drive, docs and whatever else was linked to that account.
No thanks. Make a real commitment to behave like a real business partner with me and my clients and you have a deal. Until then, thanks, but no, thanks.
Don't get me wrong, I would definitely like to use these services. I most definitely do. However, the risk of the totalitarian account suspension mechanism chopping your head off is just not worth my time.
Charge me $99 a year (think Apple). Put me through the vetting process that Apple puts you through when you register as a developer (company data, etc.). Get comfortable with the fact that I am a real business. Then, from that point forward, let's have a real business-to-business relationship as opposed to a totalitarian-government-to-insignificant-ant relationship. That's a winning formula.
If you think there's a market for Google's products but with better customer service, you could form a startup reselling Google's products, with you providing customer service and escalating to Google whenever appropriate.
And this is not a one-off operation, it is an ad agency buying ad space on behalf of several customers
If Google needs to have some of my money in order to ensure that the relationship is, well, sensible, so be it. Give me that option.
A few months ago I posted a set of ideas on how a more sensible approach could work. It focused on AdSense, which seems to be where most of the friction originates. Here it is:
First of all, don't make the process an digital on/off decision. Create a system of
staged penalties leading up to account suspension and then, if abused, closure.
New accounts should have an "on-boarding" process in place.
It would be OK to tell the site that, for the first 30 days ads will be presented
and NO revenue will be paid to the site. This is a monitoring period where Google
can just watch and see how the site behaves.
During the following 90 days revenue is slowly notched up from 0% to 100%. Again,
close monitoring and feedback during this period is critical.
If and when a problem occurs, Google is to provide clearly understandable data on
the relevant violations and suggestions on fixing them.
One argument against this is that, if they made their violation detection data
public, spammers will use the data to get even better. Well, so be it. Use this
to develop even better detection technology. Last I heard Google is staffed with
pretty smart folk. Solve the problem!
After clearly flagging the relevant problems give the account owner a reasonable
length of time to fix it. Say, three days from receipt of the notice.
If the problem is not fixed in the alloted time then ad revenues start to be
discounted based on some well-explained formula. Maybe 10% per day. This should
provide enough incentive for a lazy site owner to take action.
This could also come with staged penalization of the site-standing in search. This
could be controversial. Maybe not.
This could also have an element of a reduction of the CPM revenue on ads served into
the site. Once the revenue reaches zero, ad placement stops. Perhaps there's the
option for Google to serve non-ads with text noting that this site is in violation
of AdSense rules. I can thing of few things that'll wake someone up more than having
all of your ad locations populated with such a notice.
Despite all of the above, the account is never killed off except for the most
Having all ad revenue shut down the site is given a full report --with clear
reasons-- of the violations and the timeline to ad-serving shutdown. AND, how to
fix it. The site could be suspended from AdSense for thirty days, during which
they have to show that they fixed the problems.
Once the problems are fixed a staged restart of ad-serving would begin.
At first the site would start being served with a few ads and they'd only earn,
say, 50% of normal revenue.
Over a period of three months of "good behavior" the sites ads would increase and
improve. And, of course, the percentage of revenue earned per ad would notch
back up to 100%.
Oh, yes, if the account holder owns multiple sites on one AdSense account the sites
ought to be treated separately. If one site is having problems but there's another
that is in perfect standing account actions should only affect the site that needs
to fix problems and not the entire account.
I'm sure the above has holes. It is probably a reasonable start for a framework that
could fix the problem.
I've had the experience of having legitimate and above-honest clients get banned
from AdSense for, well, we'll never know. The problem with the way Google runs
this is that there's no way to make an honest mistake. This is very easy to do when
you are just getting started. It isn't fair. It isn't right.
What makes you think these cloud servers are going to be free? They may have a free teir like amazon for messing around with stuff, but I assume they are going to charge money for any serious use.
And the gp raises a good point: what happens when the google magic fairies decide you did something wrong with your adsense account and lock you out of your compute infrastructure? What a nightmare.
google = an algorithm stomping on a human face.. forever!
Contact sales for enterprise level support?
They can be "google" and they can be good at infrastructure but i see "image transfer" is problematic here: i want to know that i can "speak" with someone when something went wrong , past experiences shows it's nearly impossible.
(When my account is locked ,i don't want to loose my servers, email, docs, im, storage and thereafter my job...)
Anymore customer service would result in Google writing my apps for me.
I was trying to get it to work and one of their developers looked at my code and helped me get it running.
On the other hand, I was managing the community for that same project through a Google Group, and one day the group simply disappeared for 24 hours or so -- it was as though the group had never existed, but couldn't be recreated. Then it popped into existence again, no explanation. There was absolutely no way to even ask for support, let alone get it.
My takeaway, was, I guess, the obvious one: if you're relying on a web service for something important to your business, you need an SLA. If you're getting a service for free, you should assume it might vanish one day and never come back, taking your data with it. (Especially with a company like Google that's known to let old products languish and to have no meaningful path for reporting problems. ) Sometimes that's OK, sometimes it's not.
Besides that it is trendy to pick on Google, I think that the problem people have had with customer support is mostly with ads.
In contrast, at least in regards to other amazon services, their customer service is very high.
Amazon has experience providing customer service and are not ADD like google. When they do something, they stick with it and ensure success across the board.
After my experience with the Google App Engine, I will never trust google with anything else anymore, especially anything that is vital to my business.
I find them believing more and more in mouse hover and js animations.
i'm so sick of seeing this come up every time google introduces anything new. they have, at the very least, adequate customer service, as long as you're their customer. as a gmail user you aren't paying them any money and are therefore not a customer. If you pay for google apps, you get customer service. I'm sure that this product will include customer service at least on par with AWS (which, as far as i'm aware, is basically zilch).
you're not going to 'loose' any servers that you are paying for.
There was also the developer payment scandal a few months ago, not to mention the gmail and adsense horror stories that I hear about on a regular basis. I lost all my trust and respect for Google after I started using their paid services.
We have a wide variety of customer service options: http://aws.amazon.com/premiumsupport/
I've been using AWS for a couple years and never really needed support, so never tried to contact them. Recently I was assigned an Account Exec who reached out to make sure everything was cool, introduce himself, and recommend buying into at least the cheapest support tier (which was much cheaper than I had remembered). He then qualified that with great advice: "actually, you can just wait until you need it and sign up right then. No reason to pay before that".
That impressed me.
In addition, Jeff Barr personally emailed me both times I commented on his blog posts about AWS. At random hours of the day. I'm beginning to suspect that "Jeff Barr" is a non de plume fronting a group of people, like Franklin W. Dixon.
They both look like Sting, that's for sure. Well, Jeff less than John, but even so. Ok, Jeff looks like a actual dude and John Constantine looks like a fictional antihero of questionable allegiance.
I'm not an AWS employee, or friend/spouse/servant of one, but I do run some production systems on AWS.
I gotta give Amazon a plug here just cos they secured my loyalty through what I thought was empowered customer support instead of seeing everything as black and white.
I then locked myself in for 1 year reserved instance pricing it's working out to be less than half of what I would pay for their spot instances over the entire year. I haven't seen too many other vendors offer this kind of discounting or maybe others could enlighten me?
This has come up many times in past discussions, and many paying Google Apps customers have explicitly said that they receive little more service than free gmail users.
I originally hosted my apps with Google App Engine. I experienced several problems with my apps, and I received no response from Google when I emailed their staffers on the google-appengine Google Group. Then came the huge price hike in fall 2011, not to mention that Google shut down their google-appengine-java and google-appengine-python mailing lists and "outsourced" their help to Stack Exchange ( https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/google-ap... ). When I need help with an application, I want help directly from the company, not a third-party site.
I migrated my apps to AWS, couldn't be happier. AWS has their own help forums, filled with staffers constantly answering questions. Not to mention they're constantly lowering prices (seriously, it seems every 4-5 months, AWS announces a price decrease).
For me, I couldn't use GAE or Google's new IAAS until they beef up their customer service.
This wasn't true in my case; my Google Voice account disappeared when they forced migration of apps accounts to a new system, and the official answer was "ok, here are instructions on how to get a new one."
I don't use Google Voice any more.
A fair point. But there's a big difference between a company that has provided customer service from the very beginning (even if it was poor at times), and a company that for most of its history has made a concerted effort not to have customer service at all.
I also hope the various APIs of all these cloud-computing services (along with build-it-yourself alternatives like OpenStack) somehow coalesce or get meta-abstracted into a single API that works across all services -- akin to what Canonical is trying to accomplish with Project AWSOME but across all major cloud environments. One can dream.
UPDATE: Thank you commenters for all the suggestions!
Google will at very likely least get all those implementation details right and be pretty rock solid at a good price point.
In any case, you should have a look at Libcloud (http://libcloud.apache.org/), jclouds (http://jclouds.org), deltacloud (http://deltacloud.apache.org/) and other libraries. Deltacloud exposes a similar functionality through an HTTP interface. We have recently also started working on "Libcloud REST" which will expose all the Libcloud functionality through an HTTP interface which means you will be able to talk to it through an arbitrary language which can speak HTTP.
There are of course also the application management tools like the recently announced CliQr and Rightscale. Both of those work with several different clouds (both private and public).
n1-standard-1-d - a single core at $0.145/hr = $105 per month (that's not counting any traffic or storage).
At that price I can get an absolutely kickass dedicated server from Hetzner with 32GB RAM, quad-core Xeon E3-1245, 6TB space, 6TB of disk space, unlimited traffic.
Still, it seems like a fairly niche product; Google suggests workloads like video encoding or scientific computing. By cutting out that lower ~$60/month tier, it's less attractive for many things people have used EC2 for.
However, Hetzner beats both by a huge margin, even though it's not a cloud offer.
Cloud plans can be cheaper, but AFAIK that's primarily when your capacity needs are bursty, because you can spin them up and down at will instead of maintaining a server farm that goes mostly unused half the time. (Or when your needs are very meager and the cloud is willing to sell you a tiny slice of capacity, because a cloud service's quantum of power it can sell is much smaller. On that end they compete more with traditional VPSes.)
That's $0.145/hr GCE vs. $0.16/hr EC2 vs. $0.077/hr EC2 (heavy reserved 1 yr full time), so the pricing is competitive with Amazon - especially given the extra 0.75 compute units.
The only unknown is whether the compute units are equivalent - the docs only say they are Sandy Bridge-based Intel CPUs.
If Google has solved the EBS problem, then this could be amazing.
I keep hoping that somebody will do that, hook the other end to an SSD target, and sell me a 'high I/O' node. I want to stop dealing with hardware and colo facility contracts and I doubt I'm alone.
But agreed that EBS really hurts overall performance.
I find developing my app for cloud providers and learning their APIs, submitting bug reports when stuff doesn't work as expected, etc to be more work than opening an account with a data centre and renting hardware as needed. Each to their own.
The differences are in scale (how many can you get and how fast -- cloud wins huge here), price (cloud hosting is more expensive over the long term) and granularity (bill by the hour vs. by the month).
I see no way to say that it's more work on EC2. It may have worse performance, or cost more, but that is an entirely different argument.
On the other hand, having two very strong nearly-direct competitors in this area is bound to have a very positive (for customers) longer term pricing impact. For that reason, I hope they succeed with this.
Every Google product exists to one end: Get more people looking at Google Ads.
Google ads are so pervasive that almost anything that gets people to be on the internet more is straight up beneficial to Google.
Search? Ads right there.
Gmail? Ads right there.
Youtube? Ads right there.
Google 411? Collect massive quantities of voice samples to train the systems that became Youtube's automatic subtitle system. More features on Youtube = more eyes on ads.
Android? Web browser in your pocket = ad delivery in your pocket. Then there's in app ads too. And then there's the invaluable data mining that makes the ads worth more to sellers by making them more effective.
Google+? Never leaving Facebook means never seeing a Google ad, action had to be taken.
Google+/Chrome/Currents for iOS? Get people on that other device looking at more ads too!
Self driving car? Can you imagine how many ads you could be looking at during the time you normally spend driving?!
Glass? Ads ALL THE TIME.
The cheapest tier on Amazon is less than $15 a month.
- jobs that can fit in 1.7 GB of RAM or less (Amazon's Small Instance has 1.7 GB of RAM and is about half the price than the cheapest Google plan).
- reserved heavy utilization jobs (compared to Amazon Medium 3.75 GB RAM Heavy Utilization Reserved Instances, Google is 100+ USD/month versus 35.65 USD/month for Amazon).
For jobs requiring 3+ GB of RAM and non-reserved utilization, prices seem to be about the same (and CPU performance seems to be slightly better for Google).
The Product Management question is: if not the price, then what? Without a killer Amazon feature, they're just going to play catch-up.
Maybe with the Google brand? AppEngine existing customers? Access to special data-sets or APIs? Future price drops? The later might be the most likely, once they reach scale, since their data-centers are famous for being energy-efficient.
Even Google can't instantly replicate everything Amazon has done in 5-6 years with AWS!
I think AppEngine is the competitor for the super-low price points. Free < $15, and I'd imagine you could run comparable apps on AppEngine vs Amazon's micro tier.
This is a shock to me, honestly. I firmly believe that cloud hosting is a commodity good, and that Amazon can be beaten (easily, even), but only on price. And Google's not even trying to compete on price...
Edit: closer analysis shows that Google's boxes are somewhat faster and that they don't have an equivalent to EC2 "small". And they're slightly cheaper, by about 10%. So this is a valid price play, just not a terribly impressive one. I honestly was expecting them to do something like they did for Google Drive, undercutting the competition by a factor of 2 or more.
I think pricing is just one of the dimensions on which AWS will be beaten. Google's pricing doesn't put them out of the game, and they can lower it later.
Minor price differentials only matter to big sites. But that's also where the cost of moving is the highest. Would you move reddit.com to Google for a paltry 10%? You'd have to think really hard about it, for sure. Maybe you have cheaper optimizations that could get you that 10% instead.
I don't think they expect people to migrate in waves but I think there will be a time when "we know AWS" isn't a sound argument. There are plenty of projects to come that can evaluate both on their own merits. It's what each does from today that will answer those questions.
Also, GAE no doubt will play a role. I'm interested to see what comes of Cloud Endpoints (REST APIs) and other integration we can get between the two. I think this opens up some very interesting possibilities but I won't get into that.
And let's not forget that not everyone is thrilled with AWS. It's a great service but it has flaws. Google can afford to make a long-term effort to build a solid product that goes head-to-head with AWS.
provider name cores ram $ / hour
google n1-standard-8-d 8 30GB $1.16
ec2 m2.2xlarge 4 34GB $.9
ec2 m2.4xlarge 8 64gb $.8
They probably decided to focus there so they can start with 1,000 new customers of meaningful size instead of 1,000,000 tiny accounts. Even Google needs time to scale up new offerings and the business processes around them!
Sorry, it's just that the "$X for the cheapest Y" argument's always bothered me as a particularly false comparison. I remember the same in the Dell vs Apple arguments a few years ago.
To, continue the RAM analogy Honda created the Acura brand to have higher levels of customer service so their 30,000$ TSX could better compete with BMW's 30,000$ M3. Thus, Google by only offering relatively expensive instances can better target the Amazon's most valuable customers.
In the Google/AWS example, additional power/capacity can either be incremental (10% more RAM, etc), or class defining (web server versus super computer). There may be other attributes that stand apart, but everybody seems focused on price and cpu/ram. I don't know AWS well enough to honestly compare, but is Google's service incrementally different, or does it provide a capability that AWS doesn't offer?
I wonder how cost efficient the instances are vs. EC2.
Google sells 1GB at a fixed cost of $0.10. No monthly cost.
Whereas an Amazon EC2 EBS volume costs $0.10 per GB every month you keep it around.
Google sounds ideal for storing large amount of data that is not used very often.
Edit: You guys are right, obviously, they will almost certainly offer slower, cheaper machines at some point (even if this wasn't part of their original plan, there is a visible demand, which should motivate action). However, my real point is that I'm guessing that this initial roll-out does map more closely to what they use themselves than whatever their eventual full catalog of offerings looks like.
More likely, the want to limit the onslaught until after they've worked out the kinks.
It's a lot easier to satisfy 4 8-VCPU guests than 32 1-VCPU guests if you've only got a handful of spinning disks...
The $.01/GB rate for inter-zone egress is promotional. In the fine print, Google says they will eventually charge internet egress rates.
So would it be ok to assume the Google n1-standard-1 equivalent would perform better than medium on AWS?
As a simple, concrete, example: Amazon's GBs are 10^9 bytes; Google and the rest of the world defines them as 2^30. That's why EC2 instances have such weird memory sizes. So EC2's "17.1 GB" is what the rest of the world calls 16GB.
But the point is that I trust Google, when I see something from Amazon I know to check the fine print.
Memory: 1711020k/1748992k available (2071k kernel code, 28636k reserved, 1080k data, 188k init, 1003528k highmem)
That's pretty close to 1.7 GiB. Here's a large instance:
Memory: 7635512k/7864320k available (3204k kernel code, 388k absent, 228420k reserved, 3714k data, 500k init)
That looks like 7.5 GiB to me, just as Amazon claims.
17.1 GiB is actually quite normal when you consider than Nehalems have 3 memory channels with 3 DIMMs/channel so you get numbers like 18, 36, 72, or 144 and then subtract some Xen overhead.
The large is exactly 7.5 * 2^30.
The small is about 1.66 on the same scale, which isn't outrageous to round to 1.7. I guess I'll check the state of play on e.g. the 68.4 GB machine, which is where it would really make a difference!
I don't think that margin is enough to drive customers. They need to be significantly cheaper than AWS.
Egress to a different Region within the US $0.01
promotional pricing; eventually will be charged at internet download rates
So what exactly is that going to mean? Some of the per hour costs are pretty decent, but are these going to change? I remember one of the big problems people had with App Engine was that it was cheap-as-free and then Google went 'oh, here's pricing updates!'
EC2 is available in Ireland, Tokyo, Singapore and Sao Paulo as well as the 3 instances in the US.
Looks like Google have done just that and IMO this now puts AWS on defence since they don't have anything comparable to App Engine.
Google solved the hard problem first: creating a general purpose automatically scalable web platform. With Compute Engine instances you can now fill in the holes in App Engine--SQL databases, native binaries etc.
This definitely changes the hosting game.
True, but other services that are comparable to App Engine (as I understand it) use AWS. So Amazon is still getting a nice slice of that.
If that's anywhere under $100, nobody's hash is safe anymore.
Anyway, you're better off going for EC2 GPUs.