If you're trying to choose a public cloud provider, there is some good news: The price war is over. And systems integrators, channel partners and analysts all agree that Amazon Web Services (AWS) -- once the low-price leader -- is no longer any less expensive than Microsoft Azure or Google Compute Engine. In addition, companies don't seem to care too much about subtle price differences from one public cloud service to another.
"There is price parity now with the 'Big Three,'" said Alex Brown, CEO and founder of 10th Magnitude, a cloud-focused systems integrator that specializes in Microsoft Azure. "Price is not a key decision maker anymore."
That's also true in the AWS world.
"Last year and the year before we had to sell the AWS pricing model to prospects," said Eric Valenzuela, director of business development and marketing at Full360, an AWS partner. "We don't even have that conversation now."
"Prices may be a little different but [the difference is] not big enough to use as decision-making criteria anymore," said Larry Carvalho, PaaS research manager at IDC. "The deep discounting way of thinking is going away."
While price is off the table, cost consideration still comes up when talking with customers, warned Goran Kimovski, principal cloud architect and partner at AWS partner TriNimbus. What remains an issue is timing.
While not worrying so much about price upfront, companies understand the public cloud can become very expensive once they're in production. "Customers are comfortable with the cost of the infrastructure now," Kimovski explained. But they also appreciate that the actual cost includes staff and the effort it takes to manage and maintain the cloud environment once it's up and running.
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