Google is taking the fight for cloud-computing services in the small business market to the next level and putting cloud storage up for grabs.
Its latest big broadside against competitors Amazon and Microsoft? Offering businesses more free storage. Lots of it. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Google Cloud Platform offered two terabytes of free storage for a year, through one of its partners, a startup called Panzura.”
It’s just the latest salvo in the war to provide companies with remote storage, computing power and other technology services, which reduce companies’ need to buy and run their own equipment. Some industry insiders predict storage will soon be free.
The Journal reports, “Amazon offers a service for infrequently accessed data at one cent per gigabyte per month, which would equate to $120 a year for one terabyte of storage. Microsoft’s Azure service offers business the first terabyte of data storage for as little as 2.4 cents a gigabyte per month.”
Panzura, works with major companies to store data remotely in either Amazon, Google and Microsoft data centers. The startup also provides tools that let them access the files from multiple locations utilizing software programs.
This Google offer covers access from one location using a free Panzura service. If companies need access from multiple locations, they have to pay Panzura, although Google will reportedly still charge nothing for the storage for a year. What happens when the year runs out is still anybody’s guess.
Other cloud storage companies like Dropbox also offer free services but usually focus on individuals rather than companies and the free space is limited to about to 100 gigs.
Most analysts agree that this is just another step toward becoming entirely free, with one of them calling it a “race to the bottom on pricing.”
He tells the Journal, “The money will be in software and services that sit and run on top of these companies’ cloud platforms.”