Amazon EC2 vs Google Cloud Compute Pricing

Amazon EC2 has been around for a while, and is arguably the market leader as a cloud computing service provider. It's incredibly easy to sign-up and start using your very own Virtual Private Server (VPS) in a matter of minutes, and at a very affordable price. This makes setting up a new project a breeze. Google Cloud Compute is now starting to offer similar services, enabling you to rent a VPS and use it to your liking.

The pricing can be a bit confusing though, as both Amazon and Google charge on an hourly basis. Amazon also offers renting a server on a yearly basis at a heavy discount, which works out much cheaper than paying the equivalent hourly cost for 24/7 all year round.

Google's pricing is now even more fine-grained, and you get charged on a per-minute basis, from 10 to 60 minutes per hour.

In any case, I just wanted to do a quick comparison of the costs for the lower-end instance types on both Amazon and EC2. The following table is a summary of Amazon costs:

InstanceCoresRAMHDD$/h$/h Monthly$/year$/year monthly

And the following table is a summary Google Cloud Compute pricing:
Instance typeCoresRAMHDD$/h$/h Monthly
n1-standard-1-d13.75GB420GB *$0.13$98.21
n1-standard-8-d830GB2 x 1770GB$1.06$788.64
n1-highcpu-8-d87.20GB2 x 1770GB$0.65$485.83

From this, the cheapest Google Cloud Compute instance has about the same specs as the Amazon m1.medium, and costs $10 more monthly on a per-hour basis. However, Google charges per-minute, so if your server has idle periods, then it's probably going to be significantly cheaper on Google, possibly even cheaper than the m1.small Amazon instance.

As far as I can tell though, Google doesn't offer reserved instances paid on a yearly basis at a discounted cost like Amazon does. So, for example, if you have a small project and don't need dynamic scaling to multiple instances and are happy to pay for a single instance, then the Amazon yearly costs are very attractive. $14 a month gets you the Amazon c1.medium, or $22 a month gets you the m1.large, which are both very capable stand-alone servers for private or small to medium sized projects.

Note though that I haven't compared the costs of network transfers. Both Amazon and Google charge for the amount of data going in and out of the server to the rest of the internet. So if you have particularly high data usage (more than around 100GB per month), then you'll need to pay close attention to those costs as they may eclipse the cost of the instances.

All that being said though, it's now incredibly cheap and easy to get your very own private server hosted in the cloud without ever having to think about the hardware maintenance side of things.


  1. Thanks for your insight! I have tried the Dedicated Server in Australia and having a Dedicated Hosting really is beneficial. Palcom online provides best dedicated server solution in India. It works 24x7 instant support.


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