A storm is brewing among leading cloud storage providers, and business owners stand to benefit enormously from rapidly plummeting prices.
Today, Google Cloud Platform -- the arm of the company that provides computing, storage and application services for web-based businesses -- said it would offer customers two terabytes of free storage for one year, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The move not only takes aim at early arriver and industry leaders like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, but illustrates that such storage may soon become entirely free, say some industry experts.
“Storage is a race to the bottom on pricing,” Rajesh Abhyankar, CEO of cloud-consulting firm MediaAgility told the Journal. “The money will be in software and services that sit and run on top of these companies’ cloud platforms.”
Abhyankar added that “Google is trying really hard to catch up with AWS. These types of offers may persuade users to move their data.”
Google’s offer comes through one of its partners, cloud services startup Panzura, which also partners with Amazon, Dell and Cisco.
And while it might seem like a great deal, the offer may not end up being such a bargain in the long run. It's unclear what users will have to pay once the one-year trial ends. (Currently, on Google Cloud Platform, pricing per GB is 2.6 cents a month.)
Google did not immediately return Entrepreneur.com's request for comment.
As for its competitors, Amazon charges as low as 1 cent a month per GB, or $120 a year, for infrequently accessed storage. Microsoft Azure charges its customers 2.4 cents a GB per month for the first TB of data storage.
In recent months, prices have fallen fast in the lucrative cloud services arena. Last April, each of the three major providers announced price cuts of up to 85 percent for various services within days of one another.
And profits are sizable. Though none of the above break out sales figures, financial firm Bernstein Research estimates that Amazon Web Services raked in $3 billion last year, while Microsoft and Google “each pulled in several hundred million dollars,” according to the Journal.
Other companies like Dropbox and Box are also renowned for providing free digital storage, though the reduced amounts they offer are more suited to individuals.
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