Google Did NOT “Abolish” Egress Fees

January 16, 2024By Drew Schlussel

(Updated March 7, 2024)

The “news” that Google had “abolished” egress fees rippled across the interwebs and ultimately landed in my Slack feed with a loud bang. As the 4th major cloud storage service provider in the world, one that constantly calls attention to the excessive API and egress fees levied by our our hyperscaler competitors, this was big news.   

The reactions flying back and forth across Slack ranged from curious to doubtful, given the headlines – “Google Cloud abolished egress fees”, “Google Cloud abolishes data egress fees for global customer base”, and “Google says it’ll stop charging fees to transfer data out of Google Cloud”. I suspected something was amiss (I was right), and it turned out that none of these headlines were accurate in the least.   

Going to the source  

Turns out Google did NOT abolish egress fees. When you read the blog post about this change in fees, you’ll see that Google is offering their departing customers the opportunity to apply to receive GCP credits for transferring their data to another cloud provider or an on-prem data center. Their application has to be reviewed and approved for the departing customer to receive the egress cost credit. The clock is ticking once the egress is approved – customers have 60 days to vacate their data or they’ll have to reapply for the egress credit. The cost to transfer or egress data in the usual course of business is still intact, and in fact there is an egress cost increase taking effect February 1, 2024.  

What they really did was waive a white flag to regulators in the EU and UK, addressing concerns about anticompetitive business practices, probably hoping to avoid further regulatory action against them, in particular, and AWS/Azure in general. Regulators have been very vocal about the “walled garden” that the hyperscalers use to forcibly retain their customers’ business. Egress fees, seen as a form of lock-in, is the leading issue preventing cloud mobility and a more level, competitive market.   

With this announcement Google also created a feedback loop, albeit a pretty annoying one, to capture data about departing customers. They ask for all the fundamental account information, as well as the number of gigabytes being used with BigQuery, BigTable, SQL, Storage, etc. They’re Google, wouldn’t they already know that information?!  I expect they’ll use this data to try their best to retain those customers and address their issues. I think most customers will be offended that they have to apply for egress cost relief when they’ve already made up their mind to leave GCP. This will probably be seen as adding insult to injury for some customers… 

Update: In addition to Google announcing their position on egress fees, AWS also announced that they were starting a new program allowing customers to reduce or eliminate egress fees when moving off the AWS platform. When it comes to hyperscalers, avoiding egress fees is only for quitters. 

AWS also states it will audit account migrations to ensure they complied with the terms of the egress subsidy plan. If AWS determines the migration was not done in accordance with their expectations, they hold the right to retroactively bill a user for the egress amount. 

The primary goal of this change is to preempt potential litigation associated with new regulations like the European Data Act. AWS is not eliminating egress fees, and business practices associated with this type of networking fee are expected to continue across all major hyperscalers.  

A few key takeaways from these announcements:  

Don’t believe all the headlines you read. 

In this age of blogs replacing press releases and AI used to automatically crank out articles, fact checking is more important than ever. There were as many articles with misleading headlines about Google and AWS as there were articles with accurate information. Disappointing, to say the least.  

Know your cloud costs, especially your egress fees. 

Doing business with hyperscalers is like buying a car. Their cost per GB or TB is just a starting point. Then they add on the transfer fees, operational/API fees, tiering fees, etc. Pretty soon the “advertised price” has doubled or tripled and your new Camry is costing you more than a Lexus. With the average cloud user spending up to half their budget on fees, it is critical that you know how much you’re really spending on your IaaS.

Predictable pricing is the ideal solution. 

Of the “Big 4” cloud storage service providers, only one offers predictable pricing without additional fees – Wasabi. Whether that is the Pay-Go or Reserved Capacity offering, there are no additional fees for API calls, data transfer, or egress. It is your data and you’re free to use it whenever you want, wherever you want. 

The window of opportunity to migrate your data to a less expensive cloud storage provider is OPEN now! 

If you’re an AWS or GCP customer that wants to take your storage elsewhere (to Wasabi), now is the time to make the jump! Regulators will be looking for any complaints if a customer is denied the ability to take their own data and move it to another cloud provider. Wasabi has the tools in place today to easily migrate petabytes of data and help customers realize a ROI in just a few months or less.    

So, the next time you see an unbelievable headline proclaiming the abolishment of an egregious fee, be sure to hunt down the source and get to the bottom of the story. Fees don’t go away, they only increase. With the facts, you’ll be more accurately informed and make better decisions. The truth is out there, you just need to look for it. 

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