AWS Removes Migration Fees, Assisting Customers in Spending Less on Cloud

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced the elimination of “egress fees” for their customers, rendering data migration to alternative cloud service providers more accessible.
AWS reInvent 2023 eventWith this initiative, AWS joins Google in breaking down barriers to cloud provider switching, leaving Microsoft as the sole major player imposing substantial fees hindering customer migration.

“Removing exit fees is now table stakes for hyper scale cloud providers and Microsoft is being dragged reluctantly to that table. If the company wants to show that it is actually in favor of an open and competitive cloud services market Microsoft needs to take significant action, the most compelling of which would be revoking its exclusivity arrangement with OpenAI,” Steve Weber, Professor of the Graduate School, UC Berkeley School of Information, said.

AWS

AWS, known for its expansive array of services catering to diverse cloud workloads, boasts over 200 fully featured services encompassing compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. This extensive suite includes offerings like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) with over 750 generally available instances, and a plethora of database options ranging from relational to graph databases.

Recognizing the importance of customer choice, AWS emphasizes the need for seamless migration options, aligning with the European Data Act’s principles and extending the waiver on data transfer out to the internet charges globally. This move aims to facilitate smoother transitions for customers seeking to move their data outside of AWS, with over 90 percent of existing customers already benefitting from the company’s provision of free data transfer within AWS regions.

Under the new policy, AWS customers can request free DTO rates for additional data transfer needs beyond the existing allowances. However, such requests will undergo scrutiny at the AWS account level to ensure fair usage.

AWS acknowledges the historical complexities associated with changing IT providers, citing the advent of cloud computing as a game-changer in simplifying this process. By offering open APIs, Software Development Kits (SDKs), and hybrid infrastructure services, AWS underscores its commitment to interoperability and customer freedom in choosing the best-fit technology solutions.

While the elimination of data transfer fees represents a step forward, AWS acknowledges that unfair software licensing practices remain a significant barrier to customer choice in cloud providers. The company echoes industry-wide calls to address these licensing restrictions to foster a more competitive and equitable cloud computing landscape.

“We’re waiving data transfer out to the internet (DTO) charges when you want to move outside of AWS. Over 90 percent of our customers already incur no data transfer expenses out of AWS because we provide 100 gigabytes per month free from AWS Regions to the internet,” AWS said in a blog post.

In addition, AWS offers one terabyte of free data transfer out of Amazon CloudFront every month. If you need more than 100 gigabytes of data transfer out per month while transitioning, you can contact AWS Support to ask for free DTO rates for the additional data.

GOOGLE CLOUD

Google Cloud has also extended its offer of free network data transfer for customers transitioning away from their platform, reiterating the importance of addressing restrictive licensing practices as a critical step towards promoting genuine customer choice in the cloud computing market.

Google Cloud customers who wish to stop using Google Cloud and migrate their data to another cloud provider and/or on premises, can take advantage of free network data transfer to migrate their data out of Google Cloud. This applies to all customers globally. Eliminating data transfer fees for switching cloud providers will make it easier for customers to change their cloud provider; however, it does not solve the fundamental issue that prevents many customers from working with their preferred cloud provider in the first place: restrictive and unfair licensing practices.

Google Cloud said the complex web of licensing restrictions includes picking and choosing who their customers can work with and how; charging 5x the cost if customers decide to use certain competitors’ clouds; and limiting interoperability of must-have software with competitors’ cloud infrastructure. These and other restrictions have no technical basis and may impose a 300 percent cost increase to customers. In contrast, the cost for customers to migrate data out of a cloud provider is minimal.

Baburajan Kizhakedath

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