Is Google’s Data Egress Offer Truly Free for Migration?

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has recently made an announcement regarding data egress charges for customers who plan to leave their services. The move specifically targets customers who intend to move away from Google, but there are restrictions on the time allowed to transfer data from Google’s systems.

However, there is also a possibility for customers who do not meet the criteria to still take advantage of no egress charges. In this article, we will explore the details of what Google is offering.

Cloud data egress charges refer to the fees associated with outbound cloud traffic, which includes data downloaded to on-site locations, other applications, or other cloud platforms. GCP’s recent move sets them apart from competitors like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, by exempting customers from these charges, under specific circumstances.

GCP informed its customers that in order to avoid egress fees upon leaving their services, they must complete the Google Cloud Exit form. Once the request is reviewed, customers are notified when they can download their data without cost, with the explicit intention of terminating their Google Cloud agreement. Customers then have a 60-day window to complete the data migration process.

It is essential for customers to declare their intention to leave GCP through the Google Cloud Exit program to take advantage of the waived egress fees. The Google team responsible for handling these requests will inform customers when they can initiate the migration, and the 60-day limit applies from that point.

This offer is only applicable to customers on the Premium Tier Network Service Tier, and Google reserves the right to audit customer data movement away from Google Cloud to ensure compliance with terms and conditions. However, the Google FAQ states that they will review cases where customers want to migrate some of their data while still using Google Cloud, without providing further details. This may imply that customers with leverage could convince Google to waive egress charges under different circumstances.

GCP’s decision to waive egress charges upon customer contract termination aligns with a European measure introduced last summer, which requires cloud providers to facilitate data migration when contractual clauses are imposed unilaterally. However, this offer is limited to customers who plan to fully quit Google Cloud and applies to data hosted under specific services provided by GCP. Only customers of premium-level services whose offers have been validated by Google can benefit from this exemption.

Experts suggest that this move positions Google at the forefront, with AWS and Azure potentially following suit. However, it is expected that only a few customers will benefit from this offer, as the 60-day period may be relatively short for larger infrastructure projects. The most significant costs associated with cloud egress are typically related to migration expenses, such as technical aspects, planning, organizational changes, and building teams for the new environment.

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