Given the lucrative economics, competition in the red-hot cloud-computing market among many of the space's most powerful incumbents will probably remain fierce for a long time. Attempts to redefine the fabric of computing from leading companies such as Amazon.com(NASDAQ:AMZN) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) befit their sky-high ambitions. In one recent example, Google unveiled a new cloud-computing product in its ongoing attempt to steal market share from Amazon.
Last week, Google announced the public release of its pre-emptible virtual machines, or VMs, a cloud-based supercomputing product that offers a number of benefits both to Google and its cloud-computing customers. At their most basic, VMs allow customers to affordably run advanced supercomputing tasks at steep discounts to current alternatives. However, the discount comes with a catch, and that's why the term "pre-emptible" deserves some attention.
According to the terms of service, Google reserves the right to abruptly seize a user's supercomputing resources as its own business needs arise, making the service ideal for customers needing affordable supercomputing resources for projects with flexible schedules. In its product announcement press release, Google discussed how researchers from the Broad Institute leveraged the product to perform what once would have been three decades of cancer research calculations in the space of a single afternoon, at a total cost of only $4,000. With discounts as steep as 70% of traditional, non-pre-emptible supercomputing resources, the product promises to be useful across a whole host of applications. Google's new product also helps further its efforts to narrow Amazon's lead in cloud-computing resources in general.
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