AWS' Sébastien Stormacq said removing data transfer fees aligns with the company's mission to provide customers with choices in services such as compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and AI.

Kelsey Ziser, Senior Editor

March 6, 2024

3 Min Read
Egret flying over water.
AWS has waived data egress fees but hasn't commented on egret fees. (Source: Bob Brewer, Unsplash)

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has taken a page out of Google Cloud's book by waiving cloud egress fees for customers.

In January, Google Cloud discontinued charging customers for data transfer fees when they switch to a different cloud provider. While this move would make it easier for customers to change cloud providers, Google Cloud GM and VP Amit Zavery told Bloomberg that egress fees only account for about 2% of the total cost of migrating to a new provider.

In a tweet this week, Zavery congratulated AWS for ending egress fees and pointed a finger at Microsoft Azure urging the company to consider removing exit fees.

"Kudos to @aws for taking action and supporting customer choice. It is time for @microsoft to remove exit fees and its anti-competitive licensing that hurts customers, AI innovation, and competition by preventing choice," wrote Zavery.

Giving customers choices

Sébastien Stormacq, principal developer advocate for AWS, said removing data transfer fees aligns with AWS' mission to provide customers with choices in services such as compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, ML and AI.

"We believe this choice must include the one to migrate your data to another cloud provider or on-premises," said Stormacq in a blog post. "That's why, starting today, we're waiving data transfer out to the internet (DTO) charges when you want to move outside of AWS."

Related:Cloud roundup: Google cuts cloud switching fees

Historically, the majority of AWS' customers haven't experienced data transfer fees, added Stormacq.

"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," he wrote. "This includes traffic from Amazon EC2, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Application Load Balancer, among others. In addition, we offer one terabyte of free data transfer out of Amazon CloudFront every month."

Decisions align with regulation

AWS' waiver on data transfer fees aligns with the European Data Act and can be used by AWS customers in any AWS region globally. The legislation could be one of the factors motivating hyperscalers to rethink costs surrounding data transfers between cloud providers. It includes guidelines for access and use of data generated in the EU, and will require cloud providers to address the challenges of switching between cloud services, which includes egress fees.

In January, the European Commission announced that "the Data Act will allow customers to switch seamlessly (and eventually free of charge) between different cloud providers. These measures will promote competition and choice on the market while preventing vendor lock-in."

As organizations rely more on the cloud, the cost breakdown of managing cloud infrastructure is becoming more front of mind. Shortly after Google Cloud's announcement in January, virtualized routing and switching startup Arrcus launched an Egress Cost Control (ECC) service to automate the process of predicting and managing egress costs.

"Historically, enterprises have felt that egress costs were a way to keep an enterprise customer locked into a cloud, because ingress is free," Roy Chua, founder and principal of AvidThink, recently told Light Reading. Egress costs can account for 10% to 20% of total cloud bills for enterprises, he added.

Still, AWS hopes its customers won't need to take advantage of the end of cloud egress costs. While Stormacq provided information in his blog on how to contact AWS customer support to request credits for migrating data, he invited customers to reconsider leaving AWS: "But I sincerely hope you will not."

About the Author(s)

Kelsey Ziser

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Kelsey is a senior editor at Light Reading, co-host of the Light Reading podcast, and host of the "What's the story?" podcast.

Her interest in the telecom world started with a PR position at Connect2 Communications, which led to a communications role at the FREEDM Systems Center, a smart grid research lab at N.C. State University. There, she orchestrated their webinar program across college campuses and covered research projects such as the center's smart solid-state transformer.

Kelsey enjoys reading four (or 12) books at once, watching movies about space travel, crafting and (hoarding) houseplants.

Kelsey is based in Raleigh, N.C.

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