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What Google’s New BigQuery Pricing Tiers Mean For You

As a fully managed enterprise data warehouse, Google BigQuery helps to manage and analyze data with built-in features like machine learning, geospatial analysis and business intelligence. 

Google has announced that a new tiered pricing model for Google BigQuery will come into effect in July. If your organization is already a BigQuery customer or you’re considering it as a data warehouse option, here’s what you need to know about the new pricing structure.

As of July 5, 2023, BigQuery will come with three pricing tiers: Standard, Enterprise and Enterprise Plus. Customers will have the ability to mix and match these editions to suit various workloads.

This change means customers can no longer purchase flat-rate monthly, annual or flex-slot commitments. BigQuery’s on-demand analysis model (i.e. pay-per-query pricing) is still available, but pricing will increase by 25 percent across all regions. Google says this increase reflects improvements in its serverless functionality and performance.

“Customers already leveraging existing flat-rate pricing can begin migrating their flat and flex capacity to the right edition based on their business requirements, with options to move to edition tiers as their needs change,” explained Gerrit Kazmaier, Google’s VP and GM, Data & Analytics, Google Cloud, in a blog post.

Which edition of BigQuery is right for my business?

So which edition (or combination of editions) is right for you? Here’s how Google breaks it down:

  • Standard: Best for ad-hoc, development and test workloads; supports standard SQL analysis.
  • Enterprise: Best for increased security, governance, machine learning and data management; supports advanced enterprise analytics.
  • Enterprise Plus: Best for mission-critical workloads that demand high uptime, availability and recovery requirements or have complex regulatory needs; supports mission-critical enterprise analytics.

With the ability to mix and match editions—along with multi-year usage discounts—Google is aiming to provide customers with improved pricing predictability. The cost of the Enterprise and Enterprise Plus editions is also lower with an optional one- or three-year commitment.

New features create data and cost efficiencies

Google also announced new features that are aimed at lowering overall total cost of ownership (TCO) while adding significant value. For example, the new granular autoscaler allows users to set a maximum compute capacity. This means BigQuery will optimize that capacity based on usage without any manual intervention—so you only pay for what you use. This is available with all editions.

Google estimates that through granular autoscaling, customers can reduce their current committed capacity by 30 to 40 percent. This feature is particularly useful for businesses that experience spikes in demand (such as retailers) or need to manage unpredictable or variable demands.

Another new feature is compressed storage. Users will now only pay for data storage after it’s been compressed, which can offset the increase in on-demand analysis costs for some customers—while helping them store more data.

“As data volumes grow exponentially, customers find it increasingly complex and expensive to store and manage data at scale.” According to Google, “With the compressed storage billing model you can manage complexity across all data types while keeping costs low.”. Google noted that one of its customers achieved a compression rate of more than 12:1.

What’s next for BigQuery customers?

Ultimately, this tiered pricing model is a significant change for BigQuery customers and its implications will vary. Even customers excited about the added features may be concerned how this will impact their business.

Monthly flat-rate and flex slots will be converted to new pricing immediately, while annual flat-rate pricing will convert to Editions pricing at time of renewal. You can modify your capacity configuration at any time, before or after the pricing change.

If you’re using the flat-rate model, Google recommends working with your Google account team or partner to plan workload migrations to the new editions model.

As a premier Google Cloud partner, we can help you manage your editions and licenses to leverage new capabilities, reduce TCO and add value. When you partner with Pythian, you’ll have a dedicated account manager to act as a single point of contact for all your questions. 

Our Pythian subject matter experts have the breadth and depth of experience you need to guide your organization through any update that comes to BigQuery. We even have a service that will support you in optimizing your costs as the changes to BigQuery’s pricing tiers come into effect. To learn more about how Pythian can be leveraged to get the most value out of your BigQuery use, read the details of our BigQuery Cost Optimization service.

Want to speak to a Google Cloud expert about your BigQuery options? Schedule a call to discuss more. 

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