Google Cloud has implemented a policy to enable easier data migration for customers wishing to transfer their data from Google Cloud to other providers or on-premises systems. This policy removes network data transfer fees, making it more accessible for customers to switch cloud services globally.

However, Google Cloud points out that this new policy doesn’t fully address the underlying issue of restrictive and unfair licensing practices by some legacy providers. These practices often lock customers into specific services and create barriers to freely choosing cloud providers based on business needs.

Google Cloud emphasizes that while removing data transfer fees aids in flexibility, the main barrier to cloud provider choice remains the complex and restrictive licensing terms imposed by some providers. These terms can lead to significant cost increases for customers who wish to use competing cloud services.

“Certain legacy providers leverage their on-premises software monopolies to create cloud monopolies, using restrictive licensing practices that lock in customers and warp competition. 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,” Amit Zavery, GM/VP, Head of Platform, Google Cloud said. “These and other restrictions have no technical basis and may impose a 300% cost increase to customers. In contrast, the cost for customers to migrate data out of a cloud provider is minimal.”

By introducing this policy and advocating for fairer practices, Google Cloud is reinforcing its commitment to promoting customer choice and competition in the cloud services market. This initiative is part of a broader effort by Google Cloud to support scalable and flexible technology use for businesses and governments.

Customers looking to exit Google Cloud are eligible for free data transfer when they migrate all of their Google Cloud workloads and data from Google Cloud to another cloud provider or an on-premises data center. Customers are eligible for this program as long as they are moving all their data out of Google Cloud within 60 days of eligibility approval and are terminating their contract with Google Cloud as part of the exit agreement. For those who want to move only part of their data off of Google Cloud, customers are not required to terminate their GoogleCloud agreement and can contact Google using this form with the specifics of the migration and the Google Cloud Support team will review the case.

For a more detailed overview,  read the full announcement here.