Google Cloud Platform announced new Network Service Tiers on Wednesday, giving cloud customers the option to choose between a Standard Tier and a Premium Tier depending on performance needs and cost.

Network Service Tiers, detailed in a Google blog post by cloud networking product manager Prajakta Joshi, are now officially in Alpha. As is probably apparent, the Premium Tier is optimized for performance, while the Standard Tier offers a lower cost option.

“Over the last 18 years, we built the world’s largest network, which by some accounts delivers 25-30% of all Internet traffic,” Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google, said in the release. “You enjoy the same infrastructure with Premium Tier. But for some use cases, you may prefer a cheaper, lower-performance alternative. With Network Service Tiers, you can choose the network that’s right for you, for each application.”

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Companies currently using Google Cloud are already on the Premium Tier, the post noted. The Premium Tier network delivers traffic over Google’s global network, the post said, which is a private fiber network consisting of more than 100 points of presence (POPs) around the world.

“In Premium Tier, inbound traffic from your end user to your application in Google Cloud enters Google’s private, high performance network at the POP closest to your end user, and GCP delivers this traffic to your application over its private network,” the post said.

Google products like Search, Gmail, and YouTube, along with services from firms like The Home Depot, Spotify, and Evernote are delivered via the Premium Tier.

Standard Tier, on the other hand, offers a quality that is on par with other cloud providers, the post said, but less expensive. According to the post, it’s cheaper because “we deliver your outbound traffic from GCP to the internet over transit (ISP) networks instead of Google’s network.”

Inbound traffic on the Standard Tier is delivered on Google’s network, but only in the region of the GCP destination itself. If it comes from somewhere else, it’s traveling on ISP networks until it gets to that region, the post said.

Overall, customers will get lower performance and less availability with the Standard Tier, but the performance, availability, and redundancy will depend on which transit provider is delivering the traffic. “Your traffic may experience congestion or outages more frequently relative to Premium Tier, but at a level comparable to other major public clouds,” the post said.

Regional services like regional Cloud Load Balancing will also be available to Standard Tier customers.

In terms of how the two stack up, Premium Tier throughput is roughly 1.7x better than the Standard Tier–delivering 5,401 kbps versus the 3,223 kbps of the Standard Tier. Each tier can also be configured by resource, if necessary.

Full pricing (available here) will go in effect when the tiers are generally available. However, the Standard Tier is roughly 20% to 30% less expensive than the Premium Tier.

“Premium Tier caters to those who need assured quality, and Standard Tier to those who need lower costs or have limited need for global networking,” Dan Conde, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, said in the post.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Google Cloud Platform announced new Network Service Tiers on Wednesday–a Standard Tier and a Premium Tier–that differ based on cost and performance.
  2. The Premium Tier delivers traffic on Google’s private fiber network, while the Standard Tier uses internet over transit (ISP) networks.
  3. Pricing wise, the Standard Tier is about 20% to 30% less expensive than the Premium Tier, and the prices will go into effect when they are generally available.