Price wars in the IaaS space continue to heat up as Joyent joins the list of IaaS vendors that commit to matching Amazon Web Services in both price and functionality. Joyent recently announced that it was offering reserved pricing whereby customers can pay an upfront fee to reserve an instance for a period of one or three years and subsequently enjoy significant savings for having elected to “reserve” the commodity hardware for an extended period of time. Joyent’s reserved pricing option competes directly with the reserved pricing feature from Amazon Web Services, which allows customers to save up to 65% in fees in comparison to hourly, on demand charges. Joyent’s decision to offer reserved pricing comes soon after Microsoft’s recent announcement to match Amazon Web Services in terms of price.
In addition to revealing its reserved pricing option, Joyent revealed an expansion of its product line whereby its IaaS platform now offers a total of 58 instances, 13 of which mimic the most popular instances offered by Amazon Web Services. The 58 instances fall into the following five categories: Standard, High Memory, High CPU, High Storage, and High I/O. Joyent CEO Henrik Wasik remarked on the significance of the company’s recent expansion in product offerings by noting:
Our goal is to make our value fully visible to the market while continuing to make the Joyent public cloud easier to use. In dramatically expanding our compute products to meet and anticipate the breadth of customers’ needs, we’re reaffirming our commitment to make the Joyent public cloud truly accessible and affordable to any business.
Joyent’s goal is to underscore the value, accessibility and affordability of its public cloud platform. Importantly, it strives to accomplish this goal by mimicking the functionality and pricing of Amazon Web Services, the undisputed IaaS leader. Given the gargantuan challenge of competing with Amazon Web Services with respect to innovation, recent announcements by Joyent and Microsoft illustrate that matching AWS in terms of price and select functionality represents the strategy of choice for vendors seeking to expand their footprint in the IaaS space. Google Compute Engine (GCE) marks the likeliest candidate to deviate from the path of AWS mimicry, but the jury is still out on GCE’s ability to surpass AWS in innovation because of its recent release in general availability.