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Cloudflare slams Amazon Web Services over massive markups

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(Image credit: Tony Webster / Flickr)
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The CDN (opens in new tab) provider Cloudflare has called out Amazon Web Services (AWS (opens in new tab)) for its high egress fees which make it harder for its customers to move their data to a different cloud.

Back in 2018, Cloudflare (opens in new tab) launched the Bandwidth Alliance alongside 15 other cloud computing (opens in new tab) providers in an effort to reduce egress fees either in their entirety or at a steep discount. 

While Alibaba, Automattic, Backblaze (opens in new tab), Cherry Servers, Dataspace, DNS Networks, DreamHost, HEFICED, Kingsoft Cloud, Liquid Web, Scaleway, Tencent, Vapor, Vultr, Wasabi, and Zenlayer joined the Bandwidth Alliance, AWS refused to do so.

Although Microsoft Azure (opens in new tab) and Google Cloud (opens in new tab) have also chosen not to participate in the alliance, both cloud computing providers “will substantially discount egresss charges for their mutual Cloudflare customers” according to a new blog post (opens in new tab) from Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince and the company's SVP of global infrastructure Nitin Rao.

Massive markups

In their recent blog post, Prince and Rao argue that AWS charges customers orders of magnitude more than it pays for bandwidth.

While moving data to AWS doesn't cost an additional fee, moving data out of the company's cloud to an external network comes with high egress fees (opens in new tab). The pair provided further insight on how the cost to move data and egress fees have both fallen significantly over the course of the last decade, saying:

“During the last ten years, industry wholesale transit prices have fallen an average of 23% annually. Compounded over that time, wholesale bandwidth is 93% less expensive than 10 years ago. However, AWS’s egress fees over that same period have fallen by only 25%. And, since 2018, the egress fees AWS charges in North America and Europe have not dropped a penny even as wholesale prices in those markets over the same time period have fallen by more than half.”

Prince and Rao go on to make the case that AWS is able to charge its customers such high rates since they pay for delivered data volume while the cloud giant pays for bandwidth based on the capacity of its pipes. By charging customers using a “stocks” model as it pays using a “flow” model, the company can profit based on how well it utilizes its resources.

We'll have to wait and see if AWS responds to Cloudflare's blog post but the company is hoping that AWS will join the Bandwidth Alliance (opens in new tab) or at least lower its egress fees.

Via The Register (opens in new tab)

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.