Cloudflare brought various data center and major cloud computing companies together in a new group of industry dubbed as the ‘Bandwidth Alliance‘. The aim of the alliance is to waive off the fees of cloud customers which they pay for outbound networking services. Bandwidth Alliance include cloud giant companies such as Google, IBM, Microsoft, Backblaze, and Digital Ocean, which will officially be announced at the celebration of the company’s eighth anniversary that has been delayed for more than two weeks.
The group intends to bring about changes especially in the technology and accounting of its business practices allowing the customers of Cloudflare to either enjoy the service free of cost or at a discounted price. The provision, however, would be available to the customers who experience traffic passing through the locations of the network that are connected to the content delivery of Cloudflare and anti-DDoS services via a private network connection.
Matthew Prince, the CEO of Cloudflare mentioned that Amazon Web Services was approached to become an integral part of the group, in spite of the fact that the representatives of Cloudflare Public-Relations always emphasized the Bandwidth Alliance to come together against the market power of AWS. Prince had doubted AWS participation and has even predicted that either it would join the group or follow its leads in the near future for discounted networking services. These services give a feel like that of Hotel California which you will never feel like leaving once you use the services, stated Prince.
Expanding the internet globally is quite an expensive project. Major cloud services providers already have established their private networks to change the movement of traffic across the world. It is quite expensive to build such networks, maintain, as well as upgrade them on regular basis. To cover the expenses, these companies charge their customers for availing the services. Although Prince did not condemn the companies for charging the customers, he said that the networking fees belong to higher-margin services that cloud company’s offer. The same is true for Cloudflare services where data center regions and cloud providers are directly linked. In short, traffic gathered by any website, for instance, GeekWire websites first passes through the services provided by companies like Cloudflare and Microsoft Azure.
Cloudflare is likely to amend the way it has been providing the services. This means its customers will no longer have to go through the expensive network of cloud services providers. Cloudflare has the capability to replace the networks of the cloud services providers. It has a peer-to-peer connectivity with some of the major cloud providers in almost all the regions in which data centers are operational. The Bandwidth Alliance, in fact, is focused on establishing peer-to-peer connectivity on places where the connectivity is poor.
Cloudflare and Google have been working on this project from the past few years, according to a statement by Prince. Recently, they entered a deal through Cloudflare’s CDN internet program. As part of the Bandwidth Alliance, Google and Cloudflare customers will pay 75% lesser cost, as compared to the list price, for transferring outbound data.