Estimating, provisioning and pricing is always insane, and no matter which route one takes, be it an in-house data center or a cloud-based provider, cost estimates rarely equal the dollar value of the check that gets written at the end of the month. Are cloud computing costs high? That question can only be answered if you have something with which to accurately compare it, which logically would be the cost of running an in-house data-center. But of course, how many organizations can honestly and accurately peg the cost of hosting applications in house? Sure, it's easy to amortize the cost of a blade server over five years, and perhaps the additional salary of a system administrator when ball-parking the in-house data costs. And it's equally as easy to leave out all of the hidden costs, be it the annual cost to power the machines, or the monthly cost to pay for the square footage consumed by the server room. Are the organizations that are using cloud computing services getting a good deal, or are they getting taken for a ride? It's tough to say when it's an apples to orangutangs comparison.
Inspired by the Amazon AWS conference, TheServerSide ran a couple of stories on how various vendors are helping organizations reduce their cloud computing costs. Vittaly Tavor, founder and vice president of products at Cloudyn, shared his thoughts on the self-destructive habit IT professionals have in terms of needlessly costing themselves money by overprovisioning in the cloud. "No IT professional has ever been fired for overprovisioning," said Tayor rather sarcastically. It's true, and it's a practice that just puts more money into the wallet of Amazon's AWS product line.
Following a similar theme, TheServerSide also spoke with Pete Adams, the chief operating officer at Cloudability, who not only waxed poetic about the proclivity of AWS users to over-provision, but he also explained why it is that there is such a mammoth divide between how much AWS clients are currently paying, and how much they could be saving if they were able to peg their systems to the correct reserved server or pricing tier. “There are over 2000 different types of reservations you can buy, depending on the instance type, the availability zone you buy it in and the operating system, and each one of those reservations has a different break-even point," said Adams.
The pain point of grappling with the monthly cloud computing bill was highlighted at the Amazon re:Invent conference that was held last month in Las Vegas by the fact that every third vendor on the exhibition floor was pitching a Rube Goldberg machine that could put your computing needs through a variety of hoops and eventually spit out the spot servers and pricing tiers that would optimize service and minimize costs. The fact that so many vendors are competing in this space underscores the fact that indeed, cloud computing pricing is absurd, and if you're organization isn't in sync with the insanity, your optimized cloud-computing model might not nearly be optimized enough.
Follow Cameron McKenzie on Twitter: @potemcam