Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, .NET, Virtualization, Security, GovIT

Cloud Expo: Article

Cloud Economics – Amazon, Microsoft, Google Compared

A Platform Comparison

Any new technology adoption happens because of one of the three reasons:
  1. Capability: It allows us to do something which was not feasible earlier
  2. Convenience: It simplifies
  3. Cost: It significantly reduces cost of doing something

What is our expectation from cloud computing? As I had stated earlier, it is all about cost saving … (1) through elastic capacity and (2) through economy of scale. So, for any CIO who is interested in moving to cloud, it is very important to understand what the cost elements are for different cloud solutions. I am going to look at 3 platforms: Amazon EC2, Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure. They are sufficiently different from each other and each of these companies is following a different cloud strategy – so we need to understand their pricing model.

(A word of caution: this analysis is as per the published data on 20th January, 2010 and texts in green italics are my interpretation)

[Update on Amazon offering as on June, 2011]

Quick Read: Market forces seem to have ensured that all the prices are similar – for quick rule of thumb calculation to look at viability, use the following numbers irrespective of the provider. You will not go too much off the mark.

  • Base machine = $0.1 per hour (for 1.5 GHz Intel Processor)
  • Storage = $0.15 per GB per month
  • I/O = $0.01 for 1,000 write and $0.001 for 1,000 read
  • Bandwidth = $0.1 per GB for incoming traffic and $0.15 per GB for outgoing traffic

However, if you have time, you can go through the detail analysis given below.

Amazon:
  • Overview: You can create one or more instances of a virtual machine for processing and for storage
    • You pay based on time the instances are running and not on how much they are used – if an instance is idle, you still pay for it
    • There are three physically different locations where the facility is available (called availability zones) – US(N. Virginia, N. California) and EU(Ireland)
    • When you either shutdown the machine instance or it crashes for whatever reason you lose all your data
    • It is possible to have a reserve instance (for 1 year or 3 years) for an initial payment and discounted rate of usage – however, I do not think it provides any guarantee against data loss because of machine crash
    • Data storage can be both relational and non-relational
  • Machine Instance: Virtual machine can be of different capacity – Standard(Small, Large, Extra Large), High-Memory(Double Extra Large, Quadruple Extra Large), High-CPU(Medium, Extra Large)
    • Charge for Machine Usage: You are charged for the time you keep the instance of the machine running – the time is calculated in hours, any fraction of hour is taken as full hour
      • Hourly charge vary from $0.085 (Small – Linux – N. Virginia) to $3.16 (Quadruple Extra Large – Windows – N. California)
      • Both Linux and Windows machine instances are supported – Windows machines are about 40% more expensive – other software charges are extra
    • There are separate charges for mapping IP addresses, for monitoring & auto scaling ($0.015 per instance per hour) and load balancing
    • A message queue is available (Simple Queue Service – SQS) but again it has a separate charge – $0.1 to $0.17 per GB depending on the total monthly volume
  • Data Persistence: To persistent data storage you can one of the 3 alternatives – Simple DB, Simple Storage Service (S3) or Relational Database Service (RDS)
    • Simple DB and S3 storage mechanism is not RDBMS – that is you do not have tables therefore you cannot retrieve records through using JOIN
    • RDS is an instance of MySQL – so you can use it like a normal RDBMS
    • Charges for Simple DB: you pay separately for CPU, disk space and data transfer – though up to a limit they are free (25 CPU hours, 1GB data transfer, 1GB of storage)
      • CPU usage calculation is normalized to 1.7 GHz Xeon (2007) processor and works out to $0.14 to $0.154 per hour depending on location
      • Data transfer In is free till June 2010 and charge for transfer Out is between $0.1 to $0.17
        per GB depending on the total monthly volume
      • Actual storage is charger at $0.25 to $0.275 per GB per month – it includes 45 bytes of overhead for each item uploaded
    • Charges for S3: You are charged for disk space, data transfer and number of request made instead of CPU usage – data transfer charges are the same
      • Storage charge varies from $.055 to $0.165 per GB per month making it slightly cheaper than Simple DB but at a higher level of usage (more than 1000 TB)
      • I/O requests are charged separately – you pay between $0.01 to $0.011 per 1,000 write requests and $0.01 to $0.011 per 10,000 read requests – deletes are free
    • Charge for RDS: You pay for storage, I/O request, data transfer and machine instance (Small, Large, Extra Large, Double Extra Large, Quadruple Extra Large) based on usage
      • You pay for RDS instance – charges vary from $0.11 to $3.10 per hour depending on the instance size
      • The storage charge is not pay as you use – you have to decide in advance (5 GB to 1 TB) and the charges are $0.10 per GB per month
      • The is no charge for backup up to the amount of storage you have chosen but you have to pay $0.15 per GB per month for extra backup
      • You pay separately for I/O at $0.10 per 1 million I/O requests

    Google:
    • Overview: Application written in Python or Java can directly be deployed – the implementation is a subset
      • No need to instantiate any virtual machine
      • You are charged on the actual normalized CPU cycles used
      • Storage is only non-relational
      • Charge is calculated on these parameters – bandwidth, CPU, storage, emails send
      • You have free quota for each of these parameters – it is enough for development, testing and small deployment
      • There are limits imposed for peak usage on many different parameters – with daily limits & limits on usage in a burst
      • You will need to rewrite your application to work on Google App Engine – see this
      • Charge for CPU usage: It is calculated in CPU seconds equivalent to 1.2 GHz Intel x86 processor
        • You pay $0.10 per hour of CPU usage for processing requests
        • 6.5 hours of CPU time is free
        • You do not pay for CPU idle time
      • Charge for storage: Only non-relational storage is available
        • You pay $0.15 per GB per month – the size includes overhead, metadata and storage required for indexes
        • It includes data stored in the datastore, memcache, blobstore
        • You pay for CPU usages for data I/O at $0.10 per hour
        • 60 hours of CPU time for data I/O is free
        • Up to 1 GB of storage is freeFAQ page says that it is 500 MB
        • You are charged every day at $0.005 GB per day after subtracting your free quota
      • Charge for bandwidth usage: Inward and outward bandwidth usage is charged at different rate
        • You pay $0.10 per GB for incoming traffic
        • You pay $0.12 per GB for outgoing traffic
        • 1 GB of incoming traffic and 1 GB of outgoing traffic is free
    Microsoft:
    • Overview: Offering has 3 main parts – Windows Azure, SQL Azure and App Fabric
      • Details available on the Microsoft site is more about the vision of the product than about what is implemented here and now.
      • However this document “Introducing Windows Azure” is good
      • It uses Hyper-V for virtualization – it works more like Amazon than like Google
      • There is an introductory offer where the service can be avail for free
      • The development environment is Visual Studio through an SDK
      • The emphasis of creating applications which partly runs in premise
        and partly on cloud
      • Microsoft wants to keep the programming model as much unaltered as possible – see this
      • Charge for CPU usage: It is calculated in CPU seconds equivalent to 1.2 GHz Intel x86 processor
        • You pay $0.12 per hour of CPU usage for processing requests
      • Charge for storage: Only non-relational storage is available
        • You pay $0.15 per GB per month
        • Storage transactions are charged separately at $0.01 per 10,000 transactions
      • Charge for bandwidth usage: Inward and outward bandwidth usage is charged at different rate
        • You pay $0.10 per GB for incoming traffic – rates for Asia are different $0.30 per GB
        • You pay $0.15 per GB for outgoing traffic – rates for Asia are different $0.45 per GB

Looking at the complexity of pricing I see great prospect for anybody who specializes in optimizing application for cloud – unlike traditional applications – any improvement in cloud application and directly be measured in $$$ saved.

More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at http://setandbma.wordpress.com.
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting
Google

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
tom.eberhard 01/25/10 03:58:00 PM EST

From what I've read, Azure offers relational storage in SQL Azure.
Look at these two different links for example.

Please clarify your article.
Sincerely,
Tom Eberhard.

Cloud Expo Latest Stories
The 16th International Cloud Expo announces that its Call for Papers is now open. 16th International Cloud Expo, to be held June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
14th International Cloud Expo, held on June 10–12, 2014 at the Javits Center in New York City, featured three content-packed days with a rich array of sessions about the business and technical value of cloud computing, Internet of Things, Big Data, and DevOps led by exceptional speakers from every sector of the IT ecosystem. The Cloud Expo series is the fastest-growing Enterprise IT event in the past 10 years, devoted to every aspect of delivering massively scalable enterprise IT as a service.
Hardware will never be more valuable than on the day it hits your loading dock. Each day new servers are not deployed to production the business is losing money. While Moore’s Law is typically cited to explain the exponential density growth of chips, a critical consequence of this is rapid depreciation of servers. The hardware for clustered systems (e.g., Hadoop, OpenStack) tends to be significant capital expenses. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mason Katz, CTO and co-founder of StackIQ, to discuss how infrastructure teams should be aware of the capitalization and depreciation model of these expenses to fully understand when and where automation is critical.
Over the last few years the healthcare ecosystem has revolved around innovations in Electronic Health Record (HER) based systems. This evolution has helped us achieve much desired interoperability. Now the focus is shifting to other equally important aspects – scalability and performance. While applying cloud computing environments to the EHR systems, a special consideration needs to be given to the cloud enablement of Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA), i.e., the largest single medical system in the United States.
In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Mark Hinkle, Senior Director, Open Source Solutions at Citrix Systems Inc., will provide overview of the open source software that can be used to deploy and manage a cloud computing environment. He will include information on storage, networking(e.g., OpenDaylight) and compute virtualization (Xen, KVM, LXC) and the orchestration(Apache CloudStack, OpenStack) of the three to build their own cloud services. Speaker Bio: Mark Hinkle is the Senior Director, Open Source Solutions, at Citrix Systems Inc. He joined Citrix as a result of their July 2011 acquisition of Cloud.com where he was their Vice President of Community. He is currently responsible for Citrix open source efforts around the open source cloud computing platform, Apache CloudStack and the Xen Hypervisor. Previously he was the VP of Community at Zenoss Inc., a producer of the open source application, server, and network management software, where he grew the Zenoss Core project to over 10...
Most of today’s hardware manufacturers are building servers with at least one SATA Port, but not every systems engineer utilizes them. This is considered a loss in the game of maximizing potential storage space in a fixed unit. The SATADOM Series was created by Innodisk as a high-performance, small form factor boot drive with low power consumption to be plugged into the unused SATA port on your server board as an alternative to hard drive or USB boot-up. Built for 1U systems, this powerful device is smaller than a one dollar coin, and frees up otherwise dead space on your motherboard. To meet the requirements of tomorrow’s cloud hardware, Innodisk invested internal R&D resources to develop our SATA III series of products. The SATA III SATADOM boasts 500/180MBs R/W Speeds respectively, or double R/W Speed of SATA II products.
As more applications and services move "to the cloud" (public or on-premise) cloud environments are increasingly adopting and building out traditional enterprise features. This in turn is enabling and encouraging cloud adoption from enterprise users. In many ways the definition is blurring as features like continuous operation, geo-distribution or on-demand capacity become the norm. NuoDB is involved in both building enterprise software and using enterprise cloud capabilities. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Seth Proctor, CTO at NuoDB, Inc., will discuss the experiences from building, deploying and using enterprise services and suggest some ways to approach moving enterprise applications into a cloud model.
Until recently, many organizations required specialized departments to perform mapping and geospatial analysis, and they used Esri on-premise solutions for that work. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dave Peters, author of the Esri Press book Building a GIS, System Architecture Design Strategies for Managers, will discuss how Esri has successfully included the cloud as a fully integrated SaaS expansion of the ArcGIS mapping platform. Organizations that have incorporated Esri cloud-based applications and content within their business models are reaping huge benefits by directly leveraging cloud-based mapping and analysis capabilities within their existing enterprise investments. The ArcGIS mapping platform includes cloud-based content management and information resources to more widely, efficiently, and affordably deliver real-time actionable information and analysis capabilities to your organization.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mac Devine, Distinguished Engineer at IBM, will discuss bringing these three elements together via Systems of Discover.
Cloud and Big Data present unique dilemmas: embracing the benefits of these new technologies while maintaining the security of your organization’s assets. When an outside party owns, controls and manages your infrastructure and computational resources, how can you be assured that sensitive data remains private and secure? How do you best protect data in mixed use cloud and big data infrastructure sets? Can you still satisfy the full range of reporting, compliance and regulatory requirements? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Derek Tumulak, Vice President of Product Management at Vormetric, will discuss how to address data security in cloud and Big Data environments so that your organization isn’t next week’s data breach headline.
The cloud is everywhere and growing, and with it SaaS has become an accepted means for software delivery. SaaS is more than just a technology, it is a thriving business model estimated to be worth around $53 billion dollars by 2015, according to IDC. The question is – how do you build and scale a profitable SaaS business model? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jason Cumberland, Vice President, SaaS Solutions at Dimension Data, will give the audience an understanding of common mistakes businesses make when transitioning to SaaS; how to avoid them; and how to build a profitable and scalable SaaS business.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in software-defined storage (SDS) purpose-built for Windows Servers and Hyper-V, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Gridstore™ is the leader in software-defined storage purpose built for virtualization that is designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Using its patented Server-Side Virtual Controller™ Technology (SVCT) to eliminate the I/O blender effect and accelerate applications Gridstore delivers vmOptimized™ Storage that self-optimizes to each application or VM across both virtual and physical environments. Leveraging a grid architecture, Gridstore delivers the first end-to-end storage QoS to ensure the most important App or VM performance is never compromised. The storage grid, that uses Gridstore’s performance optimized nodes or capacity optimized nodes, starts with as few a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia, the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between personal and professional social, mobile and cloud user experiences, our solutions help large and medium-sized organizations dramatically improve productivity, reduce collaboration costs, and increase the overall enterprise value by bringing collaboration and infrastructure solutions to the cloud.
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, will explore the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, war stories, case studies, and recommendations.
Enterprises require the performance, agility and on-demand access of the public cloud, and the management, security and compatibility of the private cloud. The solution? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Simone Brunozzi, VP and Chief Technologist(global role) for VMware, will explore how to unlock the power of the hybrid cloud and the steps to get there. He'll discuss the challenges that conventional approaches to both public and private cloud computing, and outline the tough decisions that must be made to accelerate the journey to the hybrid cloud. As part of the transition, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service model will enable enterprise IT to build services beyond their data center while owning what gets moved, when to move it, and for how long. IT can then move forward on what matters most to the organization that it supports – availability, agility and efficiency.