Welcome!

Government Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Dana Gardner, Liz McMillan, Gopala Krishna Behara

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microsoft Cloud, Containers Expo Blog, Cloud Security, Government Cloud

@CloudExpo: 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.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...