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Why Cloud Infrastructure Pricing Is Absurd

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the buzzwords-as-a-service dept.

Cloud 191

itwbennett writes "Two reports out this week, one a new 'codex' released by 451 Research and the other an updated survey into cloud IaaS pricing from Redmonk, show just how insane cloud pricing has become. If your job requires you to read these reports, good luck. For the rest of us, Redmonk's Stephen O'Grady distilled the pricing trends down to this: 'HP offers the best compute value and instance sizes for the dollar. Google offers the best value for memory, but to get there it appears to have sacrificed compute. AWS is king in value for disk and it appears no one else is even trying to come close. Microsoft is taking the 'middle of the road,' never offering the best or worst pricing.'"

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meow meow f1rst p0st (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682321)

meow meow f1rst p0st yeeha 10 years and going str0ng!

Re:meow meow f1rst p0st (3, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45682573)

meow meow f1rst p0st yeeha 10 years and going str0ng!

I see that you are a Cloud Engineer.

Do you have 25 years of experience in cloud computing and experience with mice?

Re:meow meow f1rst p0st (5, Informative)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 10 months ago | (#45683249)

Nope, but I do have to deal with it on a daily basis...

Cloud pricing is insane (and insanely complex) because otherwise the vendor wouldn't make any real money off of it.

Take AWS for instance. Sure, the spot pricing is cheap as hell. Well, it would be, if they didn't charge you $0.11/GB-hour for storage, a penny-fraction for every 10,000 GET requests you receive (and a similar price for every 1,000 PUT/form requests), and a zillion other nickel-and-dime charges that turn a forecasted $300/mo. estimate into a $3200/mo. OpEx ( for five moderately-busy servers w/ a small DB... basically a smallish-sized commercial website).

I know this because I just inherited one of these. My predecessor promised cheap, I'm stuck with managing expensive (and am moving the #$@! thing back into our existing colo space as soon as I can practically do so...)

Re:meow meow f1rst p0st (2)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about 10 months ago | (#45683749)

my employer had an interesting result when looking at these factors, which is: AWS is the same cost as our own datacenter for heavily utilized systems. Where a savings can be realized is in hosting burst or temporary capacity. Or, I suppose, if you don't' have your own DC. It makes sense, AWS pricing would have to ultimately be the same as anyone else's datacenter, with maybe a little economy of scale thrown in. But any well run DC should price out in the same neighborhood.

Re:meow meow f1rst p0st (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about 10 months ago | (#45682979)

Always interesting to hear the Henrietta Pussycat perspective on cloud computing.

Sentence doesn't make sense (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682325)

"Google offers the best value for memory, but to get there it appears to have sacrificed compute."

The submitter seems to have sacrificed the end of his sentence.

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682567)

There's nothing wrong with that sentence and it appears the same in the article. "Compute" is a thing and Google has sacrificed it in favor of memory.

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (1)

Kielistic (1273232) | about 10 months ago | (#45682617)

Compute is a verb and I am aware of no other usage of the word. Verbs are not things; nouns are things.

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682783)

Compute is cloud slang for compute units.

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (5, Insightful)

ahem (174666) | about 10 months ago | (#45682809)

"compute" in a cloud context == "compute capacity". Think of it like first and last name. If I'm "Rob Jones", and someone calls me "Rob", it doesn't turn me into a verb.

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 10 months ago | (#45682953)

If I'm "Rob Jones", and someone calls me "Rob", it doesn't turn me into a verb.

In any case, do not name your dog "Stay"; it's confusing for the dog ... "Come here Stay"

Re:A Dog Named Stains (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683421)

That reminds me of a song by Red Peters: Ballad Of A Dog Named Stains.

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (1)

Kielistic (1273232) | about 10 months ago | (#45682957)

"compute" in a cloud context == "compute capacity".

That is possibly more moronic than simply mistaking a verb for a noun.

If I'm "Rob Jones", and someone calls me "Rob", it doesn't turn me into a verb.

That's because your first name is a name and by definition names are nouns. Nouns and verbs are different.

Slang is never moronic (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#45683247)

That is possibly more moronic than simply mistaking a verb for a noun.

No, it's not moronic. Slang is never moronic, it just is. That is how language evolves, especially within subgroups... even I at the periphery of the cloud world (as I'm primarily a developer and not a sysadmin) understood what "compute" meant and didn't even think twice reading it.

The fact that you had trouble with it merely means you exist more outside that world than the people using it, not that there is anything wrong with the word itself.

After all, shorter is just about always better in communications, as long as the message remains equally clear. A word like compute saves two verbose words while saying exactly the same thing, a clear win.

Re:Slang is never moronic (3, Funny)

danlip (737336) | about 10 months ago | (#45683329)

Slang is never moronic, it just is

Clearly you don't know any teenagers.

Re:Slang is never moronic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683349)

After all, shorter is just about always better in communications, as long as the message remains equally clear.

But it didn't remain clear, or we wouldn't have this thread.

A word like compute saves two verbose words while saying exactly the same thing, a clear win.

But it didn't, or we wouldn't have this thread.

Re:Slang is never moronic (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#45683613)

But it didn't remain clear, or we wouldn't have this thread.

It is clear within the subgroup that buys cloud resources, it just happens that Slashdot readership is a superset of that group.

But instead of some taking it as a learning opportunity they are demanding that language remain fixed, which seems like a fruitless pursuit to me.

Re:Slang is never moronic (1, Redundant)

Kielistic (1273232) | about 10 months ago | (#45683419)

This is not slang. This is an attempt at forcing slang and that is what makes it moronic. I am fully aware of the evolution of language and this is not it.

No, it does not say the same thing. It makes it look like the sentence was cut off because there was a trailing verb. There are perfectly good nouns that would fit that spot and actually be descriptive. Alternatively, they could have actually written what they meant instead of trying to "spice" it up and make it look hip. If they wanted to talk about compute capacity or compute units they should have said that or used the nouns.

Not all language "evolution" helps clarity nor is it always a good thing. Sometimes it should still be corrected. Marketing departments should almost always be fought with full force.

Re:Slang is never moronic (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#45683597)

It makes it look like the sentence was cut off because there was a trailing verb.

It didn't to me or anyone else who knew that meaning of the word compute. It's not like there are no other verbs that are also nouns. [enchantedlearning.com]

There are perfectly good nouns that would fit that spot and actually be descriptive.

Cough them up. You can't just say that is so without an example you perceive as better. I see nothing wrong with using "compute" in that way.

Re:Slang is never moronic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683517)

> No, it's not moronic. Slang is never moronic

It is when it's *marketing* slang...

Point taken (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#45683741)

It is when it's *marketing* slang...

I will grant you that is true, marketing manufactured words often fall flat. "Compute" is not that case though.

Re:Slang is never moronic (1)

lgw (121541) | about 10 months ago | (#45683631)

Oh, slang is often moronic. Slang mostly exists as deliberate language mis-use an in-group identifier. And groups of morons have slang too.

But this is technical jargon (a specific kind of slang), and technical jargon is definitely stupid when simpler common English works in place of the jargon, as technical jargon isn't only deliberate language mis-use an in-group identifier, but is needed to communicate with little ambiguity. "Utilize" is stupid jargon because "use" works fine.

By that measure is "compute" stupid? You make a decent argument that it's not. But I certainly take issue with the notion that "shorter is better" - spoken language is plump with redundancy for good reason.

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (1)

twdorris (29395) | about 10 months ago | (#45683129)

Verbs are not things; nouns are things.

A gerand is a verbal noun. Does that make it a thing?

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683231)

It's spelled gerund. And yes, grammatically, it functions as a noun.

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683235)

gerund; such a good word...

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (1)

Kielistic (1273232) | about 10 months ago | (#45683239)

Yes, assuming you mean gerund. Computing is a noun but compute still is not.

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683903)

If you use it like a noun, it is a noun. Prescriptivist linguistics is pretty much always wrong.

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682611)

If you read the previous sentence and are familiar with the different categories of cloud resources, then it makes sense.

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (4, Insightful)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about 10 months ago | (#45682613)

The IT world suddenly seems to be under the impression that "compute" can be used as a noun. Either that or they were referring to the old '80s C64 magazine and forgot to capitalize the C.

Re:Sentence doesn't make sense (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 10 months ago | (#45683693)

That was Compute!'s Gazette. Compute! was a more general magazine which covered Commodore, Apple ][, Atari and TI-99 programming.

Re: Sentence doesn't make sense (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | about 10 months ago | (#45684001)

Gotcha. We had a C64 and subscribed to Gazette for a while. I didn't realize (or had forgotten) there were multiple variations.

Doesn't seem that absurd (4, Informative)

trybywrench (584843) | about 10 months ago | (#45682357)

Seems like you can pick which vendor gives you the best value based on the use case of your application. Doesn't seem that absurd to me at all.

Re:Doesn't seem that absurd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682423)

As long as I get physical access to my server and a guarantee that the server isn't shared with others, sure..

Re:Doesn't seem that absurd (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682625)

As long as I get physical access to my server and a guarantee that the server isn't shared with others, sure..

I don't think 'cloud' means what you think it means.

Private cloud (2)

Dareth (47614) | about 10 months ago | (#45682743)

They call that a private cloud. People with sensitive data requirements need to use that to enjoy the cloud. You do not get the price breaks you get for public/shared infrastructure clouds.

Re:Doesn't seem that absurd (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#45682697)

I have a feeling there is a vendor for that situation, too.

In short,because they can (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682491)

Seems like you can pick which vendor gives you the best value based on the use case of your application. Doesn't seem that absurd to me at all.

Infrastructure is sort of like being a car manufacturer - a lot of investment in hardware, facilities and people; meaning the barriers to entry are quite high. Sure, I could piece together my own infrastructure in my basement, but to offer the bandwidth and up time that the big boys offer? NFW. The power (as in alternating current from my utility) alone is an issue and there's a bunch of things that add together to make a 99% up time system that isn't exactly off the shelf knowledge or technology.

In short, they can charge that much because they can.

Re:In short,because they can (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682973)

True on capacity, if you want to run one from your home, but as for uptime, bullfuck.

This sort of thing was a solved problem in the '80s - VAXclusters were beautiful. Power here goes out on average maybe 20 minutes a year. And I don't make stupid administrative mistakes like Amazon & co. are known to make from time to time, nor do I have to worry about access to the servers if I can't get access to the Internet. (Then there are the security advantages, etc.)

Fact is, the reason everyone uses cloud is because it's "good enough" in a privacy-free, quantity-over-quality new era of service delivery. It has nothing to do with being better and everything to do with the fact that, on paper, it looks like the best solution in the short term is to put all your eggs into someone else's basket.

Re:In short,because they can (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 10 months ago | (#45683607)

Nah, they use it because managers get fat bonuses for 'cost reduction', and have moved on to another job before people discover what a disaster it was.

Re:Doesn't seem that absurd (2)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 10 months ago | (#45682511)

Seems like you can pick which vendor gives you the best value based on the use case of your application. Doesn't seem that absurd to me at all.

Exactly. It is a shame that the writer does not seem to be able to understand the process of picking a vendor appropriate for the task at hand.

.
What does seem absurd, however, is how magazines seem to create issues to write about.

Re:Doesn't seem that absurd (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45682551)

The impression I get from the article is that the writer found that infrastructure providers' price models make "picking a vendor appropriate for the task at hand" not the easiest job.

Re:Doesn't seem that absurd (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683655)

Whenever a very popular vendor feels threatened by a smaller competitor their first notion is to notch out the segment that's being attacked and make the software cheaper for THEM to license by introducing some rule that looks legal and sensible to everyone else.

Then they start getting hammered, and everyone starts taking a bite out of their market, and they make more notches. Pretty soon you have a tally stick.

Eventually the pricing policy gets so complicated nobody can make heads or tails of it including the vendor, and at that most excellent point the vendor either continues with the pricing and self-immolates, or fixes their pricing plan.

If you ever get a vendor that wants you to sign on the dotted line and can't put an exact price on paper, you say NO. If you need to hire a lawyer to figure out what the paper says, then you had better be damned sure you need what they are selling.

Cloud providers will NEVER EVER be cheaper for the HARDWARE, but they will ALWAYS be cheaper for bandwidth (since when wasn't collocating cheaper?) and SOFTWARE because of their size they can negotiate a better pricing plan.

Before entering the maze ask yourself first two questions: A, is this a Rube Goldberg Machine and at the end do I go Splat, B, do I REALLY need to enter this maze?

Re:Doesn't seem that absurd (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 10 months ago | (#45683893)

The impression I get from the article is that the writer found that infrastructure providers' price models make "picking a vendor appropriate for the task at hand" not the easiest job.

Yeah, the writer seems to think that knowing what you need is a big problem.

Re:Doesn't seem that absurd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682659)

What does seem absurd, however, is how magazines seem to create issues to write about.

New study finds readers don't like media-created scenarios of self-defined absurdity. Click-bait stats contradict these findings.

Re:Doesn't seem that absurd (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 10 months ago | (#45682855)

> Exactly. It is a shame that the writer does not seem to be able to understand the process of picking a vendor appropriate for the task at hand.

That's fine for only as long as your requirements don't change.Then you're screwed apparently.

Re:Doesn't seem that absurd (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 10 months ago | (#45682585)

I liken it more to comparing cell-phone plans.

Some features are included in one, but not the other. Some thing are add-ons. Some things aren't even available.

Trying to get a "compare like to like" is damned near impossible, because they've carefully set them up so it's impossible to do that.

Which means if you're trying to evaluate several of these services to figure out which is the best value for your needs, you need to do extensive fiddling to get them described in the same terms and actually be able to understand what you're seeing.

Re:Doesn't seem that absurd (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 10 months ago | (#45683103)

Yea some people get pissy, when they can't justify the high cost for their own data center.

Now cloud computing can replace a lot of data centers, but not all of them. The real trick is to find when it is cheaper or not.

Re:Doesn't seem that absurd (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about 10 months ago | (#45683695)

The point of the article seemed to be less about who's best at what, and more about how difficult it is to actually determine it. And he's right, in my opinion. The way cloud services are usually priced can make it really difficult to know what your actual cost will be.

Don't forget hidden costs (5, Insightful)

i_hate_robots (922668) | about 10 months ago | (#45682377)

Every time I read these types of articles, I feel like implementation cost is always ignored. Sure, maybe I get some extra compute for my dollar here, or some extra memory there, but how long did it take to integrate this solution using a given vendor's APIs and services? How easily can I script scale-up and scale-down policies? How effective are those scaling policies at actually saving me resources and money? I think this is kind of an old-fashioned way of calculating infrastructure pricing - it's more complex than just pricing out servers that happen to be somewhere else. Major caveat, however - it's awfully tough to calculate some of those intangibles accurately enough to put in a whitepaper...

Re:Don't forget hidden costs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682537)

Yeah, but that's hard to (a) identify and (b) express. It's so much easier to pretend to give a review than really do it. Kind of like that "comparison" of different compilers on ./ a few weeks ago that pretended to be meaningful by looking only at the compile-time of some stupidly simple programs.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I, too, am jaded by the quality of the "journalism" here as of late.

Re:Don't forget hidden costs (2)

s.petry (762400) | about 10 months ago | (#45683643)

The quality of journalism here? Don't you mean everywhere? Nearly everything you read today is pandering and propaganda. I blame the audience for a good portion of that. It's amazing how many people that think they are intellectuals refuse to even consider that their favorite theory is not "fact". Thirty years ago there were pig-headed people too, but not nearly as bad as today.

get used to the monthly payment (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682441)

the cloud is there to avoid the PHB from sticker shock of a huge price tag of a capital expense and hide it in a perpetual monthly payment. especially for smaller companies.

cloud isn't there to save anyone any money

Re:get used to the monthly payment (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 10 months ago | (#45682887)

There is simply no free lunch. The guy you are outsourcing to is in it for the money. He will make sure he makes his money off of you. They're not going to put up with crap that your employees normally would. They certainly won't do it for free.

Re:get used to the monthly payment (4, Informative)

Copid (137416) | about 10 months ago | (#45683067)

Recurring costs are everyhere in IT. Power, AC, floor space, people to guard your servers, replacing broken/obsolete hardware. This is nothing new. It's not like you just buy a big ass server and watch it run forever with no recurring support costs.

I think a lot of people here are massivly underestimating the total cost of a unit of computing resources when they run it in their own machine rooms. It's not like your machine room is any more efficient to operate than Amazon's. In fact, it's probably massively less efficient unless you're a pretty big operation. The only cost they have that you don't have is "profit for Amazon."

Re:get used to the monthly payment (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 10 months ago | (#45683161)

>cloud isn't there to save anyone any money

Well, not intentionally perhaps, but it likely manages to do so anyway. At the extreme end you have applications like R&D where the demand for computational simulation and analysis resources may fluctuate wildly - an appropriate cloud service will let them pay for only what they need, rather than needing to maintain their own peak-capable infrastructure at all times.

More commonly it trades periodic large capital outlays for hardware, plus plus ongoing rent and maintenance costs, plus the costs of a capable IT team, appropriate management and other overhead, etc,etc,etc. for a fairly predictable expense stream. Especially for smaller businesses which would have to pay interest on the capital outlay loans, or for whom the necessary IT and management infrastructure would increase dramatically, it may indeed be a good deal. There are some serious economies of scale that much of the profit margin can come from, and having a guaranteed uptime contract can no doubt be a lot less stressful for management than hoping their in-house IT team can recover from any disasters in a timely manner. There is much to be said for making expenses not directly related to your core business Somebody Else's Problem. If there weren't then car manufacturers would all be making their own bolts as well.

Re:get used to the monthly payment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683439)

It can save a lot of money for the appropriate usecases ... if you need to scale up and down within a matter of minutes (or hours), its far cheaper to run on something like Amazon EC2, provisioning extra computation capacity and paying for it only when you need it. You can do this in the cloud cheaper where the same resources are being used by different applications based on when those applications need it. It assumes that you have such a need and that your application is designed to take advantage of such a capability.

Insane... (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 10 months ago | (#45682483)

Insane good?
Insane bad?
Insane, literally insane, where it includes payment only by Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions?

Re:Insane... (1)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45682565)

Insane hard to calculate what your costs will be at any given provider. So insane bad for the bottom line.

Re:Insane... (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#45683065)

Insane hard to calculate what your costs will be at any given provider. So insane bad for the bottom line.

It seems pretty easy to calculate what your costs will be at any given provider - just add up your infrastructure needs and use the published pricing to calculate how much you'll pay. When we migrated to AWS, we estimated our monthly bill to within 10% of our actual monthlybill. Of course, if you don't know what your needs are, then you're shooting in the dark, but the same is true if you're buying your equipment on hosting it at a coloc.

What's hard is comparing prices against all providers since you have to look up prices and do separate calculations for each one.

Re:Insane... (1)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 10 months ago | (#45682569)

How about "stratospheric"?

cloud what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682487)

See there are these things called internal and external hard drives see...They actually keep your files see...You own it ya see....Check them out they are pretty cool instead of this "cloud" thing everyone speaks of. Heaven forbid you actually own your own storage and backups....old school rules....

Re:cloud what? (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45682553)

oooh pretty clouds - must listen to advertisers and buy stuff we don't need - nom nom nom

Re:cloud what? (1)

swilde23 (874551) | about 10 months ago | (#45683379)

That's assuming all you want to do is store files. And that you don't care that they are all in the same location. And that you can store them all on a single hard drive.

Old school might be ok for you. I just hope you never manage the IT for any company I work at.

You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (3, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45682541)

Seriously, a 128 core blade server with tons of TB in DDR3 and a couple of SSD boxes are pretty darned cheap.

And then your data doesn't get "stolen" or "lost".

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 10 months ago | (#45682595)

Connecting that blade server to other Internet services and to customers and protecting your service from hardware or software failure can become a challenge. "The cloud" (someone else's computer) provides Internet connectivity, failover to a fresh instance, and managed backup.

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (3, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45682705)

Depends on your "cloud" needs.

Are you selling to millions of customers (lots of connections) or just maintaining internal databases for an organization (dramatically fewer).

Not everyone is external facing. Most "needs" are local or regional.

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (2)

chuckugly (2030942) | about 10 months ago | (#45683145)

As well as (optionally) presence in multiple regions for better responsiveness and robustness. Netflix uses Amazon for a reason.

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (1)

AF_Cheddar_Head (1186601) | about 10 months ago | (#45682601)

Sure, then cost out the electrical and HVAC infrastructure to make sure that the wonderous blade server always has power and cooling. And no a simple UPS in the rack is not going to suffice for that AD/E-mail/File server infrastructure that supports 200 lawyers in three different buildings across six blocks in downtown Madison Wisconsin.

Not a fan of "Cloud Computing" but it is not as simple as buying a Blade server and plugging in an internet connections.

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (1, Troll)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45682691)

You fail to understand how little power the new green blade servers use.

Switching to SSD actually cuts heat, for example, and the largest efficiency gains come from intelligent design and the use of Direct Current.

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (2)

fnj (64210) | about 10 months ago | (#45682929)

Switching to SSD actually cuts heat, for example

Every time I compare SSD to HD, I don't see the power saving GB for GB unless you are talking trivial amounts of GB.

For example, Intel P3700 series SSD [hothardware.com] (2 TB max size) has a power consumption of 25 watts writing and 10 watts idle. Look at the collossal heat sink on that thing.

A Seagate ES.3 [seagate.com] 7200 rpm 2 TB SAS enterprise HD has a power consumption of 10 watts random read and 6 watts idle. Considering that the 4 TB model doesn't take much more power than that, the comparison for substantial storage sizes favors the HD even more.

Yeah, if you built an HD array to try to come close to the performance of that rip roaring SSD, the latter would come out ahead on power, but GB for GB it is actually a loser on power.

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#45682741)

And then your data doesn't get "stolen" or "lost".

Yeah, that never happens. [informatio...utiful.net]

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (2, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45682841)

There is no such thing as security - only lower risk.

Stop hating on reality because it's not "perfect".

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 10 months ago | (#45682947)

I'm not "hating", I'm just pointing out that in the huge list of gigantic data breaches there certainly seem to be a lot of non-cloud instances. I don't think rolling your own makes you safer unless you are exceptional in that regard.

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (2, Funny)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45683035)

"What happens in the cloud stays in the cloud"

or didn't you read your contract agreement?

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682787)

your data doesn't get "stolen" or "lost".

Really? So I won't loose anything if I keep it locally? I don't think so...

You know that the majority of backups being made are bad. People don't take the time to verify them or verify that they are actually backing up what they should how they should. I can't tell you how many times I've had to tell a customer, "Well, running a backup script on a running database server doesn't usually generate a good backup of your data." only to see a deer in the headlights look when they realize that *none* of their critical data is actually restoreable and hasn't been for a long time.

Then there is all the "offsite backup" thing to cover you should the server farm catch fire and get flooded when they put it out. "What do you mean all the backup tapes are unusable? How did they get wet?!?!"

Being in the cloud puts all that stuff onto somebody else... Who of course may or may not know what they are doing either, but I'm not sure how you fix that.

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683017)

Seriously, a 128 core blade server with tons of TB in DDR3 and a couple of SSD boxes are pretty darned cheap.

O.K, cool.

So how do you plan to make efficient use of that? Operations want a few machines to run recursive resolvers. The DBA's need five or six large boxes to run their databases on. The web team have a couple of nginx instances for serving static content, so they've requested a few machines.

Are we going for a one-size fits all policy? In that case either the operations & web guys will have massively over-powered machines or the DBAs will be upset. Are we going to spec different machines for each use? Now you need to keep track of that hardware, perform capacity planing and manage expectations: you can't be expected to just magic up a large server for the DBAs when all you have are small ones for the web guys now, can you? Ohh, I know, we'll use a virtualization platform, maybe something like VMWare? Oh, but now we need someone who knows how to manage VMWare and pay for the licensing. And we'll probably need a storage engineer to ensure we don't overload those "couple of SSD boxes". And input from the network team to ensure we don't get any n+0 failure points that could take out our VMWare cluster. And we STILL need to do capacity planing!

Or, we could use a cloud provider who handles that shit for us.

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (0)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#45683491)

You really don't get how virtual machines and virtual servers work, do you?

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (3, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about 10 months ago | (#45683117)

Seriously, a 128 core blade server with tons of TB in DDR3 and a couple of SSD boxes are pretty darned cheap.

And then your data doesn't get "stolen" or "lost".

Of course, you need 2 of them for redundancy. And a router. And a firewall. And a load balancer - all duplicated for redundancy. And multiple internet connections from different vendors (you don't trust your coloc for internet connectivity, right? That's like using a cloud provider).

And then you need to duplicate the whole thing in another datacenter for geographical redundancy.

And hire people to manage it all.

Suddenly it's not so cheap when all you really needed is a half dozen 2 core servers and a few warm spares in the remote datacenter.

Re:You can buy 2 TB flash drives now (0)

ApplePy (2703131) | about 10 months ago | (#45684033)

Of course, you need 2 of them for redundancy. And a router. And a firewall. And a load balancer - all duplicated for redundancy. And multiple internet connections from different vendors (you don't trust your coloc for internet connectivity, right?

Do you even know what a blade server is? Redundant blades, redundant power supplies... redundant bloody everything.

Firewalling, routing, and load balancing can be handled by VMs running on said ridiculously redundant blade server.

Most businesses don't need geographical redundancy because they don't need 100% uptime. Very few do. I'd say the vast majority of the businesses (small to medium) out there can get by without their servers for a day. They might not like it, but they won't die.

I used to work for a company that sold cloud services. It can be good for some use cases, but not so often as people seem to think.

I read the headline and the summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682597)

And I still have no freaking idea why the Headline calls the pricing "absurd" or the summary calls it "insane". I'm going to have to actually RTFA to find out what any halfway intelligent summary should have done. If you're story calls it absurd and insance, the for the love of Pete, explain why in the least! Absurdly low? Absurdly high? Absurdly complex? FFS!

Re:I read the headline and the summary... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682641)

As a follow up, the first bloody of TFA actually stated what the summary completely ignored:

cloud pricing is insanely complicated.

Followed up by this sentence...

It’s virtually impossible for customers to price shop, as vendors use a wide range of models and some don’t actually publish their prices.

Those two sentences explained more than the entire paragraph summary.

I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682677)

But SUSE is doing a pretty good job in advertising its IAAS Cloud Strategy :
SUSE Cloud Strategy [youtube.com]

A codex is not a decoder (1)

jtara (133429) | about 10 months ago | (#45682679)

Let's start by using "codex" correctly. (Or, in this case, not using it at all...) It's not a secret decoder ring. It's a bound set of pages. Or a "book", but not necessarily with a cover. A codex be a guide to decoding or translating something, but that would be completely incidental, as the word carries no such meaning.

Re:A codex is not a decoder (0)

jtara (133429) | about 10 months ago | (#45682689)

^ "A codex might be..."

Hidden performance when on the cheap (5, Informative)

shuz (706678) | about 10 months ago | (#45682681)

One very important aspect to pay attention to is the advertised performance service you will get. CPU cycles, size of memory, volume of storage, amount of networking bandwidth are all sure to be price points and advertising points. I would encourage everyone to pay attention to any fine print about:
*dedicated vs shared CPU. The biggest problem with CPU sharing is that CPU cycles are scheduled to be shared on over subscribed "cloud" providers, which helps lower cost. Oversubscribed CPU cycles causes CPU wait time, which means that your "cloud" CPU may need to wait X amount of time to be scheduled for your N CPU cores that you are paying for. Let's say that you have 8 CPU's, you may need to wait for 8 CPU's to be unused on the physical host your are on before you get to do any work at all. If you have 1 or 2 CPU's than this is far less of an issue. The greater the core count the bigger the issue.

*Memory ballooning. Memory is one of the most easily over subscribed resources in "clouds". To cut costs Memory is allocated to you at, let's say 12GB. But you only use 6GB. On the back end you are really only given 6GB. Going further let's say that you have 12GB, use only 6GB, but only have 4GB actively in use by your application. There are memory scheme's out there that will write the 2GB that you do not use very often to disk(think swapping intelligently).

*Disk IO speeds. Storage can be really cheap or really expensive depending on how it is architected. Pay attention to any fine print talking about what the storage consists of and if you have any kind of dedicated Disk IO. The cheapest "cloud storage" provider may be offering a product that works great for highly cached low transaction websites. But that same provider may give poor performance for a high rate of disk transaction logging server, or high transactional application.

*bandwidth limitations. Pay attention to quality of service limits. Pay attention to bandwidth sharing, do you get full advertised bandwidth to the internet or do you get "up to bandwidth" limits. Network connections to other servers that are co-hosted could be as fast as 40+GB/s. If it matters to your application ask if there are higher bandwidth connections between co-hosted servers.

*backups, service uptimes, service failure compensation, riders on the contract that talk about lower temporary performance in the event of a hardware failure. Options for expansion of resources(hot or cold).

Re:Hidden performance when on the cheap (1)

alen (225700) | about 10 months ago | (#45683685)

that and amazon and others all oversubscribe the hardware
we have vmware servers that use twice the physical memory that's in there. 2GB to an instance doesn't mean it's always using 2GB so you can add more instances

Re:Hidden performance when on the cheap (1)

shallot (172865) | about 10 months ago | (#45684041)

Let's say that you have 8 CPU's, you may need to wait for 8 CPU's to be unused on the physical host your are on before you get to do any work at all. If you have 1 or 2 CPU's than this is far less of an issue. The greater the core count the bigger the issue.

You seem to be describing a "feature" in versions of VMware that are very old these days.

See some of the answers e.g. at http://serverfault.com/questions/218823/can-a-vm-perform-better-when-only-two-cores-instead-of-four-cores-are-presented [serverfault.com]

Prices is just part of the picture (-1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 10 months ago | (#45682805)

There are extra features that could make big differences. Noone can match Azure's 9.99999999999% uptime.

Re: Prices is just part of the picture (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682919)

They can't even achieve 10% uptime? That's pretty bad.

Re:Prices is just part of the picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683007)

Are you high? Azure has a higher uptime than AWS. Stop spreading your anti-MS bullshit, or at least cough up a source.

Re:Prices is just part of the picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683009)

There are extra features that could make big differences. Noone can match Azure's 9.99999999999% uptime.

Uncertain if decimal point placement was accidental or intentional...

No shit sherlock (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about 10 months ago | (#45682895)

Cloud computation sites like CEX.io and Cloudhashing.com and are for those who don't want to house their computation mechanism at home. The cloud cost at least triple compare to similar (performance-wise) hardware, but you don't have to deal with electricity and stuff, plus you can sell back your hashing power to the exchange.

Why even use cloud services ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45682907)

My question is serious.

Is there a compelling reason for a company or an individual to
use cloud services and in so doing rely on others for security,
reliability, and other important functions ?

My guess is that the only real reasons someone would use the
cloud are either stupidity or false economy, or a mixture of the two.

If I have missed something please advise.

]

Re:Why even use cloud services ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683309)

My guess is that you've never managed a data center, or specced a large enterprise application to serve high numbers of simultaneous users, if you think that cloud offers a "false economy" to users.

Certainly, you can waste money on cloud by pushing "everything" into the cloud. But you can save shitloads of money by adopting a cloud model as well. If you simply need to expand into a cloud provider occasionally to accommodate seasonal peaks, then you can save yourself massive amounts of infrastructure cost - no need to build an 8 megawatt datacenter to house all the servers required to service your projected peak load (think: tax season, christmas shopping season, other 'peak usage' times where a business might get relatively low usage for most of the year, and then see a massive surge for a week or a month) - when a 2 MW data center serves your needs 330 days of the year.

Cloud providers also provide agile expansion and contraction of capacity if you plan your architecture well.

Often, cloud provider datacenters provide same-or-higher-quality security, reliability, and management than what Joe Schmo would build for his small 20 person office, as well.

Don't discount it because YOU have not had a personal need for it. There's lots of cases where it's a sensible decision, even if it's not ALWAYS the sensible decision.

Re:Why even use cloud services ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683371)

There's lots of cases where it's a sensible decision, even if it's not ALWAYS the sensible decision.

Thanks for your well written explanation.

.

Complicated on purpose (2, Interesting)

Willuz (1246698) | about 10 months ago | (#45682965)

Most IT services and applications have gone to extremely complicated price models now. The purpose is to confuse upper level management so that they just decide to buy the highest level of service because they can't figure out what any of the levels mean.

Try reading the MS SQL Server license guides. It's more complicated than the software itself and even has quick reference guides and instructions on how to read the guides. Most managers just say to buy the most expensive so they know they're covered.

Re:Complicated on purpose (1)

shuz (706678) | about 10 months ago | (#45683459)

The most expensive licensing for a product does not always get you all the functionality you want or need to use the product. Many companies offer "plugins" or add on services to make their base or even advanced product better. These products often do not have an all inclusive option. Ultimately any marketer will try to get as much out of their products as they think they can get away with. If people making decisions can not, by them selves, understand exactly what they are buying they ought to include others in the decision making process.

DigitalOcean (2)

GrBear (63712) | about 10 months ago | (#45683031)

So far, I've yet to find ANY pricing that beats my VPS provider, DigitalOcean... Google included.

Re:DigitalOcean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45683423)

cloudatcost [cloudatcost.com]

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