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Bringing comparison shopping to the cloud

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Trying to compare and contrast the cost of computing resources between clouds takes a lot of fortitude. And, just when you think you’ve got the best possible price for a small compute instance or a couple gigs of storage, Amazon(S amzn), or Google(s goog), or Microsoft(s msft) or someone else cuts its prices. It’s like trying to tack jello to the wall, but CloudVertical is taking a stab at it with a new online competitive pricing site.

This is a ‘cheat sheet’ for cloud costs but we made it interactive,” said CloudVertical CEO Ed Byrne via email. The user selects the provider, region, currency and time period.

Some fun facts: Azure is cheaper than AWS for both Linux and Windows in Europe, but it’s more expensive for Linux in the US. And in the US, Windows is 44 percent cheaper on Azure than on AWS.

Some samples below.


To be sure, not everyone thinks that hypothetical comparisons are possible.  James Mitchell, CEO of Strategic Blue Services, a Greenwich, UK-based cloud consultancy, said some services like 6Fusion, ComparetheCloud and CloudHarmony compare pricing on what cloud resources companies really consume. “Unless you measure what you actually use, it isn’t a fair comparison … you can’t do it just by scraping prices and instance sizes off websites,” Mitchell  said.

Mat Ellis, CEO of Cloudability, a Portland, Ore. company that tracks companies’ cloud usage is also skeptical. Via email, Ellis said:

“You can’t compare [different cloud services] because technically, they aren’t equivalent. For instance, Azure has slower I/O than the others. Folks like 6fusion are working to develop equivalent measures but even then this topic is controversial: how do you compare two instances where one has a ‘core’ that’s 18% faster, but the RAM is 6% slower, the network is *usually* 25% faster but can be up to 75% slower, and more variants of unix are supported…? It’s like comparing two cars of a similar model.”

Still, I would bet that prospective cloud customers might find a little whirl around the CloudVertical site gives them a better idea of what they can expect if they opt to deploy services from these providers.

2 Responses to “Bringing comparison shopping to the cloud”

  1. eapbyrne

    People have always compared IT hardware – regardless of whatever wonderful ‘unique performance features’ HP or IBM or Dell were pitching. The IT Manager would get quotes and pick the cheapest based on high level paper comparisons.

    The Cloud is no different. Yes the underlying hardware varies – but we also know all AWS instances are not created equal either. Ideally the 6Fusion model of a ‘Work Allocation Cube’ would become a standard comparison, but until we have that utopia, Cloud buyers want comparisons.

    We get asked every single day ‘how much is an 2 CPU / 4GB instance on AWS for a month, in Europe? How much is it in the US? How much would it be on Azure or Rackspace?’. So we put this little tool together to help everyone who does the ‘back of the envelope’ calculations.