In order to provide the most accurate comparison, typical data storage and usage scenario is considered. The following chart shows some of the key points you should consider while choosing a cloud storage provider. I will also touch on VMware’s Cloud Platform (vCloud Express) which is available from a number of providers.
With so much noise being created around cloud computing it will gain even more traction and attention in 2010. Amazon has the most established, stable platform offering the widest array of support for different technologies – hence is current king of cloud.
The only offering in Australia at present is from Melbourne IT which is a limited beta of VMware’s vCloud Express platform. Google is the only provider to allow you to get going for free for small apps, however its use in the enterprise is an unknown at this stage.
Security and Privacy of Cloud Providers is also a bit sketchy at this stage with not a whole lot of documentation available on how your data is protected. IT Support Services Manager – David has led and managed numerous IT infrastructure projects for leading companies in the pharmacetical, FMCG and logistics industries. By submitting my Email address I confirm that I have read and accepted the Terms of Use and Declaration of Consent.
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You also agree that your personal information may be transferred and processed in the United States, and that you have read and agree to the Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy. Even if the cloud's control and security issues were suddenly resolved, the morass of cloud pricing would still be a challenge.
Pricing structures are based on a multitude of factors, from storage space needed to clock cycles used to monthly traffic allotments, and that's not all.
To determine total pricing for a cloud service, users need to understand the individual service elements that a provider bills for and how those charges are calculated.
Costs stem from services Another critical factor in determining true costs comes down to the type of service needed. Perhaps, the easiest way to break down pricing is to focus on the primary services offered. The pricing comparisons are only part of the overall picture; each vendor listed above includes extra services and features for an additional charge.
Different providers, different services provided Not all cloud service providers are created equal, and that becomes evident when you look more closely at the differences between providers and how they address customer needs. GoGrid includes load balancing at no extra charge on some of its server offerings and also includes the first 20 GB of storage for free. Rackspace uses a different billing mechanism and reduces per-gigabyte bandwidth charges as volume increases; the company also offers backup services at no charge on some of its virtual server bundles.

Amazon offers sliding scales for rates on most of its services but charges for gets and puts to its storage services. When you look at the simpler concept of cloud-based storage services, the differences in pricing structures and in how providers build bundles for dent (see Table 2).
GoGrid offers the first 20 GB of storage at no charge to customers using its hosted server services and offers its storage services only to hosted server customers.
Amazon S3 does not charge for deletes and offers discounts as transaction volume and storage needs increase. Ideally, pricing out cloud-based services should take little more than selecting features and determining storage and server computing needed. The trick is to get all estimates in writing with clear, concise language that explains what the total charges will be per contracted period: Written confirmation is the only way to see an apples-to-apples comparison of pricing models and determine true budget amounts.
The future of IaaS A recent study by the University of New South Wales in Australia, in collaboration with researchers at NICTA (National ICT Australia) and the Smart Services Cooperative Research Centre, spent seven months stress testing Amazon's EC2, Google's App Engine and Microsoft's Azure cloud computing services.
The analysis simulated 2,000 concurrent users connecting to services from each of the three providers, with researchers measuring response times and other performance metrics. It's obvious that cloud providers have their work cut out in terms of simplifying pricing models, beefing up security and providing SLAs that guarantee better reliability.
Hopefully, cloud providers are listening, and their customers will be willing to keep pushing for what they need.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jo Maitland is an executive editor in the Data Center and Virtualization media group at TechTarget.
Editors' note: This chapter on Infrastructure as a Service is the fourth part of an e-book on cloud computing that also includes chapters on CIO strategies for the cloud, development for the cloud and Software as a Service. Before the virtual storage area network, there were Fibre Channel storage area networks and iSCSI. If you think you know which features only come with the vSphere Distributed Switch, challenge your knowledge with this quiz. Approximately 2 Terabytes of storage with 500GB inbound data transfer and 100GB Outbound data transfer, which mimics a possible real world usage for an organization is being considered. I expect more cloud providers to start popping up that run this as the underlying platform. But until that day, when determining total pricing for a cloud computing service, consider the services offered by the provider and how each pricing structure is worded. Although cloud providers like to tout the simplicity of their services, IT managers have found that pricing cloud services is anything but simple. Some service providers have additional charges hidden deep within their service-level agreements (SLAs). Does the provider, for example, bill based on traffic, storage space needed, server CPU time or a combination of these factors along with other elements? For some, that service may be little more than a hosted, dedicated server to run applications in the cloud.

The majority of cloud service providers break down their services into three primary areas: servers in the cloud, storage in the cloud, and sites and applications in the cloud.
What's more, prices can change depending on length of commitment, total bandwidth needs or total size of storage required, and in most cases, prices and packages are negotiable with a vendor's sales staff.
Typical of the market segment, GoGrid offers discounted per-gigabyte pricing as customers buy larger storage amounts.
The company offers a sliding scale for storage purchases, where the price per-gigabyte decreases as total amounts ordered increases.
The company also offers contract-based fixed pricing for those looking to stabilize their prices. The results were less than stellar, with response times varying widely depending on the time of day in which services were accessed.
This article features additional reporting by Christina Torode, a senior news writer in the CIO media group and TechTarget.
If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. In 2008, David gained his ITIL Foundations certification in addition to becoming a member of the Risk Management Institution of Australia.
For others, the service may be cloud-based backup or business continuity or basic hosted storage. And like other cloud services, prices are affected by length of commitment, total bandwidth needs or total size of storage required.
GoGrid's storage service is offered as a mountable volume and does not yet offer a Web services application programming interface for gets and puts and other commands. What's more, if the file is more than 250 KB in size, the company doesn't charge for gets and puts. For larger file transfers, the company recommends using its import and export services, which can reduce costs.
In addition, the study revealed a lack of monitoring tools to enable organizations to check whether the service has met their SLA.
Just one catastrophic data privacy breach could extinguish a brand and potentially slow the market down for a decade. Unlike CloudDip (which offers FREE inbound bandwidth on all plans), many providers charge seperately for bandwidth and HTTP Put and Get requests. David's current interests are IT Infrastructure, Cloud Computing, Public Cloud and ways to reduce cost and increase innovation through the use of cloud technology. So, even if you change the inbound bandwidth to couple of terrabytes, CloudDip costs will remain the same, but many of the other providers' will jump drastically!

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