Cloud computing has become “the phrase du jour”, and it’s getting bigger. But how do we define it, and even go about using it? Well, chances are you’ve been exposed to some form of cloud computing already. Widely-used email accounts such as Gmail, Hotmail orAol allow you to log in to your email remotely, and access your files on the service provider’s computer cloud; it’s that simple. It’s basically the use of readily available computing resources or services delivered over a network, such as the Internet.
Many have described cloud computing as an updated version of utility computing, which allows you to access data via virtual servers available via the internet. This definition can expand to anything outside the firewalls, becoming part of “the cloud”; even conventional outsourcing.
As for when it comes to cloud hosting prices and comparison, many companies differ greatly on how they charge for these services, with a variety of extra features available depending on the package you go for. For instance, for an on-demand service, you never need to pay for more than what you actually use, and can be priced hourly.
One thing is for certain; as the market becomes more competitive, the biggest giants in cloud computing will continue cutting their prices and offering bigger, better features. For instance, earlier in the year, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft both slashed their prices within just two days of each other, in order to snare more customers.
Both seem to be focusing on different areas of the market, however, with AWS aiming for the both the little and bigger spenders – especially those looking to spend $5 million+ in a year. They’ve cut the price of their promoted small on-demand Windows server by 4 per cent, going from $0.12 to $0.115 per hour. Now let’s look at the 33 per cent cut of Reserved Instances, which requires a mandatory one-year commitment; they cut that price by around 33 per cent, which means a Windows Server can be purchased for one year via an one-off payment of $2,400 and $0.264 per hour, compared with $0.92 an hour for on-demand services.
Microsoft is a different story, they are aiming for entry-levels users and developers, dropping its entry-level cloud hosting prices from $4 to $2 an hour.
Unsure which sort package would best suit your needs? Check out some of the many cloud computing price comparison websites available or consult with a local cloud consultant in your area.