Cloud Costs: Estimate Your Monthly Cloud Expenses

Author:
Brent Meadows

Category: Cloud Computing

What is the price of data? Calculate your business’s monthly cloud costs.

A large aspect of planning a cloud deployment is calculating your monthly costs. There are numerous ways to minimize expenses with upfront planning and diligent research. Below are some simple steps to follow.

Consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) of your organization’s applications. Conduct a cost simulation where you profile all aspects of your portfolio that you want to move to the cloud. This is the essential first step. Without a solid target base, you have no way to optimize potential cloud computing costs.

At this point, determine whether you plan to deploy applications on an infrastructure-as-a–service (IaaS) platform or if you will take advantage of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or software-as-a-service (SaaS). IaaS users typically will see cheaper monthly costs but they still need to purchase software licenses, build machine images and support the application operation, and will incur the maintenance costs of constantly refreshing operating systems as well as middleware tools. PaaS and SaaS users will on average have a higher monthly fee, but will not have to worry about the tasks necessary when leveraging IaaS or the applicable costs. Make sure you weigh all of your options accordingly.

Analyze costs vs. benefits. Break down the costs of service by each feature you will need. Cloud services involve shared hosting of basic machine images with data storage. Work with your provider and ask questions about each feature. Having an in-depth open discussion about technical and business requirements may help in not only the configuration of the respective cloud services but also the application itself, which, in turn, could translate into cost savings that you might not have otherwise been able to capture. Bottom line: Don’t buy more or less than you need.

To help you prepare, use online cloud computing calculators to map out your pricing plan. Expedient’s Cloud Calculator is an IT toolbox meant in-part to help educate potential users on the best practices, research and tools of the cloud and related infrastructure components. The site contains many technology calculators that span from build versus buy tools to calculators that determine how much storage will be consumed for backups based on your retention policies. This is a great place to start when researching your expected monthly cloud service costs.

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