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Cloud Computing Economics, Part Two
Are the Economics Right for Premise + Cloud?
By: Chris Fleck
Dec. 5, 2008 10:00 AM
Chris Fleck's Blog
Perhaps this is not very surprising to many, but it does help to look at the numbers to put it in perspective. The largest Intrinsic cost advantage of the Cloud is the ability to share infrastructure among multiple customers ( i.e. Multi-Tenancy and/or Multi-Instance ). This comes into play when many customers have variable workloads that are not likely to overlay at the same time. A Cloud infrastructure can load balance this workload on-demand significantly reducing the cumulative infrastructure required to support N number of customer workloads.
A Premise only solution will typically deploy the infrastructure required to accommodate the anticipated peak demand plus a factor of safety. As a result excess capacity is built into every deployment even if it is rarely ( or never ) utilized. This formula gets very expensive for many scenarios such as implementing a redundant DR solution across multiple data centers or a retailer building infrastructure to accommodate the Christmas shopping season but paying for it all year. As noted in the Cloud 101 example however, when a premise based is well utilized it can be the most cost effective solution to stay with especially if the on-site facilities can accommodate the anticipated growth.
The cost for a premise only solution for this situation comes to roughly 2X or $ 15,600 per year assuming existing space and a 20% factor of safety above peak load. If on the other hand you were able to utilize a Cloud for only the peak loads the incremental cost would be only $1,000. ( Based on Amazon EC2 )
As noted for this example the server cost of using a Premise Plus Cloud solution could save as much as 44%. This does not factor in many costs that either the Premise only scenario or Premise Plus Cloud would face but those costs vary according to the situation. So the challenge is how to identify variable workloads that can be placed in the Cloud or split between premise and cloud.
The CSP ( Cloud Service Provider ) must also provide the proper infrastructure and remote administration to enable corporate IT to control and manage applications and images in the extended cloud as a virtual private network of their own. Economics aside, the CSP also needs to address the SLA's and security concerns that corporate IT has identified as prerequisites for adoption. Given the intrinsic cost savings possible as portrayed in this example, there is little doubt that CSP's will fill the gaps and the industry will move to Premise Plus Cloud solutions.
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