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The Cloud Cost Question and What Doesn't Fit into the Usual Debates
What I suggest is that designing and deploying applications in the Cloud requires an element of faith
By: Brian McCallion
Dec. 11, 2012 08:30 AM
The cloud community and anyone with an opinion if not immediately, periodically and frequently gravitate to the question of cost. Is it more? Is it less? Are we being wasteful? Are we being too frugal? Will Google and AWS drive the price of storage to zero? Can we scrunch the market forces of Cloud into a theoretical framework we already understand?
And yet just as cost of computing has been accounted for poorly when assessed in the corporate data center, when similar measures are applied to Cloud, Cloud becomes subject to the same Procrustean Bed as the corporate data center.
Questions that may highlight the incongruity:
Why do compute and datacenter costs increase each year, while AWS continuously lowers costs?
What is omitted when taking the view of application costs through a framework that has never effectively evoked the real costs of the corporate datacenter?
What is the real value of an application to the business?
Why don't corporate data centers employ significant (any?) automation if controlling costs is so critical to the business?
What I suggest is that designing and deploying applications in the Cloud either requires an element of faith, or a moment of enlightenment. One could spend the time constructing rigorous models, yet I think the real reason we see the rapid growth in Cloud service providers like AWS is that on some level its obvious that the Cloud model makes economic sense even if it can't be easily explained through cost models that haven't ever effectivel represented where and how money is spent in the traditional datacenter. And over time I see the economic utility of applications built in the Cloud increasing, and I expect the demand curve to follow the utility curve upward and I think that's what we are seeing even this early in the game.
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