InsightaaS: Social media can be an amazing connector. Last week, one of our twitter accounts registered a new follower, Gary Smart of Australia. After a quick check, we followed him back, and looked at his brand-new, one-post-only-so-far blog, Me+Many. The post itself was on cost considerations of cloud hosting, which happened to be the subject I was writing about when I came across it - so I was even more interested than I would generally be! A week later, we are featuring the post on ATN, and promoting it via our social channels. Mr. Smart and I will probably never meet in person, but social media has connected us in a way that's appropriate to our business interests...
To the post itself: "Cost considerations of cloud hosting" highlights 19 issues that a firm contemplating a move to cloud should plan for. Some aren't unique to cloud - security of 'data in motion' is an issue no matter where you host data, undocumented changes are a problem for a migration to another on-premise system or application as well as for a cloud-based solution, backup storage is always important. Some are unique to cloud, and some of these - such as Smart's observation that firms will and should work with multiple cloud vendors - are both important and not well understood. The power of the list, though, is its inclusiveness. There is more to be understood in each of the 19 categories - but assembling all 19 into a single list is a valuable exercise, and Smart's post is worth review by anyone who is in or contemplating a move to the cloud.
Those cloud hosting rates that vendors promote look great! For a few dollars a month, why would any business want to maintain their own equipment? But it should be no surprise that those attractive rates are all marketing, and all for bare-bone services.
Are you concerned about the costs of cloud hosting? You should be. Lack of information and understanding of cloud operation costs is perhaps the most expensive factor that can affect a company’s bottom line. While the actual migration to cloud technology in itself is a manageable expense, it is often the hidden costs accruing unexpectedly that can result in a nasty increase in your business’ expenditure on the whole.
If certain add-on costs are not stated upfront, how then can you identify them? You just need to know where to look and what to look out for. Hidden and incidental costs of cloud services are often found in the fine print of the contract. Or their need is only discovered only after a major outage or problem. Opting for the wrong storage model or the wrong server price level can impact an operational budget negatively in the long run.
A combination of operational costs — increases in bandwidth, subscription fees, system and staff setup and training contributes significantly to unexpected costs.
Here are some of the commonly experienced costs to be aware of...