7 dark secrets of cloud costs

Is there anything more seductive than cloud machine price lists? There aren’t many of us old enough to remember paying a penny for a piece of candy, but cloud users enjoy prices that are even smaller.

Google’s N1 standard machine’s price is $0.0475 per hour but you can get it for just $0.0100 per hour for your batch processing needs—if you’re willing to be preempted by more important jobs. The crazy spenders can step up to the high CPU version for $0.015 per hour – still less than two cents. Woo-hoo!

Azure charges a miniscule $0.00099 per gigabyte to store data for a month in its archival storage tier. Amazon, though, may offer the most eye-popping low prices – charging an infinitesimal $0.0000002083 for 128 megabytes of memory to support a Lambda Function. (Four digits of precision?)

Those tiny numbers throw us off our guard. The medical insurance and real estate bills may be crushing the budget, but when it comes to the cloud we can enjoy throwing money around like confetti. That’s because the prices for many cloud services are literally less than the cost of a piece of confetti.

Then the end of the month comes, and the cloud bill is much larger than anyone expected. How do those fractions of pennies add up so quickly?

Here are seven dark secrets of how the cloud companies turn fractions of cents into real money.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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