Trying to compile a cloud pricing comparison in 2017-2018 has not been easy. While it is not unusual for the three major cloud providers to reduce their prices on a regular basis, new products, new regions and new pricing structures have made it harder to find an “apples-for-apples” cloud pricing comparison.

Amazon´s AWS remains at the head of the market in terms of dollar turnover, having been the first company to offer cloud infrastructure services in 2006. Google followed suit with the Google App Engine in 2008 but, by then, Amazon was racing ahead on what it refers to as its “virtuous cycle” – an important factor in cloud compute pricing.

According to Amazon´s definition of the “virtuous cycle”, the more businesses a cloud platform provider attracts, the more servers it can afford to add. The more servers a cloud platform provider has, the better it can take advantage of economies of scale and offer businesses lower prices. The lower the prices, the more businesses the cloud platform provider attracts – and the cycle goes on.

Having a two-year “virtuous cycle” head start over Google should have given Amazon a major advantage in being able to lower prices – or so you would think. As our cloud pricing comparison for 2017 (below) shows, there is little two choose between the two cloud platform providers – Amazon pinching it on price, before you factor in Google´s per-minute billing.

Cloud Pricing Comparison

What about a Cloud Pricing Comparison for 2017 with Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft was very late to the party, not launching Windows Azure (as it was called at the time) until 2010. Due to having a massive existing database, Microsoft was able to leap-frog Google on dollar turnover, but the company had to give some of its biggest customers significant financial incentives in order to become the second largest operator in the sector.

Due to heavily discounting its prices to key business customers, Microsoft has not yet got its “virtuous cycle” into top gear, and still has a long way to go to catch Amazon. This reflects in the price of its cloud compute services which, despite per-minute billing, still remains much higher than Amazon´s or Google´s charges for deploying like-for-like resources in the cloud.

With regard to the difference in prices between AWS and Azure, we compiled a cloud pricing comparison in May 2017 for our blog. You can read here about the issues we encountered trying to match AWS instances against Azure VMs and how we concluded “Nobody likes being charged extra for something they don’t use.” Talking of which…

Tips for Reducing Cloud Compute Costs with ParkMyCloud

ParkMyCloud is a lightweight SaaS platform that can be used to schedule on/off times for non-production resources deployed on Amazon AWS, Google GCE and Microsoft Azure. By automating the scheduling process, businesses can save up to 65% of the cost of deploying non-production resources in the cloud, plus increase the governance of their accounts with ParkMyCloud´s single view dashboard.

Irrespective of which cloud platform provider you choose after conducting your own cloud pricing comparison, ParkMyCloud saves you more money than any of the available discounts for Reserved Instances, Committed Use or EA Agreements. Furthermore, ParkMyCloud tells you in advance how much you will save, rather than most cloud management tools that only tell you how much you have spent.

To find out how much you could save with ParkMyCloud, you are invited to take advantage of a free trial. Simply click on the “Try it Free” button and you can start reducing your cloud compute costs today. If you have any questions about our scheduling software before starting your free trial, you are welcome to contact us; and, once you start using ParkMyCloud, here are a few tips to maximize your savings:

  • Use ParkMyCloud to identify any underused or unused resources and reassign or terminate them as appropriate.
  • Schedule infrequently used instances and VMs to be permanently parked, and then use the snooze facility when access is required.
  • Schedule non-instances deployed on AWS to start a minute after the hour and stop a minute before the hour to prevent running into (and being billed for) a new hour.
  • ParkMyCloud can schedule start/stop times for RDS instances deployed on AWS as well as EC2 instances and auto-scaling groups, so create logical groups of instances and simultaneous parking schedules for all constituent parts of an application.
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