Having a server in the cloud scared me at first. It wasn’t the fact that being in a multi-tenant environment posed the possibility of others gaining access to my code/files – it was the cost that scared me. Not knowing if I was getting the best deal always plagued my mind. Especially since electricity, a/c, and hardware maintenance were never factored into my budgets it made it hard to justify a server in the cloud when on-premise appeared to be so cheap.
Before I give the table of cost comparisons, I would like to point out that it is 2016. The past several years have seen a stabling of CPU power on the x86 architecture. The benchmarks have been leveling out and the CPU cycles are not really noticeable in a standard web app. I know different cloud providers have different versions of Xeon processors, but for this table, I am just going to label them as a CPU – even if they are vCPUs.
All these prices assume that there is at least 1 TB of transfer a month and 20 GB SSD storage. I found the closest and cheapest solution to the below labels. For the AWS Reserved instances, it is assumed a 1 year full upfront payment.
1 CPU, 512 RAM
1 CPU, 1024 RAM
1 CPU, 2048 RAM
1 CPU, 4096 RAM
2 CPU, 2048 RAM
2 CPU, 4096 RAM
4 CPU, 8096 RAM
While some may think – why ever go with AWS when it costs $113.11 for 1 CPU and 2 GB of RAM. Most of the cost is with the 1TB transfer limit. In fact, $92.07 of the cost of every AWS quote is bandwidth and $2 for the storage. In all reality, you will never transfer 1TB from an EC2 instance – you would do it from an S3 bucket (which would be $92.67 – a savings of $1.40). However, if you have less than 6,100,000 requests to your website per month and you are not hosting files over 7mb, then the cost of AWS would be less than $20 – making it the cheapest option.
So the moral of the cloud hosting story is find a host which caters to your biggest need – Bandwidth or compute resources. Once you know that answer, picking an option is easy.
https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:GXODedVaOvoJ:https://www.linode.com/pricing+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=ubuntu (linode was down at the time of the writing)