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Just How Cheap Can Public Cloud Computing Get?

Posted by ownCloud GmbH – 20. March 2014

ReadWrite’s Matt Asay asks in a recent piece – close on the heels of Google announcing that it was now pricing 100GB of storage at $1.99 a month. Makes you wonder who are the real customers for the data you are storing at so low a price. But I digress. We predicted this race to the bottom a while ago and it will only continue – there is no other way this can play out. And so does Asay. He asks just how low public cloud pricing can go. “Pretty darn low, if Bernard Golden's analysis is correct,” he writes. “Golden looks at hardware and software infrastructure, Internet bandwidth, energy, labor and cost of capital and finds public cloud trumps data center in every category. That cost savings isn't small, either: “While the cost savings a cloud provider achieves by designing and directly procuring servers may only be 15%, the total cost savings available to a cloud provider summed across all six categories might be as much as 75%.” His story is a practical guide to comparing data centers and storage. He sums up: “In sum, while public clouds are going to keep getting cheaper, "cheap" depends on your enterprise's workloads and how prepared you are to use the cloud. The cloud can offer significant benefits in terms of improved business agility and lower costs, but only if you're prepared to leverage it properly.” We agree, but would argue he’s missing something – privacy and security of your business data. As prices plunge – as we’ve stated before, you have to wonder about the business model of these vendors. How safe – and more importantly private – is your sensitive data? Cost is very important, but so is controlling all that private (regulated?) data. By all means take advantage of cheap, easily deployed storage. But control what’s important – possibly even critical – to your business.