Cloud Cost Gotchas—Forrester Blog

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Cloud computing keeps gaining momentum as the way to go to lower costs for most enterprises. However, the hidden costs of cloud services can easily become gotchas depending on a number of factors. What’s the best way to avoid? Hidden Costs

We turned to Forrester’s James Staten as a start. His recent post on Forrester’s blog includes top-three gotchas for SaaS and PaaS deployments.

SaaS Hidden Costs

  • Customization—The more you can use the SaaS solution as it was designed the lower your costs. Customizations can quickly lead to development and maintenance costs you didn’t anticipate . . .
  • Integration—You will inevitably integrate SaaS services with in-house applications, data stores, and other SaaS services . . . Best practice is to define a clear integration architecture via as few means as possible.
  • Sprawl—A SaaS app you bought initially for just 15 employees, sounds like a great investment and low-cost solution until you open up the app to 1500 employees. Suddenly $99 per user could be more than an in-house solution . . .

PaaS Hidden Costs

  • Not turning things off—It’s easy to see how pay per use makes your startup costs low and elastic scaling as traffic rises easy. But it is just as easy to not pay attention to application use/load patterns when they go the other way. . .
  • Storage grows, it never shrinks—On a pay-per-use service you are constantly reminded of this, which means you need to actively manage your storage consumption by moving data to lower cost services when they are no longer in constant use. . .
  • Not activating cloud economics—Not every application is a fit with a pay-per-use platform. The best fit are those that take advantage of the pricing model through either elastic scale or transiency. . . Batch work, high performance computing, seasonal or cyclical applications are all good examples. An app that just sits there 24/7 consuming the same resources is usually a bad fit and should be moved either back into your data center or to traditional hosting.

When you look for your cloud computing strategy, consider doing a Search on a specific product or vendor on IT Central Station. For example, do a Search on the product, Azure—one of Microsoft’s cloud computing solutions. You can then have access to real user reviews of that product as well as others. Navigate to other products and vendors and get involved by writing a comment or consider adding a review yourself.

Click here to see a real user review for Azure. Also take a look a some of the other products available for cloud computing shown here:

Amazon.com_                  Google

Azure         Amazon Web Services     App Engine

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