Phil Wainewright, writer for ZDNet, posed the question “How much is a unit of cloud computing?” in his Software as a Service article. He brings up an interesting point. There are many Cloud Computing providers that offer differing types of billing models and mentions Dan Farber’s 3 year old comment: “…an industry standard definition of CPU per hour usage doesn’t exist. There is no equivalent to kilowatt hours or the price of a barrel of oil for CPU usage.”
His article continues to discuss how standards have not emerged, which is expected due to the “newness” of the Cloud Computing industry. There are several Cloud Computing providers that seem to have adopted this billing model…and users are still confused.
We took a different approach with GoGrid and instead of calculating pricing based on a complex algorithm or formula derived from CPU cycles (which are cryptic enough), we base it on RAM utilization. GoGrid billing is based on a 1 GB RAM Hour. That makes things simple. If you have a 1GB RAM cloud server deployed on GoGrid for 1 hour, it costs $0.19. There are, of course, volume pricing plans available which drive down the per unit cost, but this is a very tangible amount that people can easily calculate. A calculator is all that you need.
GoGrid even provides a pricing widget within the web GUI that allows you to estimate your costs based on your deployed servers (e.g., servers in a started or stopped state).
GoGrid provides an alternative to other Cloud Computing providers not only in the rich feature set offered but also in the billing process. It’s easy, you just need a credit card to deploy and load balance your network infrastructure in the Cloud…and you can do it in minutes.
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