Data center facilities pro

Aug 25 2010   7:13PM GMT

Google exec compares colocation cost to cloud computing, critics say apples to sausage

Matt Stansberry Matt Stansberry Profile: Matt Stansberry

Earlier this month, a senior Google network and systems architect engineer Vijay Gill published a blog post comparing the cost of Amazon Web Services to colocation. On Monday, Rich Miller at Data Center Knowledge directed readers’ attention to the cost analysis, where Gill’s post drew criticism for inaccuracies and assumptions in the comments.

Antonio Piraino, a research VP with Tier 1 Research called the comparison apples to sausage. “There is a point at where this is a very good exercise, but the way it was undertaken was grossly inaccurate,” Piraino said. “It’s quite risky to put something up like this public. I’m not sure why someone at Google would do this.”

In a report from Tier 1, Piraino wrote: Users would have to add their internal costs to begin making the expenditure comparison – something that few enterprises are able to accurately break out from their overall IT expenditure. Beyond this fuzzy cost versus price issue, there is no evidence of operating system, hypervisor virtualization, instance monitoring, images, billing, load balancing, storage, IP addresses (each AWS instance has its own public IP address), security and management console costs thrown on top of the colocation pricing if it were to compare with an IaaS that encompasses all of these components.

Piraino pointed out other inaccuracies. “He took Amazon Web Services at list price. If someone has a commitment, they reduce the price by 50%. Suddenly Amazon looks a lot better,” Piraino said.

A more complete exercise would certainly be worthwhile in the long term (i.e., the next three to five years) once the capex to opex, interoperability and regulatory issues have been addressed, and many of the missing components added
, Piraino wrote.

Is an apples-to-apples cost comparison of cloud to colo possible? Weigh in on the comments or @datacenterTT on Twitter.

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