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Joe Arnold's Blog

Founder / CEO SwiftStack

There is more than one way to do cloud billing. Many deployments out there use the Amazon way of billing for things — no commits, pay-per-use. I think a reminder needs to be given that pay-per-use billing isn’t the only way.

For example, bandwidth providers typically, charge 95-percentile. Meaning, the customer pays for capacity, whether or not they use the capacity. Customers are expected to pay for a bandwidth pipe of some size, for some time interval.

Elasticity comes at a cost. It means that providers need to provision for peaks. While customers only pay for usage. While that may sound ideal for users of cloud services, it does mean higher costs for providers.

Providers need to provision for peaks while only get paid for the shaded area.

Not every customer’s workload is elastic and elasticity isn’t the only feature of infrastructure clouds. Ease of deployment, available tooling, services like managed databases and storage are all valuable components of an infrastructure cloud.

As OpenStack becomes more mature, more boutique firms will come online that offer unique services. In this context it may be perfectly reasonable to ask for commits over a longer time-frame. That means that the provider only needs to provision for the committed workloads and, in turn, offer better pricing to their customers.

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