Cloud On-demand Hosting vs. Dedicated Server Hosting


How does the cost of dedicated hosted server solution compare with on demand hosting?

For the purpose of the comparison I have selected Rackspace for dedicated server hosting and Amazon for on-demand cloud hosting. (In an earlier post I had compared the cost of different cloud providers). This is only a direct cost comparison. I have not considered issues like support, security, reliability, availability etc. There are also several other assumptions I have made that can be challenged.

My one line conclusion is that the market forces have ensured that the prices on paper are comparable – to arrive at what is right for you, performance benchmarking may be called for.

The comparison is based on published data as on 16th February, 2010.

[Update (27th May, 2010): Here is a recent post by Severin which has more details - Cloud Hosting Price Comparison]

Rackspace

There are 4 listed configuration with standard price (all have 2TB Bandwidth and choice of either Windows Server or Red Hat Linux)

  1. Basic One: 1xDual-Core AMD Opteron, 4GB RAM (DDR2), 2x250GB, 7.2K, SATA (RAID1), ( $419 per month)
  2. Basic Two: 1xQuad-Core AMD Opteron, 8GB RAM (DDR2), 3x250GB, 7.2K, SATA (RAID5) ( $529 per month)
  3. Enhanced One: 1xQuad-Core AMD Opteron, 4GB RAM (DDR2), 2x146GB, 15K, SAS (RAID) ( $959 per month)
  4. Enhanced Two: 1xQuad-Core Intel Nehalem, 12GB RAM (DDR2), 2x146GB, 15K, SAS (RAID) ( $1,059 per month)

Note: Basic One and Two are supposed to be available only in IAD Data centre. When I asked their live assistant I had the following interesting conversation:

Welcome to Rackspace. We are connecting you to our next available operator.
My name is Ray Q and I am a Live assistant. How may I help you today?
Ray Q: Welcome to Rackspace, how can I help you today?
you: What is IAD Datacenter?
you: It is mentioned on this page – http://www.rackspace.com/managed_hosting/configurations.php
Ray Q: IAD is a name of one of our datacenters…
you: Which one?
Ray Q: im sorry i cannot release that in formation…
Ray Q: but here is a link to our datacenters
Ray Q: http://www.rackspace.com/whyrackspace/network/datacenters.php
you: If this is a secret then why do you mention in your site “*Available in IAD Datacenter only”
Ray Q: im sorry i dont know the answer to that..

[I am inclined to think that this response came from a real person and not from a BOT – notice how information is spelled with a space after in]

Amazon

There are different configurations available but Standard On-Demand Large Instance & Extra Large Instances are comparable to Rackspace offering

To calculate the cost we need to consider multiple elements:

CPU cost: There are different options available but the following configurations are comparable

  • Large Instance 7.5 GB of memory, 4 EC2 Compute Units (2 virtual cores with 2 EC2 Compute Units each), 850 GB of local instance storage, 64-bit platform – cost $0.34 for Linux and $0.48 per hour for Windows – which translates to $245 per month for Linux and $346 per month for Windows
  • Extra Large Instance 15 GB of memory, 8 EC2 Compute Units (4 virtual cores with 2 EC2 Compute Units each), 1690 GB of local instance storage, 64-bit platform – cost $0.68 for Linux and $0.94 per hour for Windows – which translates to $490 per month for Linux and $677 per month for Windows

Persistent storage cost: Since a persistent storage will be required, we need to include an EBS instance also – however the cost is very low – $0.1 per GB per month plus $0.1 per million I/O.

  • Let us assume …
    • …100% redundancy
    • …million I/O per GB per month
    • …user data storage capacity of Basic One = 250GB, Basic Two = 500GB, Enhanced One & Two = 146GB
  • Equivalent data storage cost is:
    • Basic One = $75 per month
    • Basic Two = $150 per month
    • Enhanced One = $44 per month
    • Enhanced Two = $44 per month

Bandwidth cost: Actual cost will depend on the specific application – it is charged at the rate of $0.1 per GB of incoming data (but free till 30th June) and $0.15 per GB of outgoing data

  • Assuming that you require the full 2TB of bandwidth provided by Rackspace it works out to $150 per month till 30th June and $250 per month after that

The Comparison

  1. Rackspace (Basic One @ $419 per month) is cheaper than Amazon (Large Instance with Linux @ $470 and Windows $571)
  2. Rackspace (Basic Two @ $529 per month) is cheaper than Amazon (Extra Large Instance with Linux @ $790 and Windows $977)
  3. Amazon (Extra Large Instance with Linux @ $684 and Windows $871) is cheaper than Rackspace (Enhanced One @ $959 per month)
  4. Amazon (Extra Large Instance with Linux @ $684 and Windows $871) is cheaper than Rackspace (Enhanced One @ $1,059 per month)
Udayan Banerjee on Google+
Comments
2 Responses to “Cloud On-demand Hosting vs. Dedicated Server Hosting”
  1. Simply wish to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity in
    your post is just excellent and i could assume
    you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow
    me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post.

    Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

  2. Miguel says:

    great comparison, there’s not much info about this and this helps to know at wht point we are.

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