I recently came across this article in one of my  LinkedIn Groups.

The Blog compares Cloud to the evolution of distributed power generation to centralized power generation (although Cloud really is distributed computing and interestingly, we are to an extent going back to distributed power, especially with small solar installs).  However, like many of the Cloud articles I have read it barely, if at all, touched on cost.

In addition the power analogy may be grossly misleading.  My thesis (and I am not an engineer):  Generators are scalable probably on an exponential scale (curve) – everything is simply bigger (versus simply more of something) and therefore I would suggest the $/KWH are driven down.  (However large gens also exacerbate the peak load problem as savings from scale require 24/7 ops).

Cloud at this point is simply more of something: more servers, more data centers for those servers. And the equation for that reality is somewhat linear: a server used for cloud purposes or hybrid or dedicated still needs the same power, power equipment, cooling, connectivity and security PER SERVER per KWH, which translates into much the same capital cost (exclusive of server cost).  The efficiency and cost savings will come from the more efficient use of that server BUT it stills need power, cooling etc. which is a very big part of the overall IT cost, at least if you want solid uptime.

If you are using 100% of the capacity of a server will it be cheaper to do that in the Cloud? I suppose if the Cloud provider can buy servers for less than the 100% dedicated user, perhaps, but he or she will still be seeking a profit margin / return on that same rapidly depreciating server, a cost which will be embedded in your Cloud cost.  All this being said the lines probably do cross somewhere for an application that has many peak and valleys but I would love to see figures that support the Cloud for a high, steady state app (while providing a return on capital).  Cloud is probably closer to a car analogy: if you use it all the time – buy it; if you only need it for weekends – car share.  Car sharing for full time use is expensive.

Additionally you will still need backup / disaster recovery for your data held in the Cloud – a common expense regardless of which route you go (AAA/CAA if you will to extend the car analogy).

Other Cloud food for thought:  do you know where your data in the Cloud is being stored?

We at Canada151 provide highly redundant: power and power distribution, cooling and connectivity, and state of the art security. Cloud servers still need a home.   We can provide a Canadian home for you, your managed services provider or your Cloud provider (as well as DR / Backup), as required. We are dedicated to helping you succeed.

Lastly its Friday and we all need a bit of levity (with thanks to Dr Travis Bradberry on LI). See url below: