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I am working on some proposals in Australia involving Software as a Service which ideally needs a hosting partner to provide Infrastructure as a Service.

I have been pleasantly surprised in the recent release of pricing from Melbourne IT on their Beta Cloud Computing offering.     They are the first major hosting company to offer cloud computing after Rejila (owned by  Ultra Serve) opened their service a few months ago.    As an update to my previous blog/survey on Australia Cloud Computing, this article compares prices (roughly) of those that are currently offering pay-as-you-go infrastructure.       For comparison, I have included a quote from Macquarie Telecom on their monthly rate for a virtual machine.   The prices do not include support & set-up costs.     More detail is needed on options such as availability of VPN, security options and storage costs, which I will update at a later date once I get more information.

If enterprise user has bursty requirements (e.g. does not need lots of computers year-round) and experiences weeks or months where having lots of computer capacity improves their business, they should look at Cloud Computing.    The core value proposition of Cloud Computing  is fast provisioning times of 1-2 minutes (instead of days) and paying a per hour rate on CPU usage as opposed to monthly contracts.    Noting that below IP transport data rates are high for many applications like 3D Rendering, all players offer variety of options in delivering data – from highspeed 4M/40M links to dark fiber links at 10G.    I note that it is now possible to get dedicated 4M in/out links for less than $700 per month.

Cloud Central

Cloud Central is relatively new and offer small and large virtual machines using the same API as Rackspace (Xen based).     They are focused only on offering Cloud Computing infrastructure.    See Cloud Central website for up to date details.

Cloud Central offers hourly rates and a free 1 month trial as part of their beta program.

  • Single CPU (Xeon), 4 G RAM is $0.48/hour
  • Dual CPU, 8 G RAM is $0.96/hour  (approximately monthly equivalent : $700).
  • Plan to offer High Availability and large 8 CPU/box options in early 2010.
  • Input and output data rates around $1-1.5/GB.
  • Update:  64 GB of Storage is included.    Additional Storage is $0.30 per GB

Update:

Intel Nehalem 5500 series Xeon CPU’s is planned for commercial release timeframe.

Cloud Central is testing VPN solutions which consists “of a Vyatta VPN appliance that the customer can deploy into the cloud, then they just need to configure the VPN to suit their requirements.  This will support IPsec site to site VPN, L2TP VPN, and OpenVPN protocols.”

Rejila

I have a lot of respect for Ultra Serve and the folks behind Rejila.   They took the risk and were first on the market to offer a true, load balanced, true Cloud Computing solution.   Saying this, their prices now look expensive compared to Melbourne IT.     See Rejila website.

Rejila offers hourly rates with:

  • Single CPU (Intel Nehalem Core) and 2 G RAM at $0.40/hour
  • Dual CPU and 4 G RAM at $0.80/hour (monthly equivalent $576)
  • Input/Output rates at $3/GB (with discounts for above 300GB)

Rejila allows you to customise your server with up to 8 GB RAM and 4 CPUs.

Melbourne IT (prices include GST)

Melbourne IT is the latest to offer a pay-as-you-go service.    Their rates are reasonable, although still not as cheap as Amazon or Rackspace (both in USA).  See Melbourne IT website

  • Single CPU (Intel Nehalem) and 2 G RAM at $0.167/hour
  • Single CPU and 4 G RAM at $0.326/hour
  • Dual CPU and 4 G RAM at $0.378/hour (equiv.$272/month)
  • Input/Output rates at $1.047 per GB
  • $0.327 Storage per GB per month

Macquarie Telecom Offering

There are plenty of hosts cheaper than Macquarie, but I am using them as a reference point since they are often cited as being the biggest in Australia (with Melbourne IT being second.)   Macquarie do not offer anything below a monthly rental, but I believe the Tudehope brothers would be silly to not offer something so0n, especially if they want to maintain leadership.    The growth of their hosting business is the main reason they achieved profitability this year and they have the experience and margins to take some leadership in Cloud Computing area.    Here is an idea on the cost (not including the data transfer/storage cost):

They charge $1600/month for single VM for development environment and $800 per month per VM for production.   (VM cpu equivalent is 1 Nehalem Core at 3GHz and 3 to 4G RAM).    They have cheaper options with blade servers or other large offering (16 cpu/box) amounting to less than $200/cpu, but customer has to sign 36 month contract.

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