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on Friday, 27 July 2012
in Business News

Thinking of Going on the Cloud? Here's a Guide to Potential Costs


With research firm Gartner predicting a 100% increase in the number of companies on the Cloud by 2016, it seems likely that at some point you might consider relocating your servers or at least your software to the Cloud.

For companies planning cloud deployments, creating accurate cost models and forecasts across the ever-growing number of cloud providers and choices can be overwhelming. RightScale® Inc, the leader in cloud management, announced today that it has acquired Scotland-based ShopForCloud, a free cloud cost forecasting website, and rebranded it as PlanForCloud. This free website enables companies to better budget for cloud costs by giving them the tools required to model various architectures and usage patterns, access up-to-date pricing from a variety of cloud providers, and produce detailed cost reports in just a few minutes.

“Knowing the cost of cloud services is critical whether companies are making their first foray into cloud computing, planning to deploy additional resources or managing their overall budget for cloud spending,” said Michael Crandell, CEO of RightScale. “With our cloud management customers, we have seen firsthand that they need a better way to forecast cloud costs in order to predict spending and choose the right cloud strategies and providers. PlanForCloud provides users a forward-looking view of costs and perfectly complements our existing cost reporting and tracking features in the RightScale Cloud Management Platform. The combination will allow businesses to manage their current and past cloud spending as well as their future cloud budgets.”

PlanForCloud enables sophisticated modeling of the components of cloud deployments, including servers, storage, database and data transfer, as well as usage scenarios that incorporate growth, seasonality and other variability in the consumption of cloud resources. With up-to-date prices from major cloud providers – including Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine (GCE), Microsoft Windows Azure, Rackspace, and more to come – PlanForCloud lets users forecast costs on any supported cloud, save the forecasts, and later update them as cloud prices fluctuate. PlanForCloud automatically performs a simulation on planned deployments and generates detailed 3-year reports that enable companies to accurately budget for future usage.

Businesses today are leveraging more than one cloud provider, and as a result, accurate management of cloud costs becomes more complex. According to a recent RightScale survey of more than 600 companies, over two-thirds (68 percent) of respondents reported that they are pursuing a multi-cloud strategy. In addition, new cloud providers continue to emerge and existing providers frequently change their pricing, making it difficult to keep manual spreadsheets up-to-date.

“When we launched PlanForCloud, it was clear businesses needed tools to help forecast their cloud costs across the constantly expanding list of cloud providers,” said Ali Khajeh-Hosseini, Co-Founder of PlanForCloud. “As cloud usage grows and becomes a larger part of corporate IT budgets, our service provides the tools businesses need to improve the visibility and predictability of their cloud computing initiatives.”

PlanForCloud can be used by any business to forecast clouds costs, including those that are not currently RightScale customers or users of cloud services. No cloud provider accounts or current cloud deployments are required to use the site or calculate cloud costs.

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