Cloud hosting or dedicated server? There are a lot of factors involved in making your decision between the two—reliability, scalability, support, etc.—but today we’re looking solely at price. Cloud computing is marketed as an on-demand, “pay as you go” service, but in this direct costs analysis, we will treat it as though we plan to use the services for a full month. We will analyze cloud hosting services from Amazon and dedicated servers from SingleHop.
From Amazon, we will use the Standard, On-Demand Large Instance and the Extra-Large Instance as the basis of comparison. It is configured as such:
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/mo for Linux and $346/mo 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/mo for Linux and $677/mo for Windows
Our roughly comparable dedicated servers from SingleHop include the dual-core Intel Core2Duo E8400 and the quad-core Xeon Nehalem E5520
Intel Core2Duo E8400 3.0 Ghz 6MB Cache; 4 GB (DDR2) RAM, 250 GB (SATA) Drive, 10 TB Monthly Bandwidth (note that the 10 TB is an April 2010 special at SingleHop and not standard): $179/mo
Intel Xeon E5520 Quad-Core Nehalem 2.26GHz 8MB L3 cache; 12 GB (DDR2) RAM, 1 TB (SATA) Drive, and 10 TB Monthly Bandwidth (note that the 10 TB is an April 2010 special at SingleHop and not standard): $279/mo
Because of RAM configurations, a direct comparison is not entirely possible—SingleHop’s Core2Duo server has only 4 GB of RAM versus Amazon’s Large Instance’s 7.5 GB; similarly, the Xeon has only 12 GB versus Amazon’s Extra-Large Instance’s 15 GB. However, the costs are vastly different as well:
SingleHop’s Core2Duo server is $66/month cheaper when running Linux and $167/mo cheaper when running Windows;
SIngleHop’s Xeon E5520 is $211/mo cheaper when running Linux and $398/mo cheaper when running Windows.
Overall, the cloud hosting “pay-as-you-go” setup isn’t useful if you plan to use the services for the full month and utilize all the RAM. In that case, as demonstrated above, the costs clearly make better sense to go with dedicated servers, instead.