RansomCloud — The pending public cloud price apocalypse

Defining ‘cloud computing’

I define ‘cloud’ as simply consuming an internet technology service as a managed utility rather than building or operating it yourself.

Cloud is _probably_ pretty good for you

Cloud computing does help you do some things better (including, but not limited to):

  • You don’t need to spend lots of upfront money (capex) on commodity infrastructure (like servers; rack space and power/cooling)
  • You generally only pay for what you use when you use it
  • Hyper-scale* public cloud providers invest heavily in getting their side of the security responsibility to a worthy state
  • In a very sweeping generality: the IaaS/PaaS/SaaS tooling helps you get started quickly and easily
  • The hyper-scale* also lets you scale in a way that you probably couldn’t by yourself (well, as easily)

Cloud _can_ be ‘best’ even if it isn’t cheapest

I have consulted with various clients on their technology (…digital*) needs over far too many years — one of my go-to phrases is “culmination of best” which varies in context but is largely the weighing of price, functionality, time, effort, scale, technology R&D (not what it does now, but what it is forecasted to do or could do) and prediction (where these metrics will go combined with your own need for change).

It is not public cloud — it is JeffCloud

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Fortune 500 company; backed by a tech fund with significant $AMZN holdings or a government — you do not have ultimate control over the availability of utility service you’re consuming; the current/future functionality…nor the price you’re going to pay for it.

Jeff’s cloud is special

While ‘commodity’ is often used as a descriptor for public cloud the service offerings are proprietary.

So, whats the problem?

$AMZN recently increased their Amazon Prime annual subscription cost from $99 to $119 (~20%). This in theory creates ~$2billion/year in revenue…from a few lines/variables of pricing/advertising code and a press release.

“AWS probably have enough commercial room to decrease their pricing further”

So? They are under no obligation to do so.

“AWS wouldn’t do that [to me]”

I hope you don’t genuinely believe that*

“I am, or could go, multi-cloud”

I think people like the idea of multi-cloud (to be cloud vendor agnostic)… until they try and do it.

So, why does it matter?

I’m not saying it does but that depends on you in your context.

Is a price increase possible?

Of course.

When will it happen?

Eventually — I realise that isn’t much of a prediction but when companies might increase pricing depends on a whole bunch of complex things.

Why will it happen?

The answer isn’t just ‘profit’.

OK, what should I do?

As mentioned above, my clients have knowingly or unknowingly taken on some risk of attaching themselves to the hip of a public cloud technology provider.

  • the costs of moving away (time+money)
  • a good-enough indication of how to move (that has various degrees from accessing your data to actually building a new solution and moving ‘production’ service)
  • what triggers a move (AWS costs go up x% or spending $x/year means your own data-centre is cheaper etc)
  • the impacts of moving (what other things can you no longer do,negative experience to service users etc)
  • what you would do if you can’t move but have to reduce or mainain costs (a real-world case of having less money to spend than you did the year before)

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