Are you considering a move to the cloud? One of the best ways to estimate the cost of migrating workloads to the cloud is by using a cloud computing cost calculator that can help you get a feel for what those expected migrations can cost you. In this article I’ll take a look at the CloudPhysics cost calculator and how you can use it to estimate your cloud hosting costs with VMware vCHS and Amazon AWS.
About the CloudPhysics Calculator
I’ve been a big fan of the CloudPhysics cost calculator offering since they announced at VMworld 2012. I think of them as big data for the VMware admins. Their product is a SaaS-based reporting tool that continues to grow. One of the more recent features that they have added was the ability to estimate cloud hosting costs.
Their product works by having customers deploy a virtual appliance into their VMware environment. This appliance is then linked to your CloudPhysics account and the data is synced to their servers. Once they have this data there are a number of reports and KB lookups that can be done.
The new cloud calculator card offerings allow you to estimate the cost of all your VMs being reported on or just a portion of them. This is a simple way to get an idea of what it might cost to host your workloads in one of these cloud offerings.
CloudPhysics: vCHS Cloud Calculator
The first calculator that I tried was the vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) calculator offering from VMware. This is the public and hybrid offering from VMware that was announced last year. I am using a portion of my home lab for these samples, this includes a single vCenter with one two-node vSphere clusters. There are a total of 27 VMs, and I am including them all in the calculations.
The calculator is very easy to use, in fact the image below shows what you would see just by running with the defaults. The report is including all 27 VMs on my cluster. There are two offerings from vCHS, a shared virtual private cloud, which is a monthly offering, or the dedicated cloud that is a yearly commitment. The calculator is showing the pricing options for both. For the shared offering I chose to just show the cost for a single month. You can just multiply by 12 and compare to the dedicated option. I also chose to include the operating system licensing in my calculations since this would probably be used.
There are options for tweaking memory over commitment and selecting VMs manually or by a few filters on the left side of the screen.
CloudPhysics: Amazon AWS Cloud Calculator
The Amazon cloud calculator works pretty much the same as the previous one for VMware with a few small differences. If you are familiar with how AWS works then this will make sense to you. It again selected all of my 27 VMs, but with Amazon it attempts to automatch them with Amazon instance sizes. In my case it was able to do that for 22 of the 27, so that is what the cost is based upon.
There are then several options to choose for your cost estimate. For Amazon you can select based on AWS pricing, data center location, and term length. You can also select based on the type of storage you would want to use and the instance sizing. For this instance I am just sticking with the defaults for all of these options.
The cost for this is shown for the three-year period selected. When I changed to just one year the cost was $11,343. This was about half of what the shared cost of the vCHS estimate. Now, I won’t take that at face value because the Amazon instance sizes were picked for me, and I’m not sure if they would perform properly compared to how the VMs were sized for my internal lab use. But with some homework and tweaking, I think that customers looking to explore these options can get a better idea of what their costs might look like.
Before you head over and start rolling out dozens of VMs in any cloud provider, I suggest that you do the homework. You don’t want to be surprised when that price tag shows up on your credit card statement, and a cloud computing calculator can help avoid cloud hosting sticker shock.