I am often discussing the different platforms with people and we often end up discussing the different prices. People keep on asking me how much money you have to invest for a specific number of instances. It is necessary to look up different websites and so on. I came up with the idea of creating a simple cost comparison calculator with javascript on my blog. And I can now say: here it is!
Click here to go to the Calculator.
The cost comparision calculator gives you 3 different options:

  • Calculate the best price for cpu intense applications
  • Calculate the best price for memory intense applications
  • Calculate the best cheapest instances available.

The cost comparison calculator currently compares the following platforms:

  • Amazon EC2
  • Google Compute Engine
  • Rackspace Cloud Servers
  • Windows Azure Virtual Machines

A challenge is, what to compare. Each vendor has different instance types, so a comparison is often not so easy. Therefore, I have decided to split the comparison into different challenges as described above. For the first calculation – with cpu intense applications – i’ve used the lowest available instance. Basically, all 4 instance types matched despite Google. Google offers less memory than the other instances. The cheapest instances targets targets micro instances. All vendors despite Google offers micro instances. The memory comparison targets high memory instances.  The calculation is based on available memory. The memory is aligned to the number of instances necessary. For instance, if we select 68 GB of RAM, we need one instance at Amazon EC2 but multiple instances with Windows Azure. The prices are not aligned to instances but to the sum of memory. This leads to cheaper prices when using EC2 for lower memory. I will try to adjust this in the future.
To get updates on the calculator, you can subscribe to the newsletter below.


Click here to go to the Calculator.

We often hear executives in various companies talk about IT security. Especially when it comes to Cloud Computing, security is a major topic. Many IT leaders and CIOs are afraid of Cloud Computing when it comes to security. To find out about security in the Cloud, we have to discuss what elements of IT security are necessary to Cloud Computing. The 6 elements of IT security are called “ACACIA”.

ACACIA as the main factors for IT Security

ACACIA as the main factors for IT Security. Photo by Donald Hobern

Availability says that all Elements within an IT landscape must be available. Users shouldn’t be limited by outages or similar things. If we talk about the Cloud, we need to handle this with failover systems, such as different availability zones.
This means that the IT landscape is fully operational and there are no alien servers – which, for instance, could have been added by competitors or hackers. It could also happen that some malware is installed. Therefore, it is necessary to protect your Cloud-based infrastructure, as you would do it with your on-premise devices.
Only those people, that fulfil certain requirements, are allowed to administer or use certain services. If a user is not part of the HR department, the user should not use this section in the intranet.
In many cases, users should have the possibility to use certain anonymity sites. For instance, when it comes to voting, nobody wants to be listed in a Database. Therefore, anonymity must be provided for certain tasks.
If two systems communicate with each other, it is necessary to know that sender as well as receiver are in the correct position. An error to authenticity could occur, if an enemy system knows the means of communication and “catches” messages, modifies them and handles them over to the intended receiver.
This means that the IT-System is lawful and everything is done in a way that local as well as international law requires.

To manage Technology in a good manner, CIOs need to understand what type of Technology they deal with. This is also very important when it comes to Cloud Computing. We have different technology topics and levels with Cloud Computing such as Software as a Service, Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service. But how mature and how advanced is a technology? To figure that out, we have 4 different technology types.
Basic Technology
The first technology type is called “basic technology”. This means that it is a technology that has been around for a while, is very mature. However, there is only very little to almost no innovation level involved. Technologies associated with Cloud Computing usually don’t fall in this type of technology since there is still a lot of innovation going on with Cloud Computing. However, we could call Virtualization a basic technology.
Key Technology
Next, there is the “key technology”. This technology type also refers to an existing technology, but with a lot of innovation in going on in this area. We could call “Software as a Serivce (SaaS)” a key technology. It is possible to use key technologies in Enterprises.
Pacemaker Technology
We call a technology type a “Pacemaker Technology” if the technology is still evolving and we expect to have a high level of innovation affiliated with it. A pacemaker technology might change quickly and this means that you have to prepare for that. Infrastructure as a Service is currently somewhere between a Key Technology and a Pacemaker Technology. The same applies to Platform as a Service. They are to “young” to be called a Key Technology but also somewhat too mature to be called a Pacemaker Technology.
Future Technology
A future technology is a technology that is not yet here. We can call a technology a future technology if it is about to arrive within the next few years. There is nothing like that in Cloud Computing. Cloud Computing is not a future technology, it is a present technology. We could define LTE a future technology. It will come in the next years, but it is not available for the “critical mass” yet. A future technology will still change a lot. If we look at LTE right now, we can clearly see that there are no real standards available.