The latest Cloud Price Index (CPI) report from 451 Research found that you can get the best price on cloud services when you use a variety of vendors and stay loyal to your core group.
The findings make sense, of course, but vendors have always been trying to find ways to lock you in. You may recall that in the 1990s and early 2000s—before the advent of cloud computing—the idea was to lock you into a proprietary stack from enterprise vendors such as HP, Oracle, Microsoft, or EMC.
Eventually, the cloud came along and loosened the grip of these vendors, and you could move around, mix and match, and supposedly not get locked into any single vendor environment.
But the more things change, the more they stay the same, and soon cloud vendors like AWS, Microsoft, Google, and IBM were trying to do pretty much the same thing. By building or buying a whole variety of services, they could give you a one-stop shopping experience and save you a lot of headaches trying to integrate across vendors.
Spreading the wealth
The lure of vendor lock-in is hard to resist for many shops. Balancing and managing multiple cloud vendors isn't easy, but if you trust this research, it's worth it. What's more, mixing and matching services ensures your single cloud vendor can't simply jack up the prices on you at some point with little recourse. It spreads your cloud dollars among many different baskets.
The report found that if you follow the philosophy of a heterogeneous cloud environment, you will be rewarded with much cheaper prices over all:
"The analysis reveals that if cloud buyers mix and match services and make long-term commitments to their providers, they can make substantial savings, starting at 58 percent for a small application. For a large application, the savings could be 74 percent, which, over three years, equates to a total cost saving of $23,000 per Web application."
That's some serious dough, especially for businesses that have begun converting many applications to the cloud or that basically run their business in the cloud as many startups do today.
The report suggests companies buying infrastructure should also shop around, find the best vendors and pricing, and the savings will apply in those cases too.
According to 451 Research, it "surveyed 26 cloud providers, representing 85 percent of the U.S. cloud market, as part of its regular quarterly pricing update" to come up with these findings.
It's always risky to base your buying decisions on a single report, so tread carefully. But the findings make sense for any consumer purchase. You shop around to find the best deals.
Image courtesty of 451 Research