Dare to Compare: Cloud Hosting vs Dedicated Hosting

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April 25, 2011

My buddy Subash re-tweeted an article he read about [the real cost of cloud hosting])http://chrischandler.name/the-real-cost-of-cloud-hosting). While there’s nothing too surprising in the article when comparing basic hardware and data center costs to running on Amazon’s EC2 platform, I’m curious how well you could compare those costs to Google App Engine.

Granted, there are more question marks when planning to use (or move to) App Engine for a web application, and that’s partly why I’m headed to Google IO to learn more and maybe chat with the team. The fact that your app can scale “automagically” is both fascinating and scary to me, especially when (as far as I can tell) you are not notified when scaling events occur, it just happens for you.

As the DevOps guy at my full time job, and managing our own EC2 clusters, it makes me all that more curious to figure out what it would take to move our entire infrastructure/code to Python and host it with GAE to see what the costs would be. My buddy Jorge has rebuilt an online store and inventory system on App Engine plus using Amazon’s “Route 53” for DNS service, and he says he has yet to pay a dime to Google for any of the traffic or bandwidth.