cloud cost

One of the first questions asked by folks who are starting their cloud exploration is, "how is all this metered and paid for?" The answers to this question can range from the simple to the mind-numbingly complex. But why the lack of standardization? Because there are many clouds, and because each cloud has many options. This makes them extremely flexible but it also leads to an explosion in possible options.

The economics and the buying behaviors in the cloud are quite different from on-premise. Cloud is characterized by a) On-demand and b) Metered. 


Cloud Cost and Billing


A key activity in cloud computing is the metering of resources to bill customers. Due to a lack of standardization, this is a complex task even for sophisticated providers. Simple components such as virtual machines, networks, and storage can be measured on very different units. And reporting on this metered usage is not well-defined across clouds and requires some expertise to do.

Cloud services are usually bundles that include the software, hardware in the form of cloud resources, and professional services. Here are some potential ways that cloud hardware and software can be metered:



Cloud A

Cloud B

Cloud C


Unit of Measure





Unit of Measure

Fixed GB/month

Tiered GB/month

VLAN-hour + Tiered GB/month

Block Storage

Unit of Measure

Fixed Avg GB/month (provisioned)

Tiered Avg GB/month (provisioned)

Device-hour + Tiered Avg GB/month (provisioned)

Object Storage

Unit of Measure

Fixed Avg GB/month

Tiered Avg GB/month


OS License

Baked into compute

Extra, per OS

Free / Opensource

Software License

·      Baked into Compute

·      Bring your own License (BYOL)

·      Licensed per user

·      Licensed per CPU

·      Licensed per VM

·      Other


Even within the basic IT components, there are a myriad of options for metering in cloud. Add on to that cloud hpc, and now the options multiply even more. So unless you plan to buy all the piece parts and construct a solution for yourself, core-hr pricing is not the best metric when it comes to HPC in the cloud. This is not because it is inaccurate, but because it is incomplete. It's like buying a car and only asking what the engine costs. To get to your destination you need the whole car.

If all this seems like a bit much, give UberCloud a call for a free consultation. We'll help you figure out the right approach for your specific situation!

Thomas Francis

Posted by: Thomas Francis

Thomas has broad industry experience in enterprise software, cloud and IT operations. His most recent role was as Director of Software and Cloud Strategy at Dell. While at Dell he launched multiple cloud businesses including Dell Cloud Business Applications and Dell Cloud Marketplace. Previously, Thomas has held leadership roles in various technology companies including SanDisk and Landmark Graphics, a maker of 3D seismic interpretation software. Thomas has a Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering from UT Arlington and an MBA from UC Berkeley and is based in Silicon Valley.

Download ANSYS Case Studies

ansys in the cloud.png
Download Now
New Call-to-action

Recent Articles

Popular Articles