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We
recently came across this blog
http://bit.ly/6EypCv by David Mok and it
reminded us of the truth that in cloud computing just because it’s abstracted
doesn’t make it inconsequential.

It’s
early days in the public cloud and so the major players are still sorting out
the basics of their business models, including pricing. Customers today think
they’re buying performance per dollar when in fact they’re really purchasing a
description of services per dollar. People think of public clouds as
commodities – that the CPU, storage, memory, VM software, I/O and the rest are
all the same. But they’re wrong. In mature markets, commodities are well
described. With public clouds, customers frequently have no insight into the
underlying IT architecture that can make a big difference in the quality of
service they experience running their workloads.

Security and Performance

As
an example, let’s look at two things that matter in any computing environment:
security and performance. How well described are these services in your public
cloud?

Public
cloud computing may be fundamentally an API call over the Web to start and
manage a virtual machine, but how protected is that VM from surrounding VMs,
from the host and networks around it? A VM sitting in a cloud could have
different levels of security control, and those levels could be reflected in
pricing, but today that’s not an option.

How
about performance?

As
Mok found out at his company, it made a big difference if their MySQL jobs were
running on one set of servers over another with their public cloud provider.

Mok said:

    The point is
in both cases, the … customer is paying the same for an instance that is
    marketed as having identical compute units (i.e. processing power), but the reality
is
    very different. Bear in mind that one cannot select what underlying hardware
you
            want your instances to be powered up on.

Today
nothing is sold to public cloud customers based on security or performance. The
cloud is not being metered that way. There is no perfect unit of commerce in
the cloud. Yet. That will change. The substrate architecture matters to a
customer and the industry will begin to price that fact into cloud services.
That’s when we’ll see true service level agreement pricing.

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