Bethan Palmer Bethan is a Java developer and a Java Champion. She has spoken at conferences including JavaOne/Code One, DevFest and NetBeans days. She has a degree in English Literature.

Price comparison of 5 Cloud Platforms

2 min read

coins-currency-investment-insurance-128867Over the past few months we have published several articles which show you how to use various cloud platforms with the NetBeans IDE. We covered a broad spectrum on How to use Layershift Jelastic Cloud, Oracle Java Cloud, Microsoft Azure Cloud, Red Hat OpenShift and AWS (Amazon Web Service). We also compared Performance between the clouds too. This time we will be comparing prices.

When researching these different platforms, I found that it was quite complicated to compare the prices as different companies offer very different pricing models.Therefore it is very difficult to predict which will be the cheapest, but I thought it would be useful to do a comparison of the various plans available.

The good news is that cloud services are becoming cheaper and cheaper. For small-scale applications, you will normally be able to run them on a cloud service for free. However for larger scale projects you will need to start paying. The most common price plan is pay-as-you-go. This means that you only pay for the resources you use, and you don’t have to guess in advance how much storage or RAM you will need.

1. Red Hat OpenShift

Red Hat OpenShift base their pricing on the use of ‘gears‘, which essentially offer 1GB of storage each, and a certain amount of memory depending on the size of the gear. They offer three plans: Free, Bronze and Silver. If you want to prevent your application from idling due to inactivity, then you will need the Bronze plan, which is pay-as-you-go. If you want support and an extra 15GB of memory, then you will need Silver.

For $20 a month you get:

  • 18GB of storage
  • 1.536 GB of memory
  • Support
  • $0.02/hour for each small (512MB) ‘gear’

More information can be found here.

2. Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure offers a free service with $200 worth of credit, which can be spend on storage, virtual machines, databases etc. This credit is available for 30 days. After this you will be able to use some services for free, but most you will need to pay for.

Microsoft Azure base their pricing model on region. The following is based on the US and Western Europe – in the UK it is slightly more expensive. Microsoft Azure offer a pay-as-you-go service, and the following is based on their pricing calculator and is therefore an estimate.

For $43.88 a month you get:

  • 20GB of storage
  • 0.75 GB of RAM
  • Developer support (web incident submission)
  • $0.02/hr for each instance

Their pricing calculator can be found here.

3. Oracle Cloud

Oracle Cloud is the most expensive option that I looked at, but it is also worth adding that in our performance comparison of cloud platforms, Oracle Cloud came out as the most efficient in terms of conversion and overall processing time. This is maybe one to consider if you are planning on putting a large number applications on the cloud.

For an individual developer, for $457 a month you get:

Java Cloud Service:

  • 1 OCPU, 7.5GB Memory
  • 1 GB Application Storage

Database Cloud Service:

  • 1 OCPU
  • 10 GB Database
  • Includes Database Backup

More information can be found here.

4. Layershift Jelastic

Jelastic do not offer a monthly plan. Instead you pay as  you go, only paying for the resources you use. One benefit of Jelastic is that discounts are applied automatically as you increase your usage.

You get:

  • Up to 10GB free disk space, or $0.0613/month for each GB if you use more than 10
  • $0.0056/hour for 16+ reserved cloudlets, or $0.0064 for dynamic cloudlets
  • $0.06 /hour for 10240GB+ of external traffic

More information can be found here.

5. Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS offer a free tier option for 12 months. With this option you get:

  • 5GB of storage
  • 750 hours/month of EC2 (their cloud hosting service) usage
  • 750 hours/month of RDS (Relational Database Service) use and 20GB storage

After this you can choose from an On-Demand Service (pay-as-you-go), Spot Instances (bid for unused storage space) and Reserved Instances (pay to reserve storage in advance). Pricing, as usual, depends on a range of factors. For example if you opt for On-Demand, for a t2.medium CPU running on Windows and using 4GB of memory, you will pay $0.072/hour.

Their pricing calculator can be found here.

Which is best & cheapest?

It is virtually impossible to say which is the cheapest as it will depend so much on your needs. The overall price will be affected by a large number of factors. These can include how often virtual machines are turned on or off, how many get and put requests your application receives, and how much memory they use. If you have a small number of applications and want to avoid paying up front and only paying for what you use, Jelastic looks to be a particularly good option. But if your requirements are different be sure to try the other alternatives.

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Bethan Palmer Bethan is a Java developer and a Java Champion. She has spoken at conferences including JavaOne/Code One, DevFest and NetBeans days. She has a degree in English Literature.

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