Episode Summary

iland Cloud Technologist Brian Knudtson is joined by guests Sam Woodcock, Christopher Kusek, and Scott Lowe for a conversation about the concerns customers have with the predictability of the costs in the cloud. They discuss the accuracy of pre-sales pricing estimations, uncovering hidden costs, and how to best employ tools like real-time alerting and month-to-date utilization metrics. Are hidden costs really hidden, or just misunderstood?


Sam Woodcock
Sr Director of Cloud Strategy, iland

Twitter Link LinkedIn

Christopher Kusek
Founder & CTO, Remedy8 Security

Twitter Link LinkedIn Website Link

Scott Lowe
CEO, ActualTech Media

Twitter Link LinkedIn Website Link Podcast Link

Cloud Conversations

Topic 1

[03:03] Customers will go through a pre-sales investigation of a cloud provider that will include some estimation of costs. Can a customer actually expect these estimated costs to be what they’ll be charged every month?

Topic 2

[13:30] Hidden costs are a major contributor to the unpredictability of cloud costs. How should customers go about uncovering the hidden costs a cloud provider might charge?

Topic 3

[22:36] Some cloud providers provide customers real-time alerting and month-to-date utilization metrics. How important are these to predicting end-of-month bills and how should customers utilize these tools to avoid surprises?

Cloud Bites

[01:29] “Nobody really knows what they’re paying for until they see that first bill and then they think they know, and then they see that second bill and it’s a spiraling snowball at that point.” — Christopher Kusek 

[04:40] “You go into the cloud with that mindset that you’re looking at things like CPU, memory, and storage, and then that’s all you need to think about. But the reality is, with a lot of the bigger providers in the space related to cloud, is that there are micro transactional costs.” — Sam Woodcock

[05:10] “Things like support and security potentially can be overlooked in this evaluation process and are really key to understanding how that cost is going to grow in scale.” — Sam Woodcock

[06:38] “It becomes really hard, I think, to do almost an apples to apples comparison sometimes, especially when you’re considering some of the cloud providers that may have charges you don’t even know existed until you get into it and get that first bill.” — Scott Lowe

[08:10] “Suddenly the procurement team needs to become the network operations monitoring team and their whole world is drastically changed.” — Christopher Kusek

[15:25] “So when we start looking at each of these little pieces and we start loading them into Excel, and then we add those values up, we start to see what our real costs are.” — Christopher Kusek

[15:51] “Cloud partners can help identify and control costs and also help to reel in what some of these costs are.” — Christopher Kusek

[16:36] “I don’t think that there’s such a thing as hidden costs in the cloud. There’s costs you haven’t yet discovered.” — Scott Lowe

[17:09] “Those costs aren’t necessarily hidden. But you may find some things you didn’t expect to be charged because you didn’t understand what the language was in the pricing guide.” — Scott Lowe

[19:03] “Taking time, taking expertise, and really, truly understanding that will hopefully put you in the best foot forward to successful outcomes.” — Sam Woodcock

[21:13] “When we’re looking at VMware centric environments, the virtual machine is obviously as granular as most people get in that case. And you’re going to look at that differently if you’re moving to the AWS versus iland.” — Scott Lowe

[23:35] “I think the bill is important to help understand what you’re going to pay, obviously, but I think that a deeper analysis of the environment can help you do a better job controlling and ultimately predicting what the cost should be.” — Scott Lowe

[24:24] “From our side, we tend to make sure that customers have that real-time alerting, that real-time utilization so that they can see costs as they happen and obviously make adjustments in real time. And I think that’s critical to be able to try to control spending.” — Sam Woodcock

[26:52] “Often we find that, because you bought something from a CapEx perspective, potentially folks are more prone to overallocation resources because they have them. And then when they shift to the cloud and they just bring across those workloads exactly as they are, then they can really ramp up their cost pretty heavily.” — Sam Woodcock

“I don’t think that there’s such a thing as hidden costs in the cloud. There’s costs you haven’t yet discovered.”


Episode Asset

Webinar: Cloud Economics – Why hyperscalers will cost you more every time

“Moving to the cloud will save you money.

When it comes to cloud hosting and other cloud services, like backup and disaster recovery, this statement is almost always assumed to be true. But is it?

When evaluating costs across multiple cloud providers, especially hyperscale clouds like Amazon, Azure, and Google, a new set of cost levers needs to be considered to realize the best combination of cost and performance.

Watch iland’s cloud economics webinar to:

  • Learn why “price doesn’t equal cost” in the cloud.
  • Understand what to look for when comparing across multiple cloud service providers.
  • Hear how iland’s unique combination of proven technology, true pay per use consumption, and supporting services create an economic advantage for customers when comparing providers.