Gartner has recenty predicted that by 2020, a corporate “no-cloud” policy will be as rare as a “no-internet” policy is today. CIOs will increasingly leverage a multitude of cloud computing providers across the entire IT stack to enable a huge variety of use cases and meet the requirements of their business unit peers. Indeed, the tides are shifting toward a “cloud-first” or even “cloud-only” policy... 

Marc Wilczek

Cloud Computing Comparisons Between AWS, RackSpace and GoGrid

Cloud Computing Comparisons

It is no secret that most of the early cloud servers were in Unix flavors. However, in the recent past, there is a spate of new Windows cloud servers bursting out from leading cloud vendors. It is true that windows cloud servers, though they are a bit higher priced than their Unix/Linux counterparts, have become viable and there is widespread demand from enterprises. There seems to be no stopping Windows

A recently published IDC report states that Windows server market share is increasing and Unix share is declining.

Server OS Market Share %
Windows 73.9
Unix 4.3
Linux 21.2

Here we take a practical look at three different (non Microsoft) cloud vendors Windows offerings.

Cloud Service Vendors:

If we logically start thinking of the difference between cloud service vendors when the underlying hardware, operating system, virtualization technology are the same, we land at their service delivery models consisting of their pricing, packaged offering and support. What cloud be the difference between Gogrid’s windows server computing, Amazon Web Services Windows Servers and Rackspace CloudServers? As Amazon Web Services is a pioneer in Cloud Services both Gogrid and Rackspace have a page comparing themselves with EC2.


All the three vendors compared, Gogrid, AWS and Rackspace offer ‘Pay As You Go’ pricing model along with other Pre Paid Plans. The basic computing unit of Gogrid is RAM Hour. The basic unit of AWS is On Demand Instances. Rackspace Cloud Servers are Windows Images with RAM, Disk and Network Throughput.


Estimating their cost per hour can be tricky as there are varied specifications/ parameters used by each Vendor.


In Gogrid, if we select 4 GB RAM, 4 Core, 240 GB Storage, this will mean that we are going for a 4 GB RAM Solution. If we deploy this for a month of 30 days, this will add to 2880 RAM Hours. At the rate of 0.09 $ per hour this will amount to $ 259.2. Gogrid has a monthly Pre-paid plan for $ 199.

Amazon Web Services:

AWS has Small, Large and Extra Large Windows Instances costing $ 0.12, 0.48, 0.96 per hour. High Memory Instances, High CPU Instances and Cluster Compute Instances are the variables provided by Amazon. The small instance 1.7 GB Memory / 160 GB / 1 Core cost $ 80 per month.


Rackspace CloudServers start at $ 0.08 per hour. All the three vendors offering can be 32 bit or 64 bit Windows Server 2008.

A plain vanilla comparison of pricing is difficult. However we can give some opinions as below:

  • Rackspace Cloudsite and CloudServer offering have advantage over the others two in pricing.
  • AWS instance is charged from the time it is launched till it is terminated.
  • Pricing models of Cloud servers are based on the deployed time. Not on the utilization.
  • Microsoft Azure Cloud Service is not compared here. Azure has a different model of pricing which may be advantageous in some cases.
  • When the requirement is a complex one, the pricing model needs to be calculated for that in detail by testing, as estimation can go wrong.

CloudTweaks invites its esteemed reader’s inputs on the cloud vendors pricing model and their individual experiences. We will be continuing with this discussion in a second part shortly.


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