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Cloudlets pricing benefits over Amazon Web Services

General information
Cloudlets is the Australian home of Jelastic. The Jelastic platform and pricing model is often compared to Amazon Web Services, as these two clouds have much in common: simplifying cloud computing, a web interface for creating and managing environments, a wide selection of software stacks and full control over servers, with the ability to apply all the necessary settings and much more.
In this article, we would like to draw attention to one very significant difference between Jelastic and Amazon EC2 - the pricing system.
This article uses real life data samples from providers using the Jelastic platform and pricing model. Cloudlets brings this opportunity to the Australian market where you can expect similar cost savings to go along with substantial and obvious performance improvements with automated vertical and horizontal scaling.
Price policy
The basic idea behind Amazon EC2 pricing is that you use a predefined amount of resources for the servers you add. To get some additional resources, you will have to purchase a server twice the size of the already used one. As a result, this leads to a significant increase in value, if necessary, only slightly increase the amount of resources. Even if your application consumes less resources than is provided on a single Amazon server, you still have to pay for its entire volume. Moreover, if you just want to resize the current server, without data transfer you will have to use EBS, which costs significantly more than non-EBS AMI.
In turn, Cloudlets provides for the allocation of small amounts of resources as they are needed. Also, users can resize the server without transferring data and additional settings. Moreover, thanks to automatic vertical scaling, there is no charge for unused resources at all.
The universal Cloudlets price model allows you to choose between flexible, fixed or hybrid pricing (a combination of the first two). Thus, you pay only for the actual consumption of resources.
Cloudlets also provides automatic volume discounts, i.e. the more resources you use, the cheaper the unit of resources. The appropriate discount amount is automatically selected when the amount of resources used increases. Thus, the flexibility and dynamism of the pricing policy of Cloudlets provides favorable conditions for various types of applications.
Auto scaling for price optimization
Cloudlets and Amazon EC2 provide an excellent ability to scale resources to optimize the price, making it more acceptable to the user. However, the implementation of this functionality is completely different in these clouds. Therefore, the effect of scaling on the price is different. Amazon supports horizontal scaling, while Cloudlets provides both horizontal and vertical scaling.
Amazon EC2
When an application hosted on Amazon grows, it becomes necessary to switch to a larger server to get additional resources - you cannot simply scale them vertically . Also, instead of starting a new server and setting it up from scratch, you can try resizing your server by moving it to more suitable equipment. For this you will have to use EBS, which will cause new technical difficulties and increase costs. Moving from a small server to a large one requires switching the disk from one virtual machine to another, which can lead to downtime for a while.
For production applications, it is possible to use horizontal scaling. Amazon EC2 allows you to automatically scale the resources used, depending on the conditions you define. You need to specify how many servers to add if resource consumption is growing. Sometimes you have to reserve even more than what you really need, simply because it is impossible to accurately predict the needs of your application.
Cloudlets provides automatic vertical scaling of processor power and RAM (cloudlet = 256 MB RAM and 400 MHz CPU). You simply set the maximum limit for resource consumption, and Cloudlets automatically allocates only the really necessary amount of resources for your application.
Accordingly, with Cloudlets you get excellent granulation when scaling. Unlike Amazon, adding resources to Cloudlets is carried out automatically and in small quantities (according to the size of the cloudlet ). If you need to expand fixed scaling limits, you can do this manually without having to restart the virtual machine or move to another server (which is a prerequisite for Amazon).
You can also reserve a certain amount of Cloudlets resources if you are sure that your application uses them. Such reserved cloudlets are cheaper. As a result, you save even more by not using unsolicited resources.
In addition, you can easily scale the application horizontally by adding additional servers. Horizontal scaling can be done manually through the control panel or automatically using the Cloudlets API. In the near future, this process will become even more flexible and automated - you can configure triggers to initialize automatic horizontal scaling.
Cost comparison for real applications
Let's analyze real projects. Below we will present the actual consumption of resources by real applications and compare the costs of these resources for Jelastic internationally and Amazon EC2.
As an example, we will look at four applications deployed on the Jelastic platform at various providers. They represent various areas of business, and also vary in geographic location:
  • Tourist services in South America
  • Game studio in South America
  • Foundation for the Development of Internet Initiatives in Russia (IIDF)
  • Website of a high school in the USA
For a fair comparison, we will use the appropriate Amazon prices in these regions.
Hosting in South America
The first two applications from our examples ( tourist services and a game studio ) are located in South America ( Locaweb ). Both are deployed in environments with an application server and database.
For normal performance of a tourism application on Amazon, you must select the m1.medium type of EC2 server for the database, and m1.large the server type for the application server. This is 3.7 GB and 7.5 GB of RAM, respectively. Thus, the cost of hosting per year is approximately $ 1,025 for using the database and $ 2,549 for the application server.
The initial price of Jelastic and Amazon resources is very close, but keep in mind that with Jelastic you can not reserve resources you do not need using automatic vertical scaling, as well as get a wide range of discounts, which significantly reduces the final payment amount.
Therefore, with all the features of Jelastic, hosting an application like costs $ 444 per database and $ 621 per application server per year.
Comparing the pricing of Jelastic and Amazon EC2, it can be noted that the annual cost savings with Cloudlets is 52% .
Let's look at what makes the Jelastic pricing policy beneficial for the user.
Automatic vertical scaling in Jelastic is a unique technology that can significantly reduce costs, because you pay only for what you use. No need to reserve resources (more than you really need). Just set the maximum limit, and Jelastic will automatically use only the right amount of resources.
The only reason you should reserve resources in Jelastic is additional discounts, because our hosting providers charge a fee for reserved cloudlets at a reduced price. You can reserve the minimum amount of resources and save even more.
Jelastic hosting service providers (including Locaweb from South America) also offer discounts based on the amount of resources consumed - the more you use, the lower the cost. The advantages of this pricing model can be seen in the example of our next application -
With Amazon, such an application will need a m1.small virtual machine (1.7 GB) for the application server and m1.medium (3.7 GB) for the database. Thus, in a year you will have to allocate about $ 1,533 from your budget.
At the same time, Jelastic hosting providers (in this case, Locaweb) provide a flexible discount system that will help you reduce costs. For the consumption of the above resources per year with Jelastic, you will pay approximately $ 1,153 .
This is approximately 25% savings.
Hosting in Russia
To compare the costs of hosting applications in Europe, we will consider the application for the Development Fund for Internet Initiatives , posted on REG.RU (Russia). This application is deployed in an environment with multiple application servers.
To cover the needs of this application in Amazon, we need several virtual machines like m1.large for application servers (7.5 GB each). For these resources you will have to pay $ 6676 per year.
At the same time, with Jelastic you will pay only $3,283 per year. This is the result of automatic vertical scaling and discounts based on consumption sizes implemented in our system.
It is noteworthy that even though the hourly price in Jelastic is higher, the total amount payable is less by 50% than in Amazon.
If you used 50% of the resources, you pay only for them - not a dime more.
Hosting in the USA
Finally, let's compare Amazon and Jelastic in the USA. The object of this experiment will be a higher education application deployed on , with one application server and Maven build node.
With Amazon, we need an m1.small virtual machine (1.7 GB) for the application server and t1.micro (0.615 GB) for Maven. Amazon's annual price is $ 632 .
Please note that we do not select t1.micro for the server, since it has very low disk I / O performance and cannot be used for production purposes. That is why we preferred the more powerful m1.small , which is the simplest option from a number of suitable ones.
Meanwhile, with Jelastic, this application does not consume even the minimum amount of resources requested by Amazon. And, with Jelastic's automatic vertical scaling and pricing based on consumption, owners of this app save a ton of money. The price per year with a Jelastic cloud is $ 155.
As a result, you get almost 73% of your savings every year.
In conclusion, let's summarize the pricing policies of Amazon and Cloudlets powered by Jelastic: advantages and disadvantages, costs and savings.
Amazon EC2
  • Only offers servers with fixed consumption limits
  • Each next server type is usually 2 times larger and 2 times more expensive than the previous
  • You always pay the maximum cost, regardless of the amount of resources consumed by the application
  • You cannot just add more resources for one server in case of peak loads: you need to use more servers or add additional ones, and, accordingly, pay extra for this
Cloudlets Powered by Jelastic
  • The application is scaled by conventional units of resources, each of which is equal to 400 MHz of processor power and 256 MB of RAM
  • You can reserve the minimum amount of resources needed for your application to get a discount, as well as set a maximum limit in case the application needs more resources.
  • Your application is billed hourly based on actual resource consumption thanks to automatic vertical scaling technology
  • Thanks to automatic discounts, the greater the amount of resources consumed, the cheaper they are
  • Granular vertical scaling solves the problem with load peaks

We hope that our examples have clarified the price differences between Amazon and Cloudlets. Which platform and geographical location of the hosting to choose, which will be better and more profitable for your application - the decision is yours. You can test the Jelastic platform at Cloudlets during the 14-day free trial period and determine how much hosting your application or website will cost.
For more details, check out the Jelastic pricing video.

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