Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1

    Cloud computing costs getting out of control?

    Hi,

    I have seen lots of posts and articles related to security issues and other problems related to cloud computing, but none about costs getting out of control. Is this a real problem?

    We are planning to start using Amazon S3 and probably also EC2. We asked Amazon, and they said that it is not possible to set a limit to costs in any way. The credit card limit won’t even stop costs from getting too high. One would guess that a DoS attack or a software bug can easily result in a huge bill, leading to bankruptcy.

    It seems as if everyone else is only concerned that their service keeps running, no matter what the costs are. This thinking is reasonable if the expenses come from normal healthy growth of the website, but isn’t there a huge risk of DoS attacks or bugs. A lot of small startups (like us) are using Amazon and paying the bills with the founders’ personal credit cards. Is there not a risk of suddenly getting a bill of millions of dollars/euros? Of course there are ways one can add various checks in different parts of the code, but there is still the risk and it won’t protect you from DoS attacks.

    Have anyone else thought about these issues? How have you solved them?

    Thanks,
    F

  2. #2
    First of all, companies introduce technologies, or re-invent technologies only if they think they can wring more dollars out of the "new and improved" than the old.

    In your case, if you want a throttle then move your site to a traditional server. That way, if your code is bad it stops, if it is ddos'd, it can only go so fast.

    Is there any *compelling* that the current platform brings you? Do you really need it? Or, is it just because "everyone cool is over there"?
    edgedirector.com
    managed dns global failover and load balance (gslb)
    exactstate.com
    uptime report for webhostingtalk.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2,955
    EC2 is a Xen VPS that cannot scale up above 15GB RAM. The storage you get is also not scalable especially if you're getting storage from the same LUN. EC2 can, however, scale out. In other words, you're going to line up multiple EC2 Xen VPS nodes. Nothing that can't be done with "traditional" VM technology. With EC2 prices you're also going to be paying more than current market prices for the same gear.

    Regards
    UNIXy - Fully Managed Servers and Clusters - Established in 2006
    [ cPanel Varnish Nginx Plugin ] - Enhance LiteSpeed and Apache Performance
    www.unixy.net - Los Angeles | Houston | Atlanta | Rotterdam
    Love to help pro bono (time permitting). joe > unixy.net

  4. #4
    Thank you for your answer!

    There is a reason we need to use Amazon, at least in the beginning. We do not really know how much storage we need yet, and it will change over time. The S3 prices are affordable and our service would be really easy to scale with S3.

    Our application will need to store very large files (100MB-5GB). The files need to be stored for a few days until they are downloaded. The number of files stored at different times will vary a lot, therefore, S3 sounds like a good solution. But since the files need to go through our server, it makes sense to have the whole thing running on an EC2 instance (cheaper to move stuff between EC2 and S3). A system like this is also easy to scale just by creating a new EC2 instance for each customer.

    We would just want to set some limit to the potential expenses, and change it over time. For example, with 10 customers, the costs might be something between 20€ and 1000€. It would be safer to have a maximum limit of 10000€ or something just to be sure. Then when we get 100 customers, we would raise the limit to 100000€.

    But there is no way to set any limits, so we need to come up with some other solution.

    -F

  5. #5
    UNIXy, did you mean that the costs will have a limit when you said that EC2 cannot scale above some limit? Do you have any idea what the max costs can be with one small instance? Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2,955
    Quote Originally Posted by Frane View Post

    We would just want to set some limit to the potential expenses, and change it over time. For example, with 10 customers, the costs might be something between 20€ and 1000€. It would be safer to have a maximum limit of 10000€ or something just to be sure. Then when we get 100 customers, we would raise the limit to 100000€.

    But there is no way to set any limits, so we need to come up with some other solution.
    Agreed, it's definitely a problem waiting to happen. Have you looked into using EC2's Cloudwatch? You can make it send pages/SMS when resources exceed thresholds. But keep in mind that EC2 is just like multiple dedicated servers. They're physically limited in terms of bandwidth (not transfer) and memory (~15GB). Storage is virtually unlimited.

    Regards
    UNIXy - Fully Managed Servers and Clusters - Established in 2006
    [ cPanel Varnish Nginx Plugin ] - Enhance LiteSpeed and Apache Performance
    www.unixy.net - Los Angeles | Houston | Atlanta | Rotterdam
    Love to help pro bono (time permitting). joe > unixy.net

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    2,955
    Quote Originally Posted by Frane View Post
    UNIXy, did you mean that the costs will have a limit when you said that EC2 cannot scale above some limit? Do you have any idea what the max costs can be with one small instance? Thanks!
    The maximum amount of memory you can allocate per instance on EC2 is 15GB. The bandwidth is also limited depending on the switch port speed (Xen bridge really). So if port speed is 100Mbps, the worse case scenario will be a bill for ~30TB if you're maxing out the link for a month 24/7.

    Regards
    Joe
    UNIXy - Fully Managed Servers and Clusters - Established in 2006
    [ cPanel Varnish Nginx Plugin ] - Enhance LiteSpeed and Apache Performance
    www.unixy.net - Los Angeles | Houston | Atlanta | Rotterdam
    Love to help pro bono (time permitting). joe > unixy.net

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Frane View Post
    Thank you for your answer!
    But there is no way to set any limits, so we need to come up with some other solution.
    -F
    There are three possiblities according to this warped mind:

    1. The easy way. Move the frontend only off of EC2. The frontend is on a traditional server. This again ends up being the throttle.

    2. The half way point. Put in a reverse proxy on a traditional server as the public frontend of your application. It does the throttling.

    3. The way out there one. Put in a hardware load balancer in front of your EC2 as the public trontend of your system. This is in effect a reverse proxy, but will offer you more knobs to turn.

    You do this until you are big enough to move back to EC2, or you discover you don't need/want EC2.

    Hint: if you don't know how fast you need to scale, you need to revisit your planning documents.
    edgedirector.com
    managed dns global failover and load balance (gslb)
    exactstate.com
    uptime report for webhostingtalk.com

  9. #9
    Thanks for all your answers. So if the bandwidth limit is 100Mbps, then a DoS attack won’t cost that much. So is it safe to assume that with one EC2 instance and S3, we cannot end up with a bill larger than $1000 if we monitor the system daily. If we use the full 100Mbps in both directions for 24h, it will cost us about $300. So is there really a bandwidth limit for an EC2 instance?

    What about puts, gets and other operations to S3? Is it possible that the code gets stuck in some loop doing lots of very small puts, ending up in a huge bill? How many PUT operations can you make in one second? Is 1000 puts/s an overestimate? It would cost $864 after 24h.

    Thanks for all your help!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Waterloo, Ontario
    Posts
    1,116
    Have you even thought about a private cloud solution? That is a nice way to limit your monthly spending and you always have the option of adding more nodes to make it bigger for make room for a bigger sandbox or even more clients.

    Hope that help.
    Right Servers Inc. - Fully Managed Cloud Servers in Canada. Join our White Labelled WHMCS Cloud VPS Reseller Program to become your own host!
    SSD Accelerated Cloud | cPanel/WHM | Softaculous | Idera Backups | Bitcoin & Litecoin Accepted

Similar Threads

  1. What is cloud computing?
    By Kevin in forum Cloud Hosting
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 09-16-2009, 04:00 AM
  2. Cloud computing
    By prashant1979 in forum Cloud Hosting
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-29-2009, 02:24 AM
  3. Cloud Computing
    By eTalkup in forum WHT Announcements, Feedback and Questions
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 07-20-2008, 10:24 PM
  4. Cloud Computing
    By douglasdcin in forum Web Hosting
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 05-07-2008, 01:44 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •