How Much Does Cloud Computing Cost?

When you’re calculating the cost of your next big trip to Europe, there’s a whole laundry list of specifics that feed into each portion of your budget.

Take airfare, for example.  Wrapped up in this charge are: the city you’re leaving from, your time of departure, the day of the week, the city and airport to which you’re arriving, the number of layovers, which class you’re riding, how many passengers you have, and so forth.

Just when you think you have everything pinned down, you still have dozens of pricing options to choose from—you can go through the airlines themselves, third-party sites like Priceline, or that shady-looking character who hangs out in the shadowy bits of the Metro station.

In the end, your goal is to get to your vacation spot in the most efficient, worry-free, and budget-friendly way possible.

You’ll have to work through the same sort of process when figuring the cost of cloud computing.  Here, the main factors will be the type of cloud (public vs. private), how much you plan on storing there (just data vs. your entire infrastructure), and why you want to migrate (disaster recovery vs. saving office space).

Then, you can choose your provider based upon who will get you there in the most efficient, worry-free, and budget-friendly way possible.

If you’re sending up your data in the form of backup, you’re looking at anywhere from $0.15 per GB per month to a few thousand bucks for your own backup devices that sync from your office to the cloud.

For colocation, plan for anywhere from $400 per month for one server, to $15,000 per month for your entire back-office infrastructure.

In the case of a fully hosted network, you’ll spend from $100 per desktop per month to $200 per desktop per month, plus the cost of implementation, data migration, and ongoing storage. This doesn't include the cost of maintaining your in-office network (yes, you'll still need some technology on-site).

While the most expensive option isn’t necessarily the best, don’t lose sight of the metaphor: chances are you won’t be offered filet mignon while you’re flying coach.