Conference Paper

Overcoming Ex Ante Cost Intransparency of Clouds - Using System Analogies and a Corresponding Cost Estimation Model.

Authors:
  • Lübeck University of Applied Sciences
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... In Sect. 3 the overall relevance of cloud-based approaches is analyzed by well known industry best practice management frameworks (COBIT, TOGAF and ITIL). Section 3 shows furthermore that cloud-based approaches are likely to provide more benefits than disprofits to IT management (see also Kratzke [8,9]). Nevertheless there exist disprofits and issues which have to be solved. ...
... Due to page limitations this paper presents only a short summary of the literature review results. This paper refers to Kratzke [8,9] for a more detailed description of the performed literature review. Last but not least it turned out that no substantial cost estimation models could be found in literature. ...
... The same is possible for infrastructure IAAS COST or software as a service costs SAAS COST . 9 So it is possible to compare the costs of two or more different cloud service providers on different service levels. It is furthermore possible to calculate service level independent costs for network NETWORK COST , request REQUEST COST , processing PROCESSING COST , data transfer DATA TRANS COST or data storage DATA STORAGE COST costs if you are interested in separating these concerns. ...
Chapter
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Although cloud computing is in all mouth today it seems that there exist only little evidences in literature that it is more economical effective than classical data center approaches. Due to a performed qualitative analysis on COBIT, TOGAF and ITIL this paper postulates that cloud-based approaches are likely to provide more benefits than disprofits to IT management. Nevertheless one astonishing issue is the not often stressed ex ante cost intransparency of cloud based approaches which is a major implicit problem for IT investment decisions. This paper presents considerations how to estimate costs of cloud based systems before they enter their operational phase. This is necessary in order to make economical IT investment decisions for or against cloud computing more objective.
... These web accessible "programmable datacenters" provide several interesting features. They allow scaling up and down resource usage on an as-needed basis likely to provide cost advantages (especially in peak load scenarios [2] [3]) due to their economical pay-as-you-go principle and technical quick scaling capabilities. Economically they turn fixed costs into variable costs making theme specially interesting for innovative start-up companies not able to do significant up-front investments. ...
... While security and governance concerns often can be answered by encryption [2], and cost concerns can be answered by cost-based decision making models [2] [3], vendor lock-in problems stay. From a technological point of view actual state of the art cloud-based software, services are often characterized by a highly implicit technological dependency on underlying hosting cloud infrastructures. ...
... This would help especially small and medium sized enterprise in adopting cloud strategies. Our ongoing research contributes to several postulations made in [3] postulating that all necessary technologies for a meta-cloud are already present but not integrated in an appropriate manner. Authors think that a lightweight virtualization cluster could contribute substantially to overcoming vendor lock-in problems. ...
Article
Full-text available
To overcome vendor lock-in obstacles in public cloud computing the capability to define transferable cloud-based services is crucial but not yet solved satisfactory. This is especially true for small and medium sized enterprises being typically not able to operate a vast staff of cloud service and IT experts. Actual state of the art cloud service design does not deal systematically how to define, deploy and operate cross-plattform capable cloud services. This is mainly due to inherent complexity of the field and differences in details between a plenty of existing public and private cloud infrastructures. One way to handle this complexity is to restrict cloud service design to a common subset of commodity features provided by existing public and private cloud infrastructures. Nevertheless these restrictions raise new service design questions and have to be answered in ongoing research in a pragmatic manner regarding the limited IT-operation capabilities of small and medium sized enterprises. By simplifying and harmonizing the use of cloud infrastructures using lightweight virtualization approaches the transfer of cloud deployments between a variety of cloud service providers will become possible. This article will discuss several aspects like high availability, secure communication, elastic service design, transferability of services and formal descriptions of service deployments which have to be addressed and are investigated by our ongoing research.
... They allow to scale up and down resource usage on an as-needed basis. So cloud computing is likely to provide cost advantages (especially in peak load scenarios [3,4]) due to its economical pay-as-you-go principle and technical quick scaling capability. Economically, it turn fixed into variable costs making it especially interesting for innovative start up companies, not able to do significant up-front investments. ...
... Nevertheless, beside above mentioned advantages, common security, governance, availability, cost concerns and especially technological vendor lock-in worries often come along with cloud computing which is especially true for small and medium-sized enterprises. While security and governance concerns often can be answered by encryption [3], cost concerns can be answered by cost based decision-making models [3,4], vendor lock-in problems stay. From a technological point of view actual state of the art of cloud based software services are often characterized by a highly implicit technological dependency on underlying hosting cloud infrastructures. ...
Article
Full-text available
Actual state of the art of cloud service design does not deal systematically how to define, deploy and operate cross-platform capable cloud services. By simplifying and harmonizing the use of IaaS cloud infrastructures using lightweight virtualization approaches, the transfer of cloud deployments between a variety of cloud service providers becomes more frictionless. This article proposes operating system virtualization as an appropriate and already existing abstraction layer on top of public and private IaaS infrastructures, and derives an reference architecture for lightweight virtualization clusters. This reference architecture is reflected and derived from several existing (open source) projects for container-based virtualization like Docker, Jails, Zones, Workload Partitions of various Unix operating systems and open source PaaS platforms like CoreOS, Apache Mesos, OpenShift, CloudFoundry and Kubernetes.
... In section 3 the overall relevance of cloud-based approaches is analyzed by well known industry best practice management frameworks (COBIT, TOGAF and ITIL). Section 3 shows furthermore that cloud-based approaches are likely to provide more benefits than disprofits to IT management (see also Kratzke [8] and [9]). Nevertheless there exist disprofits and issues which have to be solved. ...
... Due to page limitations this paper presents only a short summary of the literature review results. This paper refers to Kratzke [8] and [9] for a more detailed description of the performed literature review. Last but not least it turned out that no substantial cost estimation models clould be found in literature. ...
... This paper does not denial this pos tulation in general but advocates a more critical view like [11] or [12]. Ongoing research [13], [14], [15] show that cost advantages of cloud computing are deeply use case specific and cloud customers have to be highly aware o f co mparing non comparable use cases. ...
... Cloud generated costs are use case specific. Different problems result in different architectural solutions generating different cost behaviours [14], [15]. In other words cost (dis -)advantages are course or even task specific and therefore have to be figured out for each course. ...
Article
Full-text available
Cost efficiency is an often mentioned strength of cloud computing. In times of decreasing educational budgets virtual labs provided by cloud computing might be therefore an interesting option for higher education organizations or IT training facilities. An analysed use case of a web technology lecture and a corresponding practical course of a computer science study programme shows that is not possible to answer the question in general whether cloud computing approaches are economical or not. The general implication of this finding for higher education is, that the application of cloud computing can be only answered from a course specific point of view. This contribution shows why. But also how universities, colleges or other IT training facilities can make profound and course specific decisions for or against cloud based virtual labs from an economic point of view. The presented approach is inspired by Weinmans textquotedblleftmathematical proof of the inevitability of cloud computingtextquotedblright. The key idea is to compare peak to average usage of virtual labs and relate this ratio to costs of classical dedicated labs. The ratio of peak and average usage indicates whether a use case (from a pure economical point of view) is cloud compatible or not. This contribution derives also some findings when cloud computing in higher education has economical advantages or disadvantages. Regarding the analysed use case it turned out that virtual labs are able to provide a more than 25 times cost advantage compared to classical dedicated approaches. Virtual labs can be applied frictionless to classical as well as distance study programmes and virtual labs provide a convenient infrastructure for project as well as problem based learning in computer science. Nevertheless provider of virtual labs should always consider usage and resulting cost characteristics. This article shows how to do this.
... In section 3 the overall relevance of cloud-based approaches is analyzed by well known industry best practice management frameworks (COBIT, TOGAF and ITIL). Section 3 shows furthermore that cloud-based approaches are likely to provide more benefits than disprofits to IT management (see also Kratzke [11] and [12]). Nevertheless there exist disprofits and issues which have to be solved. ...
... Due to page limitations this paper presents only a short summary of the literature review results. This paper refers to Kratzke [11] and [12] for a more detailed description of the performed literature review. Last but not least it turned out that no substantial cost estimation models clould be found in literature. ...
... This paper does not denial this postulation in general but advocates a more critical view like (Weinmann, 2011) or (Mazhelis et al., 2011) do. Ongoing research (Kratzke, 2011a), (Kratzke, 2011b), (Kratzke, 2012a) shows that cost advantages of cloud computing are deeply use case specific and you should be aware of comparing non comparable use cases. And nevertheless we have to consider some shortcomings of cloud computing which are mentioned in literature and should be considered in planning phases of virtual labs. ...
Conference Paper
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Cost efficiency is an often mentioned strength of cloud computing (Talukader et al., 2010). In times of decreasing educational budgets virtual labs provided by cloud computing might be an interesting alternative for higher education organizations or IT training facilities. This contribution analyzes the cost advantage of virtual educational labs provided via cloud computing means and compare these costs to costs of classical educational labs provided in a dedicated manner. This contribution develops a four step decision making model which might be interesting for colleges, universities or other IT training facilities planning to implement cloud based training facilities. Furthermore this contribution provides interesting findings when cloud computing has economical advantages in education and when not. The developed four step decision making model of general IaaS * applicability can be used to find out whether an IaaS cloud based virtual IT lab approach is more cost efficient than a dedicated approach.
... Cloud computing is one of the latest developments within the business information systems domain and describes a new delivery model for IT services based on the Internet, and it typically involves the provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources. A performed a literature review showed that most of the overall cost efficiency is deduced by capacity efficiency which is intensively proclaimed as a key benefit by cloud service providers (see (Kratzke, 2011a) and (Kratzke, 2011b)). The simple fact that only the used capacity of a cloud-based service has to be paid inveigles to postulate the overall cost effectiveness of cloud-based approaches. ...
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Coud computing is characterized by ex ante cost intransparency making it difficult - from a decision point of view - to decide for or against a cloud based approach before a system enters its operational phase. This contribution develops a four step decision making model and describe its application by a performed use case analysis of the higher education domain which might be interesting for colleges, universities or other IT training facilities planning to implement cloud based training facilities. The developed four step decision making model of general IaaS * applicability can be used to decide whether a IaaS cloud based system approach is more cost efficient than a dedicated approach.
Article
Full-text available
Cost efficiency is an often mentioned strength of cloud computing. In times of decreasing educational budgets virtual labs provided by cloud computing might be therefore an interesting option for higher education organizations or IT training facilities. An analysed use case of a web technology lecture and a corresponding practical course of a computer science study programme shows that is not possible to answer the question in general whether cloud computing approaches are economical or not. The general implication of this finding for higher education is, that the application of cloud computing can be only answered from a course specific point of view. This contribution shows why. But also how universities, colleges or other IT training facilities can make profound and course specific decisions for or against cloud based virtual labs from an economic point of view. The presented approach is inspired by Weinmans textquotedblleftmathematical proof of the inevitability of cloud computingtextquotedblright. The key idea is to compare peak to average usage of virtual labs and relate this ratio to costs of classical dedicated labs. The ratio of peak and average usage indicates whether a use case (from a pure economical point of view) is cloud compatible or not. This contribution derives also some findings when cloud computing in higher education has economical advantages or disadvantages. Regarding the analysed use case it turned out that virtual labs are able to provide a more than 25 times cost advantage compared to classical dedicated approaches. Virtual labs can be applied frictionless to classical as well as distance study programmes and virtual labs provide a convenient infrastructure for project as well as problem based learning in computer science. Nevertheless provider of virtual labs should always consider usage and resulting cost characteristics. This article shows how to do this.