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UKFast opens trapdoor under prices, thumbs nose at AWS

See that? That's cheaper exit bandwidth, that is

retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

Cloudy British hosting biz UKFast has dropped its prices for cloudy Openstack hosting, it says, taking a pop at AWS as it does so.

The price drop is for UKFast’s eCloud Flex platform, and the company says it has cut its prices by up to 44 per cent. A variety of discounts are available for bulk purchases, including 30 per cent off for customers taking out a three year contract.

“It’s been great for our industry having AWS enter the market as it’s encouraging innovation and forcing everyone to up their game," said chief executive Laurence Jones.

“But it’s easy in business to become a victim of your own success and I believe that AWS, due to its size, is already unable to match the level of support provided by some of the smaller British hosting and cloud outfits.”

Jones added: “There’s a huge amount of confusion around the way some elastic, burstable cloud products are priced. Customers end up paying a lot more than they expected as hidden costs emerge.”

He isn’t wrong. While UKFast has put its offerings on a one-page price calculator, Amazon has a multitude of calculators and a bewildering array of options to pick from.

eCloud Flex, said UKFast in a statement, lets developers “programmatically build and spin up anything from individual VMs to entire virtualised hosting platforms with the provided OpenStack APIs.”

“The popularity of Flex hasn’t been a surprise,” said the firm, “but it’s enabled us to scale the product and now we’re passing on the benefits to our customers. The investments we’ve made in our data centres mean we are now offering cloud at an even more competitive price.

The big elephant in the room for picking AWS is the cost of network egress, or bandwidth out. Up to 10TB/month of bandwidth to the public internet from Amazon EC2 (London region) on demand will cost you $0.09/GB – $180/month if you use all 10TB – whereas UKFast’s charge for 10TB of bandwidth out to the public Internet is £32.00/month, or $39.71.

On the flip side, an AWS “hard drive” can be moved from one server to another. Moreover, AWS effectively auto-scales, doing it more or less seamlessly bar the greater quantity of shekels leaving your wallet. ®

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