Seriously. Seriously. We're in a recession people.
Whatever happened to the recession?
I don't think the "cloud" is any good for "always-on" services. I run a small business and I worked out that with an Amazon instance it would cost twice as much to host a 24x7 server in the cloud than it would to rent my own dedicated server (or even VPS.)
For example - I'm currently renting a quad-core 2.4GHz processor, 2GB RAM, dual-160GB hard disk server for £69 a month. That's 9.6GHz of effective processing power. I'm upgrading it in the next month or so to have 8GB RAM which will increase that to £89 a month.
Now what if I wanted to match that with an Azure instance?
Well it would sit somewhere between the Large and X Large instances, which would give me 10.5GB RAM and the same amount of processing power. That's without knowing how much disk space I'd get.
That would set me back $0.72 per hour. There's an average of 722.4 hours in a month, which leaves me a bill of $520.13 a month! Translate that into GBP = £313!
I'm planning on getting another server of the same spec, sync'ing the systems data storage, which means I will be able to run 8 VMs of the same spec as the Small Azure instance for less than £200. Which will include live migration of the VMs across physical nodes, about 260GB storage for all 8 VMs and the option of load balancing them.
A Small Azure instance, running 24x7, will cost approx £52 a month, if I had 8 of them that'd be £416. DOUBLE THE PRICE.
Now, if I wanted one or 2 Azure instances to do some heavy processing for a couple of hours a day (which would be useful for exactly 1 scenario if I didn't need my own servers for anything else) then I'd get my head straight in the cloud but for anything else, it only deserves a grenade.