RightScale Acquisition Forecasts Cloud Costs

RightScale Acquisition Forecasts Cloud Costs

Getting a handle on the exact costs of cloud computing to date has been challenging, and organizations usually knowing only after the fact what the actual monthly costs of their cloud services are. RightScale is hoping to change that with the recent acquisition of Scotland-based ShopForCloud, a cloud cost forecasting website that the cloud management vendor has renamed PlanForCloud.

RightScale plans to keep the site free and continue on the path of educating customers about cloud computing and the costs associated with cloud services, RightScale CEO Michael Crandell told Talkin' Cloud. As a cloud management company focusing on working with infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, Microsoft Windows Azure and Rackspace, RightScale executives see the company's job -- at least in part -- to educate companies and end users about cloud computing.

Calculating costs ahead of time is one of the biggest pain points customers feel when dealing with the cloud, Crandell said. Businesses are always looking for the medicine to cure their headaches, and that's where PlanForCloud (hopefully) comes in. Users don't need to be RightScale customers to use the site. For those who give it a try, PlanForCloud should help make cloud computing costs more predictable and absolute -- no more guesstimating and hoping for the best.

The costs associated with multiple cloud computing services, platforms and providers are complex, to say the least. Even pricing structures within a single platform such as Amazon Web Services practically require a PhD to figure out, Crandell noted.

The site, to which RightScale plans to add more features over time, will be a boon to channel partners, no matter which platforms and vendors they deal with. Providing in-depth cost structure breakdowns of a proposed customer cloud services rollout and being able to tweak it and swap different services and platforms in and out to get the most cost-effective structure should go a long way toward selling customers on cloud computing.

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