9 Cloud Hosting Services That Cost an Arm and a Leg

Are you starting a new business? If so, you’re probably thinking about how to set up your web presence so that you can maximize your profits, but what you may not know is that choosing the right web hosting service can make or break your business. Here are nine cloud hosting services that cost an arm and a leg to help steer you towards some lower-cost options that could save you money in the long run and provide a better experience for your customers.

1) AWS EC2 Instances
EC2 instances are by far Amazon’s most popular cloud computing service. Amazon Web Services (AWS) launched EC2 in August 2006 as one of its original services. Unlike traditional web hosting where you rent servers, EC2 enables you to pay only for what you use in terms of capacity. If your business needs to scale up or down, it takes mere seconds with AWS’s pay-as-you-go model. But that convenience comes at a cost: prices for computing power on AWS’s smallest instance start at $0.01 per hour ($300 per year). For those shopping on a budget, these prices may seem prohibitively expensive. The good news is there are plenty of other options available if you know where to look. Here are 9 affordable alternatives to Amazon EC2 instances.

2) Google Compute Engine
GCE is Google’s cloud computing service, providing VM hosting at prices that compete with Amazon’s EC2. Prices start from $0.08 per hour (for very small machines) up to $0.12 per hour for larger systems, making it one of the most affordable services around—if you don’t need a lot of storage or computing power. It’s also possible to get discounts by committing to longer contracts, although Google doesn’t give out any pricing information beyond its initial landing page. It also has free usage tiers, but beware: these are limited in size and there’s little available guidance on what they’re suitable for. Still, if you’re just trying things out and want something cheap, then it could be worth a shot.

3) Microsoft Azure Stack
Microsoft has announced that it’s working with Rackspace to offer its OpenStack-based cloud hosting service on its Azure platform. Microsoft is billing it as a preview, though it’s unclear if that means you can sign up for it right now or not. Whatever you do, read through their FAQ (particularly if you’re concerned about whether your VMs will be Linux or Windows). As they say, Azure Stack uses many of the same services as Azure, including Virtual Machines, Virtual Networks, and Storage Accounts. You’ll also need to make sure your apps work in a hybrid environment before signing up. Oh—and don’t forget to check out our guide on how to choose between AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Platform. And then there’s always HPE… 8 – WebHostingBuzz – $30/month 7 – InMotion – $50/month 6 – LiquidWeb – $70/month 5 – DigitalOcean – $80/month ($5/month if billed annually) 4 – SiteGround – $90/month ($3.95/mo billed annually)*Note: Their special offers are different from month to month so make sure to check them out every so often!* 3 – Media Temple Cloud Hosting – $100-$200 per month 2 – Internap – Contact Sales 1 – Rackspace – Contact Sales I know what you’re thinking: But wait!

4) OpenStack on Azure (preview)
Microsoft’s Azure cloud offers its public version of OpenStack, which lets developers spin up servers in Microsoft’s data centers. Microsoft has been building out its service for quite some time, but it doesn’t offer an enterprise version of its cloud-based OpenStack installation. Sure, other companies will give you such a service. Amazon Web Services, for example, will let you host instances on its platform—but it won’t do so at enterprise price points. Instead, you’ll pay by usage (the more you use, the higher your per-hour cost) or opt to purchase reserved instances (pay once to use as much as you like). Microsoft is now offering just such an option: It’s now possible to purchase reserved instance hours for OpenStack running on Azure. The catch? You’ll have to pay $100 per hour for each core used.

5) Oracle Compute Cloud Service (OCCS)
This cloud computing service provides a platform for building virtualized infrastructures. OCCS is similar to Rackspace Cloud, but it offers more customization options and more control over your infrastructure. However, these options come at a price: OCCS will run you about $1,320 per month for 2 CPUs, 8 GB of RAM, 2 TB of storage space, and 350 Mbps of bandwidth—and that’s with only two virtual machines running. On top of that, most of its plans require 24-month contracts. If you don’t want to pay for an entire year in advance and you’re only interested in running one or two VMs instead of many, there are cheaper alternatives out there.

6) Rackspace Public Cloud
The Rackspace Public Cloud (RPC) offers scalable resources that let you quickly deploy applications. You can use tools like Chef, Puppet, Vagrant, or Docker to deploy applications in seconds. Plus, with managed services including security and availability, we’ll take care of those tasks so you can focus on innovation. With cloud hosting from Rackspace, your business can scale without limits while retaining control over your infrastructure and data. And because we’ve been committed to being The Open Cloud Company since 2008 when we launched our open-source cloud platform, good things do come to those who wait.

7) DigitalOcean Droplets
There is only one downside to DigitalOcean—the fact that its cheapest package, at $5 per month, doesn’t include any storage or bandwidth. You get access to CoreOS, Docker, and all of DigitalOcean’s other bells and whistles—it’s just that you can’t store anything on it. If you find yourself hosting static sites or lightweight applications (like Jekyll blogs), though, you can do so for as little as $0.007 per hour ($10 per month). For most people looking for something on which they can host their startup idea, however, these price points are far too low. (A Heroku dyno costs more than 1/2 of what DigitalOcean charges per month.)

8) SUSE Enterprise Storage On Public Clouds
Oracle Ravello Systems uses cutting-edge technology to bring traditional Oracle databases into JavaScript virtual machines in an application running inside of your browser. Imagine if you could run Microsoft Access or SAP, for example, in your browser—without needing to install anything on your computer. It sounds impossible, but it’s not. Now imagine if you could test how well your app is performing against a real database instead of just testing against some dummy data. With Oracle Ravello Systems, that’s now possible.

9) Oracle Ravello Systems In the Browser
One of Oracle’s newest offerings is something called Ravello In The Browser. It’s intended for developers that want to move their applications from private data centers into public clouds. But Oracle is pitching it to customers in another way: eliminating any need for a public cloud. How does it work? You get pre-configured instances of Amazon EC2, Google Compute Engine, Microsoft Azure, or IBM Softlayer (IBM partners with Ravello Systems on its service) running in your browser so you can test how they might work as cloud platforms. This means you have control over every possible aspect of these instances—such as altering IP addresses—something that isn’t usually possible with IaaS clouds due to security concerns.