Why You Cannot Effectively Run Windows on CloudatCost



  • There has been discussion around this but no one has put it in one place. CloudatCost requires a "bring your own license" model for running Windows on their cloud. They provide a demo license for the install and then expect you to apply your own licenses to it once the demo time expires. This is a handy means of pushing the licensing responsibility and cost to you and hiding the fact that this can't actually (or reasonably) be done. And here is why:

    1. These are quad socket servers. That means that Windows Standard license isn't an option as it only is valid on up to two sockets. End of story, nothing more to be discussed. Only Datacenter licenses can be considered.

    2. You don't know where VMs will run. In theory using a Windows Datacenter license would be an option since with two of them (yes TWO of them!!) you could license a single Dell R810 quad socket server (what CloudatCost uses). This means buying four sockets of licensing for every VM that you want to run. That's $12,300 USD per VM that you want to run (not including CALs which are still required as usual.) That's some serious licensing cost!

    3. You don't know that your VMs won't move. Because this is a cloud, your VMs might move around for load balancing or fail over. That's not a problem, as long as you have licensed every socket that they might failover to. So technically, even if you pay the $12,300 USD per VM cost mentioned above, that only covers the live running instance if CloudatCost would guarantee that the VM won't move to another host, which they don't guarantee. So, in theory, the only completely, sure fire way to license Windows is to pay $12,300 for every server that CloudatCost has in its poor and paying it again every time that they add a new server!

    Even if you were willing to completely ignore the requirements of number three and claim ignorance or hope that you could get away saying that the license was migrating, points one and two make it effectively impossible to put Windows on CloudatCost. Even if they guaranteed that VMs would not move and pinned workloads to a single physical device, the cost is too high for it to ever make sense. For the cost of one Big Dog Windows machine on CloudatCost you could run the same workload on Azure for 155 months. That's 13 years. And the Azure system will keep going down in cost and getting faster and faster during that time. And the Azure system includes CALs! And the Azure pricing includes all updates to newer OS versions!!

    Now consider the time value of money. If you were to take the license cost of the Windows license and the BD server and invest them well instead of throwing a big party and pay Azure month by month you would possibly actually earn money month to month instead of losing it. If you invest well it's possible that you would get an ever faster, always completely up to date, always legal Windows instance - forever, and STILL save money!



  • Why the heck are they using Quad CPUs instead of just 2x CPUs with High Core count. I think the core count on the CPUs they were using ways pretty low (quad core I think). Seems like that's being cheap. 8 & 12 Core CPUs are pretty efficient and cost effective these days (for what it is, 12 cores are about $1,000).



  • @thecreativeone91 said:

    Why the heck are they using Quad CPUs instead of just 2x CPUs with High Core count. I think the core count on the CPUs they were using ways pretty low (quad core I think). Seems like that's being cheap. 8 & 12 Core CPUs are pretty efficient and cost effective these days (for what it is, 12 cores are about $1,000).

    Eight cores according to their Facebook post. But still on the low side. The R810 doesn't have good efficiency with quad sockets, it's not architecturally meant for that. So the power per CPU is lower than you would expect. You need the bigger R9xx to get the real efficiency. They'd definitely do far better with beefier dual socket systems.


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