RightScale Brings Free Cloud Cost Forecasting with PlanForCloud

Anyone who dealt with the Public Cloud platforms knows the complexity of cost calculation and forecasting. Though AWS and Windows Azure have pricing calculators, they are complex to use and make it difficult to predict the spend forecast. Founded by Ali Khajeh-Hosseini and Hassan Khajeh-Hosseini in Scotland, ShopForCloud offered a tool to forecast the cost of Cloud. Yesterday RightScale announced that they have acquired ShopForCloud and renamed it to PlanForCloud.

I signed up with PlanForCloud.com to give it a spin. I found the user experience to be pretty simple and intuitive. It supports AWS, Windows Azure, Google Compute Engine and Rackspace platforms. PlanForCloud classifies the cost elements into Servers, Storage, Databases and Bandwidth. The Servers section lets you choose the instance type and typical usage pattern. What I specifically liked is the option to add custom growth patterns that is based on the elasticity of the servers. If your chosen Cloud is AWS and the pattern is 24/7, it automatically factors the Reserved Instances pricing. On the storage front, it seamlessly shows the Cloud specific options like EBS, RRS and S3 for AWS and Drives, BLOBS, Tables and Queues for Windows Azure. Even here you can factor the expected growth rate of the storage. When you come to the Database tab, it has the most comprehensive list of options supported by Amazon RDS. Since Rackspace doesn’t have a native DB as a Service offering, it falls back to Server Instance Types to choose from. Calculating bandwidth is straightforward based on the Cloud and the Servers chosen. I was unable to find the option to define the number of EBS I/O requests and S3 API calls.

PlanForCloud is free and doesn’t force you to enter the Public Cloud credentials. You can confidently play with multiple Cloud deployment models till you arrive at the pricing model that is comfortable to you.

I couldn’t find support for some of the essential services like DynamoDB, CloudFront, ElastiCache on AWS and ServiceBus on Windows Azure. Many customers use these services and adding them to the portfolio will enable accurate cost prediction.

With RightScale’s expertise and track record, I am expecting tighter integration with the multi-cloud deployment models and many enhancements to PlanForCloud.

- Janakiram MSV, Chief Editor, CloudStory.in


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