1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply on Jan 23, 2017 5:01 PM by CarlSchwarz

    Real Cost of Amazon server?

    CJWatson

      Lot's of articles on how to get your amazon server working but none mention a real world cost. What I mean is this. If I host myself it costs me :

       

      x for the imac

      x for 5 connection FMS

      Users connect as many times as they like and use the server . So if Imac cost $800.00 and server software $888 it cost $1688.00 a year for me to have users connect. Less the next year because already own the hardware, but need to renew the Server License.

       

      So on the Amazon server - We know the 5 user connection is $888, But how does this minute/hourly pay out. Lets have some examples, like if 3 users connect 7 hours a day to get work done from office, and two users 2 hours day by ipad. What approximate cost would the Amazon fee be.

      Seems I can only find out by moving to the Amazon server and setting it up, then waiting for the surprise in the form of the monthly bill.

      It's easy to understand we don't have to buy hardware, no time spent maintaining But it's the monthly cost that our customers are interested in.

      Anyone have a real world case?

       

      Filemaker , How about some approximate costs for an average situation like stated above to help us decide whether, Amazon is cost effective.

        • 1. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
          bigtom

          The AWS charges are for the time the server is active and not the time users are connected. Some servers will need to be on 24/7 and others may only need to be running during business hours.

           

          AWS has a calculator for this and it depends on the server you have.

          • 2. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
            smith7180

            Unless you can disable your server for significant portions of the day, you'll likely get the best value from reserved instances. 

             

            3 year reservations for Linux instances:

            t2.small (1 vcpu 2GB RAM): $272

            t2.medium (2 vcpu 4GB RAM): $543

            t2.large (2 vcpu 8GB RAM): $1087

            m4.xlarge (4 vcpu 16GB RAM): $2124

             

            Regardless, your EBS (storage) pricing is $0.10/GB/month.  Long term storage ("Glacier") is $0.004/GB/month.

             

            I've only used FMCloud on test servers, but I think it's awesome.  Right now all my clients are on AWS t2.large instances with FileMaker Server 15.  I can see myself moving to FMCloud once they add a few more back-up features so I can take advantage of the much cheaper m-class Linux servers.  AWS has simply been a joy to work with, and I say that as someone who is not particularly interested in this stuff.

            • 3. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
              CICT

              You get charged as long as the instance is active, even if the server itself is shut down.

               

              In other words, unless you stop or terminate the instance you'll get charged. I'm not sure how many people would bother having to manage their systems this way (we didn't!)

               

              Regards

               

              Andy

              • 4. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
                CICT

                Forgot to add, this is for on demand and not reserved instances.

                 

                You'll also be charged for all data stored, all instance backups and for data transfer.

                • 5. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
                  smith7180

                  CICT wrote:

                   

                  I'm not sure how many people would bother having to manage their systems this way (we didn't!)

                  If for example the person only used the database 40 hours a week, on demand would yield 76% savings vs the 50-60%  with a three year term (which also requires a large investment up front).  Of course you would automate the starting and stopping of the instance, and I don't know if that would be a problem with FMCloud. 

                   

                  I think it could be an amazing option for part-time small businesses where the savings could approach the 80-90% range.

                  • 6. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
                    bigtom

                    You can script the FMS to stop server side and also manage a call to the AWS API to stop the instance from running.

                     

                    I am not sure if the auto start for FMS works when you restart the AWS instance. Anyone?

                     

                    The only real savings you get the FM Cloud is better performance for the hardware you have. Has anyone actually done testing on this?

                     

                    Is the free trial running on a single core? Less than the advertised minimum resources?

                     

                    Either way I would say budget

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
                      CICT

                      I agree. However, it is not an option for us as our clients span multiple time zones from Asia through to US, so pretty much 24 hour running is required, our only cost effective option would be reserved instances.

                       

                      However, as FMC isn't in the UK yet and as it doesn't support all features, we're very happy with our fixed cost vendor and managing our Windows servers ourselves.

                       

                      To really burn money run the AWS instance on demand 24 hours a day with the 'by the hour' option for FLT.

                      • 8. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
                        bigtom

                        You would be surprised how many clients need to burn money. I have had NPOs looking for ways to spend money at the end of the year.

                        • 9. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
                          CICT

                          LOL - send them over here

                          • 10. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
                            wimdecorte

                            Here's a link to the calculator that lets you very accurately estimate your monthly charges:

                             

                            Amazon Web Services Simple Monthly Calculator

                             

                            FMI has already done this for you, on the AWS Marketplace page for the FM Cloud product detail:

                             

                            2017-01-12_06-40-45.jpg

                            2 of 2 people found this helpful
                            • 11. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
                              CarlSchwarz

                              CJWatson wrote:

                               

                              Users connect as many times as they like and use the server . So if Imac cost $800.00 and server software $888 it cost $1688.00 a year for me to have users connect. Less the next year because already own the hardware, but need to renew the Server License.

                               

                               

                              If using an iMac as a server suits your application then you would be in front.  However if you want a server that has server grade hardware which is very different to desktop grade hardware in terms of reliability then the price of AWS is at least very competitive over the price of buying new server grade hardware.  AWS has many other advantages too like hardware failover, redundant power and internet connections, and so on.

                              • 12. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
                                CICT

                                Always amazes me how low a grade server people are prepared to rely on. As I've always tried to explain "if a computer fails one person can't work. If a server fails nobody can work."

                                 

                                Of course, most hosting/infrastructure companies also offer similar high grade protection to those offered by Amazon.

                                 

                                Andy

                                • 13. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
                                  CJWatson

                                  Thanks for all your opinions. I noticed that Filemaker has put out a video after this thread was written, outlining the actual costs for the cloud. Thanks for reading the thread and responding 'Filemaker', your attention to users questions is great!

                                  The best they could do is allow 5 hours a day to get down to $99 dollars a month, plus $888.00 for 5 user license, which adds another $74 dollars to the monthly cost of hosting the server.  (173. a month) Plus someone would have to manually shut down the server each day and restart it the next morning. This labor cost would add considerably to the total cost.

                                  My client operates 24/7 so their first example is $749.00 a month.  I can buy  a couple of server's and include labor to host them for just three months of this charge, which I do now. Clients check in with Ipads from the field and desktops,. IMHO, Cloud cost for hosting  5 users for 24 hours a day should be no more than $50.00 a month to get ROI for both the developer and the User. Thousands of programs on the web are hosted (mysql dbs) and user subscriptions are sold for $99 a year for around 10 users.(24 hr access) This satisfies most small business models.  Zoho, XOJO etc. have cloud services for hosting db's made with their product that are 75% cheaper. Yes, Filemaker is a better programming environment, but if you need to make a living with it, the cloud area needs to be a better ROI

                                  • 14. Re: Real Cost of Amazon server?
                                    wimdecorte

                                    CJWatson wrote:

                                     

                                    Plus someone would have to manually shut down the server each day and restart it the next morning. This labor cost would add considerably to the total cost.

                                     

                                    AWS offers the scripting tools to do this in an automated fashion.

                                     

                                    CJWatson wrote:

                                     

                                    My client operates 24/7 so their first example is $749.00 a month

                                     

                                    It really wouldn't.  That's for the per-hour model.  If you operate 24/7 then you would never choose the hourly model but the annual model.  Which brings the licensing cost down to about $74/month and with a reasonable instance cost of say $50 you're looking at anywhere from $120 to $150 a month total cost.

                                     

                                    The $749 is the total monthly cost if you go by the hourly model.  Which nobody would ever do for a whole month.

                                    $749/month is a number that nobody would ever use.

                                     

                                     

                                    CJWatson wrote:

                                     

                                    IMHO, Cloud cost for hosting 5 users for 24 hours a day should be no more than $50.00 a month to get ROI for both the developer and the User.

                                     

                                    I think it would be hard to come up with one general number like $50 as a general rule.  Since FM is a platform, the value of the solution that gets created with the platform varies wildly.  For some solutions, $50/month for a server will be too much, for some solutions it will be peanuts.

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