Paying too much for cloud services? These five tools can help cut your cloud costs

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As you move workloads to the cloud, you’ve probably already discovered that keeping track of your monthly cloud computing bills is not an easy task. Certainly, using a cloud provider can be cheaper than purchasing your own hardware, or instrumental in moving a capital expense into an operating one. And there are impressive multi-core hyperscale servers that are now available to anyone for a reasonable monthly fee.

But while it is great that cloud providers base their fees on what resources you actually consume, the various elements of your bill are daunting and complex, to say the least. True, many of the cloud components can be had for pennies per month, but for some resources (such as those heavily loaded multicore CPUs) the meter can run up to real money very quickly.

One of the ways the cloud is evolving is in how these fees are calculated. Some vendors, such as Amazon Web Services, have blue-light specials where if you can plan in advance you can cut your costs significantly. Others, such as IBM’s SoftLayer, offer freebies like inbound and outbound data transfers. (See: Cloud price wars give way to feature battles among Amazon, Microsoft and Google)

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