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By | Timothy Prickett Morgan 5th December 2011 10:21

Ideas pits physical servers against fake ones

Sizing up the clouds

Looking to try to size up the workloads running on your physical servers and see what it would take to move them onto public clouds? There's an app for that.

Server research specialists Ideas International have puffed up an online application called CloudSizer that does just that. The company has spent years coming up with its Relative Performance Estimate ranking; this allows the performance of different servers and their price/performance running various workloads to be directly compared in a manner that is a bit more sophisticated than doing some guesstimations on the back of an envelope or (more typically perhaps) a drinks napkin.

In fact, the new CloudSizer app is based on the second-generation RPE2 methodology, which you can read all about here in this whitepaper, which shows how RPE2 is used to size up workloads running on Hewlett-Packard ProLiant servers on a Terremark vCloud Express public cloud. But it is not limited to any particular cloud and, more importantly, can let you figure out what resources you would need to move a server running at a particular.

Ideas CloudSizer screen shot

Ideas International's CloudSizer app (click to enlarge)

CloudSizer can show you pricing in US dollars, British pounds, or Australian dollars and covers cloud providers in North America, Europe, and the Asia/Pacific region. In the United States, the tool can size up public clouds run by Amazon, Elastic Hosts, GoGrid,,, IBM, Linode, NewServers, Penguin Computing, Rackspace Hosting, ReliaCloud, SoftLayer, Storm on Demand, Terremark (now part of Verizon), Voxel, and Zerigo.

It can do capacity planning and pricing for Amazon, Elastic Hosts,, Linode, Rackspace, and Voxel in Europe, and Amazon, Cloud Central, Linode, and Voxel in Asia. Once you pick one or more public cloud, you tell the app about your current physical server in terms of its make and model, its memory capacity, its duty cycle (per cent of the day the machine is not idle), and its peak utilization.

Then you pick the compute cloud instance type you might want and voila – it tells you the cost of renting the cloud capacity for a year and the net present value over three or five years so you can reckon that cloud cost against an investment in a real server.

The CloudSizer Express, which you can play with here, is a freebie tool that does rough estimates, while CloudSizer Pro is a finer-grained tool that does more accurate analysis, according to Ideas International. The Pro edition costs $299 for a three-month subscription. ®

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