Today's pricing of infrastructure-as-a-service is not transparent because some providers, such as Google, charge separately for each service characteristic (e.g., $50 per CPU or $15 per GB of memory per month) and let customers freely configure the service. In contrast, competitors like Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM only offer predefined bundles (e.g., 4 GB of memory, 400 GB of storage, and 2 CPUs for $140 per month). These different types of pricing plans make price comparisons very difficult. The aim of this study is to increase price transparency among providers by proposing two price comparison methods, which provide a detailed overview of the billing situation in the infrastructure-as-a-service market. The first method is "hedonic pricing", which decomposes each provider's billing into the contributing values of the product´s characteristics. The second is a new method, called PriCo ("Pricing plan Comparison"), which in addition considers offers from competitive providers. We employ the two methods in an empirical study, which compares the pricing of the infrastructure-as-a-service providers Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, and Terremark. The insights gained allow customers to better identify the best provider for their needs. The proposed methods also help providers to better understand and position their pricing in the market.
Siham, El Kihal; Schlereth, Christian; and Skiera, Bernd, "PRICE COMPARISON FOR INFRASTRUCTURE-AS-A-SERVICE" (2012). ECIS 2012 Proceedings. 161.