Sun Mar 19 2023

I saved 183 million dollars by not moving to the Cloud

The average human brain has 2.5 petabytes of memory (source: random google result). 2.5 Petabytes is equal to 2,500,000 Gigabytes. Or 2,500 terabytes. The u-12tb1.112xlarge instance on AWS has 13TB of memory.

So, conclusively, 193 u-12tb1.112xlarge instances are equivalent to one brain. Or your brain could run in AWS for 15,305,472.00 USD per month. Therefore, I've saved 183 million dollars by not moving my brain to the cloud in the last year alone.

There seem to be a fashion for writing articles claiming that some company has saved hundreds of millions of dollars by not moving to the cloud.

I managed phyisical servers for more than a decade. For the UK Magistrates Courts and for the British Mountaineering Council. I was pretty good at it. But, I absolutely jumped at the chance to move to the cloud. Why?

I really don't miss running my own kit (colocated or directly owned).

I don't miss cycling around Manchester on a Bank Holiday weekend because I'd miscalculated how much network cabling I'd need for an upgrade.

I don't miss keeping a spreadsheet of storage so I knew when to order disks, negotiating with suppliers for cost of new disks, because I was buying a slightly smaller bulk than AWS.

I don't miss having to explain to folk in datacenter support that they could take the disks out of my failed server and put them in a new server if they had one available.

I don't miss the day the single point of failure in the rack failed and everything was offline while I waited for a new doohickey to be shipped to me because it didn't make sense to keep spares of everything on hand.

I don't miss trying to figure out if some new generation of server hardware would work for or would fit in my rack as manufacturers stopped making the kit we did use.

I don't miss hacking at a multi-thousand pound HP Proliant server with a breadknife because it was the only way to make the thing fit together due to a manufacturing error. And I couldn't wait for a replacement.


The problem with all those articles isn't that they say you should or shouldn't run in the cloud. But that they make bold claims about what everyone should do.

I'm not going to say every workload should run in the cloud (cliche nod to StackOverflow) but it certainly isn't free to get all of the benefits.