I work with Azure in my day job and actually love Cloud ecosystem. You actually do not have to think about the hardware and everything will be taken care by the cloud itself.
The main advantage of using cloud by the Companies I can think of is the scalability. Just think if suddenly websites starts getting millions of hit and if their hardware cannot accommodate those many users then it will be down. But if they were on cloud they do not have to think about it and cloud takes care of the scalability. And with that it helps with the performance too.
For big companies if they are full on cloud then they can manage to save the cost too because then they do not have to buy and maintain the hardware, it will be taken care by the cloud itself.
Now the problem is with the small developers where they wanted to host their hobby project and see how it goes. Again the problem is with the developers who work on Microsoft related technologies like ASP.NET, SQL etc. When I wanted to deploy on my hobby project into azure, I just checked their cost
At first I check the Virtual Machine with Windows Installed and with the lowest configuration possible:
That's around $66 and if I would have to get a normal windows virtual machine (not cloud obviously) then I can get it for around $20.
Then came SQL Server. In this also I have selected 2 vCore and see the price, its $372. That's like out of reach for small developers.
I know the cost will be more than the open source technologies because of the licensing of Windows and SQL Server but this much is too much.
Now because of this starting cost, I had to change my mind of hosting a Windows technology project and I have moved more towards open source related technologies like Node.js and MySQL. Though it was a lot of change which I had to do for my hobby project but its worth it to reduce the cost overall.
Though even if I would have got a Windows Virtual Machine with SQL Installed from a local hosting company it would have costed me around 25$ per month and not more.
In my opinion hosting on the cloud is really great but because of the cost many small developers do not prefer it.
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