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Businesses are only using half the cloud server capacity they’re paying for

There are plenty of issues when it comes to the cloud, and while the main one usually cited is security concerns, another problem is those who do head skywards with their data usually pay well over the odds for capacity.

This is according to a study which encompassed 200 Chief Information Officers globally, carried out by ElasticHosts, and it found that over-provisioning was rife.

How rife? In terms of a 24 hour seven day cycle, the research found that on average companies are only using half of the cloud server capacity that they're paying for (51 per cent to be precise).

ElasticHosts noted that these organisations were paying twice as much as they should for the cloud capacity they're utilising.

Of course, over-provisioning is a necessary measure to deal with potential spikes in demand, and 90 per cent of the CIOs questioned said it was simply a necessary evil to ensure any large spikes can be coped with.

ElasticHosts argues that this simply shows the weakness inherent in the traditional pay-by-capacity cloud model. Instead, the firm argued that businesses should be looking towards virtual machines which can be scaled, and APIs which can automate that process, rather than having to manually tweak server capacity levels based on loads.

Related: Cloud computing: Customisation is the name of the game (opens in new tab)

Richard Davies, CEO of ElasticHosts, told Cloud Pro (opens in new tab): "Companies are still thinking in terms of the old world computing model, where over-provisioning was rife and expected, so many have shifted these expectations into the new world of cloud. But as the research shows, and as half of respondents recognised, cloud as we have it today really isn't truly elastic – it does not expand and retract automatically to meet demands, and it is not paid for like a utility, based on consumption."

ElasticHosts does (naturally) offer its own "elastic containers" model, where the size of the server is matched to the load, and you're only billed for the capacity you actually use.

Read more: What does the future hold for cloud computing? (opens in new tab)

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.