Ultimately the CAPEX vs OPEX arguments over public and private cloud computing are irrelevant. Business-value is the only metric that really counts.


renda Michelson, Principal of Elemental Links, writes “elemental cloud computing” recently tweeted: “100k buys way more public, than private, cloud computing power” which started a short but inspiring conversation on the subject centering around the observation that “cloud is the gift that keeps on giving.” That’s alluding to the fact that the compute power purchased in “the cloud” is an annual expense, unlike private, cloud computing power which requires renewal at longer intervals, usually in the 3-5 year range.

Still, Brenda is right at least in the short term. $100,000 purchases a lot more compute power in a public cloud computing environment than it will/would/does in a private cloud computing environment. The problem is that $100,000 in a private cloud computing environment is likely to provide more business value than would a comparable investment in a public cloud computing environment. And that’s really the metric we should be using instead of CAPEX versus OPEX.