In recent years, cloud computing has become a crucial part of how businesses deliver their services and provide access to their networks. However, what many businesses might fail to recognize, is that by moving data to and from the cloud they are being charged by their cloud providers. These charges are referred to as egress (data moving out of the cloud) charges which occur when data traverses to different networks.

A recent Ofcom investigation revealed a significant issue regarding the substantial expenses incurred while transferring data to or from a cloud service provider's network, commonly referred to as "hidden fees." This problem is particularly prominent among the major providers who have created obstacles for existing users, leading to significant price hikes if they wish to continue utilizing the services.

It's important to have knowledge of the concealed fees that may be applicable

For transferring data from the cloud to your private data center or on-premises location, the charges can range from 5p to 20p (6c to per GB. The specific cost depends on factors such as the cloud service provider and their policies, as well as the location, geography, and nature of the data being transferred. It's important to note that if you're moving larger volumes of data to a different region, the fee may increase accordingly.

These fees not only make it difficult for users to switch providers and transfer data out of the cloud, but they also limit business flexibility and lead to lock-in. Such practices can result in potential harm and increased prices when renewing contracts. Therefore, it is crucial to consider these egress charges when creating your budget.

What steps can be taken to minimize the costs associated with egress charges?

Businesses can reduce egress charges through various methods such as optimizing data transfer and analyzing data usage to assess and estimate how much they might be charged. Although, this can become quite technical and time-consuming because the fees are not typically fixed.

These solutions bypass the public internet by establishing a direct physical connection between your on-premises network and the cloud provider’s network. Not only does this private link reduce egress charges, but it also better protects data and delivers a more dependable network experience than internet-based connections. However, managing and maintaining these direct connections can also be time and resource intensive.

The advantages of opting for alternative networking solutions

Software Defined Cloud Interconnects (SDCI) platforms offer a more flexible way for businesses to privately connect their on-premises network to a cloud provider. As the name implies, these platforms leverage Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology to give businesses the ability to create their own private network connections to the cloud.

Because SDCI platforms are pre-integrated with public cloud providers, a lot of the heavy lifting with network configuration and management has already been taken care of. This means that businesses can manage multiple private connections to cloud providers through a self-service portal, turning connections up and down to meet the needs of their workloads. 

By moving to this PAYG model for their cloud connectivity, businesses can further reduce their cloud costs – a significant way to save money as SDCI platforms can help reduce egress charges by up to 30 percent.

The time is now

Findings from the Ofcom investigation revealed that many users experienced substantial price increases when opting to stay with their leading cloud providers. This situation has made it increasingly challenging for businesses to explore alternative providers who offer greater transparency and affordability. Consequently, it is crucial for businesses to carefully evaluate their options with their current cloud providers.

Existing users of hyperscale providers are particularly encouraged to consider alternatives that can lead to long-term cost-effectiveness. Failing to take action now could result in financial losses that could have been avoided. In conclusion, the flexible, efficient, and secure nature of SDCIs (Software-Defined Cloud Infrastructures) makes them a more appealing solution compared to alternatives like cloud ports and hubs.