Confused by cloud computing price comparisons? Here they are in one easy-peasy chart

Following the pricing moves of cloud providers is a bit like managing a fantasy football team; so many players with so many services, and so little time. But RBC Capital Markets took a stab at it, thank goodness.

RBC’s formula condenses cloud services into one unit price based on “total spend per GB of RAM,” which includes storage, compute, memory, I/O and other base features. That makes it easier to compare cloud pricing across vendors. Per a research note from RBC analyst Jonathan Atkin this week, the second half of 2014 saw less price cutting than the first half — which included a round robin of competitive cuts from [company]Google[/company], [company]Amazon[/company] and [company]Microsoft[/company] in March.

As of this week, RBC calculated that [company]Rackspace[/company] charges $79 per GB of RAM per month, quite a premium over number two [company] HP[/company] at $55. Going down the list, Microsoft Azure is $35; Google and [company]IBM[/company] SoftLayer both charge $32, and public cloud leader Amazon Web Services is least expensive at $27. Over the past year, every cloud saw considerable price cuts based on this RBC metric. Rackspace unit cost per month, for example, was $98 in October 2013 (excluding support costs) compared to $79 now. AWS was $42 last October compared to $27 now.

Stay tuned because Google cut compute prices 10 percent earlier this week and that will likely spur some countermoves.

But a picture’s worth a thousand words so here’s RBC’s latest chart.

Cloud price cuts second half 2014; RBC Capital Markets
Cloud price cuts second half 2014; RBC Capital Markets