General Concepts » Costs


A powerful feature of is to be able to model the cost of running your current and future ICT environment.  There are two types of costs that cloudstep deals with:

  • Capital Costs.  One off or recurrent costs that result in the ownership of an asset.  While this may not meet with financial definitions of "Capital", anything your organisation would normally think of in that way can be considered a Capital cost.
  • Operating Costs.  Periodiic, redurring operating costs for the business and its assets.

Capital Costs

There are two types of model Element that can have a Capital Cost:

  • Projects.  A project is generally consdiered a capital cost in cloudstep.  The budget of the project is capital.
  • Infrastructure.  Some infrastructure such as Compute, Storage, Networking and Facility will have capital costs.  Other types of Infrastructure may also have Capital costs.

Infrastructure has recurring capital costs.  When you create or update a piece of infrastructure you can set the "refresh interval" for the infrastructure.  A piece of Infrastructure should be considered in the abstract to some degree. For instance a piece of Infrastructure that is a ESX Virtual Host may have a capital cost of 10,000.  The infrastructure may have a service life of 5 years (60 month) after which this host is purchased again.  It is a different piece of infrastructure but from the model's perspective it is the same one.  Capital Costs for Infrastructure elements may be avoided if the end date is brought forward or the Infrastructure is associated with a Tombstone.  This means that after this date any further capital costs will not occur.

Operating Costs

Operating Costs apply to the following Element Types:

They apply once per month for every month the Element is present in the model.  If the model is "overshadowed" in a Scenario because it has been replaced (in a migration) or is being retired (via a Tombstone) then the cost does not apply in that scenario.  For this reason you will see the total cost of operating an Application, Implementation or Infrastructure vary depending on the active Scenario.

Cost Categories

Operating costs are broken into Cost Categories.  The categories are:

  • Licensing.  Licensing costs for software which may be annual, monthly or one off (non-capital) payments.
  • Labour.  Costs relating to staffing or some outsourced labour components.
  • Facility.  Rent, Power, Rack space and other facilities charges such as redundant power or UPS services.
  • Managed Services.  Monthly or periodically recurring managed services charges.
  • SaaS Subscriptions.  Monthly or annual per-seat or other subscritpion models for SaaS software.
  • Cloud Infrastructure.  IaaS/PaaS charges and other associated services.
  • Network.  Charges for carriage service, firewalls, WAN management and so on.
  • Other.  A catch-all bucket for miscellaneous costs.

cloudstep summarises these costs by financial year in the Financial Overview report.

Types of Operating Costs

  • Simple Monthly Cost.  Models a wide range of costs that have a simple or linearly increasing amount.
  • EC2 Cost.  This type of cost can be applied to a Server Migration Cloud Service and will work out the monthly running cost of a migrated server based on the original specifications.
  • Azure VM Cost.  This type of cost can be applied to a Server Migration Cloud Service and will work out the monthly running cost of a migrated server based on the original specifications.
  • Labour Cost.  A monthly labour cost based on an annual Full Time Equivalent (FTE) wage.
  • Cloud Storage Cost.  Can be applied to a Cloud Service to calculate the monthly storage cost based on the storage requirements of the original server.