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How can I calculate the required bandwith and cost of hosting a site that would have around 3 million unique visitors per year? I wanted to come up with an estimate of how much cost could be saved by using a cloud computing service like Amazon EC3 vs. using a traditional colocated server.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Amazon has a cost calculator to help you estimate these things:

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What would be the cost equivalent of hosting it yourself outside of cloud computing? – MikeN Jul 13 '09 at 20:39

Roll 3d6 for savings, and 1d20 as a saving throw against not actually saving anything.

Or, to be a little less facetious, there's no guarantee that you'll save anything using EC2. It depends on your IO, availability, and traffic profiles. Be careful not to underestimate the hard-to-estimate bits in EC2's cost calculator -- do you know how many IOPS you do to persistent storage each month? I'll bet it's more than you think.

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  1. Calculate the cost of using traditional hosting
  2. Calculate the cost of using cloud hosting
  3. Find the difference between #1 and #2

It's very simple in theory, but you're going to have to do the work yourself, we can't do it for you, since it depends on so many variables.

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