Web Excursions 2021-07-24

A discussion on whether Framework Laptop’s modular design has performance implications; AWS grilled by CloudFlare on overcharging for traffics.


The Framework Laptop is now shipping

  • victor9000: I really like the form factor of the XPS 13, but now I'm stuck with the complete inability to upgrade RAM. In what universe is that normal?

    • tomxor: In a universe where you want high-performance energy efficient RAM.

      • Premium ultracompact laptops have long moved to LPDDR which is both faster and consumes significantly less energy than regular modular DDR.

      • And LPDDR does not come in DIMMs.

      • And then you have Apple who are using custom package technology with custom RAM chips to cut down RAM power consumption to under one watt active

      • You simply can’t have this with socketed RAM.

      • Modularity is not a free lunch, as much as some people like to pretend.


AWS’s Egregious Egress

  • Charging for Stocks, Paying for Flows

  • AWS charges customers based on the amount of data delivered

  • To visualize that, imagine data is water.

    • AWS fills a bucket full of water and then charges you based on how much water is in the bucket.

    • This is known as charging based on “stocks.”

  • AWS pays for bandwidth based on the capacity of their network.

    • The base unit of wholesale bandwidth is priced as one Megabit per second per month (1 Mbps).

    • Typically, a provider like AWS, will pay for bandwidth on a monthly fee based on the number of Mbps that their network uses at its peak capacity.

    • AWS doesn't pay for the amount of water that ends up in their customers' buckets,

      • but rather the capacity based on the diameter of the “hose” that is used to fill them.

    • This is known as paying for “flows.”

  • Translating Flows to Stocks

    • A 1 Mbps connection (think of it as the "hose") can transfer 0.3285 TB (328GB)

      • if utilized to its fullest capacity over the course of a month

    • you can use this as the base unit of their bandwidth costs,

      • and compare it against what they charge a customer to deliver 1 Terabyte (1TB),

      • in order to figure out the AWS bandwidth markup.

    • Wholesale bandwidth is also billed at the 95th percentile.

      • That effectively cuts off the peak hour or so of use every day.

      • That means a 1 Mbps connection running at 100% can actually likely transfer closer to 0.3458 TB (346GB) per month.

    • AWS can't run all their connections at 100% utilization 24x7 for a month.

      • Instead, they'll have some average utilization per transit connection in any month.

      • likely run at between 20% and 40% average utilization.

      • To be conservative, we’ve assumed that AWS’s average utilization is the bottom of that range (20%)

  • Based on these assumptions, here's our best estimate of AWS’s effective markup for egress bandwidth on a per-region basis.

Region: Customers pay x times AMZN’s costs

  • US/Canada 80x

  • Europe 80x

  • South America (Sao Paulo) 21X

  • Japan (Tokyo) 17x

  • Singapore 17x

  • Australia (Sydney) 8x

  • India (Mumbai) 8x

  • South Korea (Seoul) 3.5x

  • The older a market is, the more Amazon wrings from its customers in egregious egress markups

  • AWS Stands Alone In Not Passing On Savings to Customers

    • For the bandwidth that they exchange with a network like Cloudflare, where they are directly connected (settlement-free peered) over a private network interface (PNI), there are no meaningful incremental costs and their effective margins are nearly infinite.

    • Add in the effect of rebates Amazon collects from colocation providers who charge cross connect fees to customers, and the effective markup is likely even higher.

    • Some other cloud providers take into account that their costs are lower when passing over peering connections.

      • Both Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud will substantially discount egress charges for their mutual Cloudflare customers.

      • Members of the Bandwidth Alliance waive bandwidth charges for mutual Cloudflare customers.

        • Alibaba, Automattic, Backblaze, Cherry Servers, Dataspace, DNS Networks, DreamHost, HEFICED, Kingsoft Cloud, Liquid Web, Scaleway, Tencent, Vapor, Vultr, Wasabi, and Zenlayer —

        • we invited AWS to be a part of the Bandwidth Alliance, and they politely declined.

    • During the last ten years, industry wholesale transit prices have fallen an average of 23% annually.

      • 93% less expensive than 10 years ago.

      • AWS’s egress fees over that same period have fallen by only 25%.

  • AWS’s Hotel California Pricing

    • AWS charge for data transferred out of their network but not for data transferred into their network

    • Wholesale bandwidth is symmetrical.

      • if you purchase a 1 Mbps (1 Megabit per second) connection, then you have the capacity to send 1 Megabit out and receive another 1 Megabit in every second.

      • If you receive 1 Mbps in and simultaneously 1 Mbps out, you pay the same price as if you receive 1 Mbps in and 0 Mbps out or 0 Mbps in and 1 Mbps out.

    • And yet, they charge customers more to take data out than put it in.

  • All the data above is derived from what’s published on AWS’s simple pricing calculator.

    • There’s no doubt that some large customers are able to negotiate lower prices.

    • But these are the prices charged to small businesses and startups by default.

AWS's Egregious Egress | Hacker News

  • mdasen: If it's expensive to move data out of AWS, it's not just about making it hard for customers to leave AWS. It means that any third-party service that wants to sell to AWS customers must also use AWS.

    • There are other reasons to want a third party to use AWS if you're on AWS. Still, the egress pricing seems to make it very hard for third-party tech providers not to use AWS if their customers are using it.

  • IceHegel: The post claims an 8000% markup but others have pointed out that AWS is in line with other cloud providers and the same math shows cloudflare with a ~3800% markup.

    • AWS Egress - $0.09/GB

    • Azure Egress - $0.0875/GB

    • GCP Egress - $0.11/GB

    • Alibaba Egress - $0.123

    • Cloudflare - $0.09/GB pre-April 2021 $0.045 now