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Cloud computing for $50 or less?

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There’s not much you can buy for a dollar these days, but $50 can still score you something pretty decent.

Here are some ideas on how I might spend $50 and not feel too bad about it:

  • The first thing I can think of is grocery shopping, since my fridge is almost empty. I can make a stop at the supermarket to grab good food to make myself a few nice meals.
  • The second thing I can think of is filling up my car with gas, and I had better do it soon, before prices go up again.
  • The third thing I can do is treat myself to some new clothes. I recently bought myself a new pair of exercise pants. They were a much smarter and cheaper purchase than the pair of running shoes that I was considering…though I still have my eyes on those running shoes.

But something that is always on my wish list is buying a new computer to replace my 12-year-old PC. I like to write C++ programs to manage my personal finances. My PC has only 64 megabytes of memory though, so it takes hours to recompile C++ code. I haven’t saved enough money to buy a new one since I have a mortgage to pay too. My old PC cost $2,000, and although PC prices nowadays are much cheaper than 12 years ago, the average cost is still over $500.

One day, I had dinner with some of my university classmates. After I complained about the speed of my PC, one of them suggested that I try a cloud service. I was skeptical about this cloud service because I thought I couldn’t afford it.

So I Googled “top 10 cloud service providers for 2013.” I checked each one in an effort to get the best deal. That’s when I found SoftLayer (an IBM company). SoftLayer provides a one month trial of their cloud service, at no cost, that includes a virtual configuration comprised of 1 CPU, 1 gigabyte of memory and 25 gigabytes of storage. This configuration would more than suffice for my purpose of writing a personal finance program, and hopefully it would enable me to work more effectively than my old PC on its own. The best part is that I can increase the configuration anytime if I need it.

What did I find when I gave it a try? The configuration was faster and higher than my old PC—and it is available whenever and wherever I want it. I was convinced! What a great deal, and I thought to myself, “I still have $50 to spend!” So I kissed my PC goodbye.

If you want to move your ideas into reality, feel free to try a cloud server for one month at no charge! The SoftLayer cloud service can also benefit a large enterprise because of the speed of provisioning, the flexible capacity to respond to increased demand and the bare metal cloud offering. You can find a list of use cases that best take advantage of cloud characteristics in one of my earlier blog posts, “Cloud computing in the real world .”

Please connect with me on Twitter and LinkedIn to share your thoughts about cloud services.

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