GigaOm's Barb Darrow has a post on startups that have moved off of AWS.
$50K is the magic number that gets discussed in the article. One bigger player, not a startup is in the post with their views.
Paris Georgiallis, VP of platform operations for RMS, which builds catastrophe risk models for insurance companies, also put some credence in the $50,000 per month cut off, although he, cautioned that every user’s needs vary. “$50K a month equates to $1.8M of capital spend over 36 months. An experienced IT team can work miracles with $1.8M in infrastructure, especially in a mid-to-large enterprise,” he said via email.
RMS started out with AWS because well, it’s developers loved AWS. That appeal is Amazon’s ace in the hole. AWS “is winning the developer war much like Microsoft did in the 90s — by creating simple tools and eliminating infrastructure as a concern for developers that attraction is high.” The problem with that is developers tend to treat AWS as an all-you-can-eat-buffet which is fine — to a point. But with poor management of VMs and storage, costs can and often do skyrocket.
And, in the comment section is a reader who references his blog post of host their own server vs. softlayer in London.