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Understanding Cloud Usage Costs When Streaming Interactive 3D

By James Henry12.12.19
Understanding cloud usage costs when streaming real-time 3D

Once your company has made the decision to integrate real-time 3D streaming into the business, the next question is naturally "What will it cost?"

The technology can be used by companies in several ways — both internally to help teams collaborate and as a marketing tool. Businesses can train employees through interactive simulations, and they can increase cross-team and cross-border collaboration. Or they can provide interactive 3D shopping experiences for customers making a major purchase and requiring real-time 3D visualization.

For companies with modest cloud consumption needs, deploying streaming technology can be a money-saver because they won't have to set up an expensive data center. Building a data center can run about $200 per square foot in addition to the $10,000 for each mile of fiber companies would need to install. Companies would also need to employ support staff to maintain and troubleshoot equipment.

However, pay-as-you-go billing can add up when companies are deploying interactive 3D technology that could be used by thousands or even millions of end-users. Today, enterprises require manageable, predictable and reliable costs in order to maintain their budgets.

Costs of using the cloud

Let's break down some of what businesses are paying for. Cloud consumption means either using a cloud application or cloud infrastructure, which includes hardware and software components.

Computing, networking, and storage are the most costly components of the cloud. Here's what makes up those costs:

  • Network infrastructure: Hardware, switches, routers, and cables all fall into this category. End users are billed by the number of gigabytes of network bandwidth used by the customer.
  • Computing power: This is calculated based on a user's profile. Variables like memory, GPU access, the number of virtual CPUs, networking, and storage performance are all part of the equation. For companies using real-time 3D streaming technologies, this is the largest cost because more expensive high-end GPUs are needed. Compute resources are measured per CPU hourly, so customers are billed on the number of hours used each month.
  • Storage: Cloud storage costs are affected by items such as the service type, region, capacity, movement, and retention or deletion of data.

Other cloud streaming costs include costs to run the collection of services that coordinate and schedule streaming sessions to available servers, manage security, and monitor the system health. And employees are needed to operate and maintain these streaming services.

Although costs fluctuate, companies can optimize usage, much like people do with energy costs at home by turning off lights that aren't being used. PureWeb is set up to help customers by providing tools to use cloud computing power efficiently. And we can help you manage usage spikes without the need to upgrade your cloud services.

PureWeb Reality, a fully managed scalable interactive streaming service, provides several services, including:

  • Coordinating streaming session connections.
  • Scheduling user sessions to available servers.
  • Dynamic scaling of servers based on user demand.
  • Security and authentication.
  • System monitoring and logging.

Companies need to keep a close eye on daily costs to ensure budgets are maintained. This can be done by setting up threshold alerts to tell them when critical budget levels are reached; then, they can reduce the number of resources if necessary.

Read Next: Deploying real-time 3D - WebGL vs Cloud rendering

Before companies begin using PureWeb, we discuss their traffic usage patterns to ensure we fully understand their needs. PureWeb can offer flexible pricing options for user engagements, which begins with determining whether anticipated usage will be high or low in volume.

High-usage cases, which would include companies creating interactive 3D configurators for use-cases such as automotive sales, have a high volume of users, so costs can be as low as 10 cents per engagement.

Low-usage enterprises offer 3D streaming to a limited number of people, like design team members collaborating on a project for an engineering team, or sharing 3D architectural rendering with a client. These companies are paying to keep servers running continuously so their teams have access whenever they need it.

Choose PureWeb for greater cost-efficiency

PureWeb's real-time 3D streaming platform can help companies manage and control cloud consumption costs, scale quickly to handle traffic spikes, and find all cost efficiencies available.

These efficiencies begin with reducing GPU server costs — the most expensive part of a streaming service. PureWeb integrates at the application level rather than at the operating system level, allowing a single GPU to support multiple concurrent user sessions. This means that costs can be reduced to 25% to 50% of what they would be without this feature.

When businesses integrate online interactive 3D experiences, employees can work collaboratively and customers can explore products and services in compelling ways. Before deploying these technologies, though, it's important that enterprises understand the costs of streaming these services. And they need a partner like PureWeb to help make it all as seamless and cost-efficient as possible.

Contact us if we can answer any questions about costs or any other questions you have about our interactive 3D streaming service.

Or to learn more about what is possible with publishing real-time 3D experiences at scale, download our PureGuide to Interactive 3D Streaming.