By Ben Sullivan
Cloud computing users in the United States are getting the best price in the world for cloud services, while European users are paying on average between 7 and 19 percent more for the same services.
This is according to 451 Research, which this week released its Cloud Price Index report, analyzing the differences in cloud service pricing around the world.
The reason for the difference in price between the United States and Europe is due to European users having to fork out for a "protection premium" to ensure compliance with local data regulations.
European users are also having to dig deep to pay for improved performance by bringing applications closer to them, and also to pay for localized customer service.
In the United States, which is just one country and one language, these costs are avoided while data regulations that affect inter-country data transfer are not applicable.
But this local cloud is a must-have in Europe. That's because it can adhere to data protection legislation, and the demand will continue, given the ongoing confusion around Safe Harbor, the Patriot Act, and the new U.S.-E.U. Privacy Shield agreement.
It's not all bad news for Europeans, as 451 claims that cloud gets even pricier the further east you go.
Comparable cloud hosting in Asia Pacific costs, on average, 14 percent to 38 percent more that in the United States.
However, Latin America is the most expensive cloud region, with prices up to 38 percent higher than the United States. This is because of the limited selection of hosting providers, claims 451.
Dr. Owen Rogers, research director of 451 Research's Digital Economics Unit, who authored the report said: "When evaluating cloud providers, enterprises should consider how they will take advantage of variances in prices in the short- and long-term to cut costs.
"We found one provider charged more than twice the average U.S. price for hosting in Latin America, whil[e] another offered an 11 percent discount for hosting in Europe compared to the U.S. The global market for cloud is complex and cloud buyers need to understand typical pricing to properly evaluate their options and negotiate with suppliers."