Germany’s Experton group is providing an online calculator that can help companies determine the cost of Cloud computing.

The calculator shows what potential cost advantages can be realized in a company’s IT operations through the implementation of Cloud computing. To do the math, the software compares investment and operating costs of a professional in-house data-center infrastructure with the costs of sourcing similar services from the Cloud.

Steve Janata, senior adviser at Experton, said many companies are reluctant to invest in Cloud-based services because it is unclear what costs are associated with such a move.

“With the calculator, we want to make it easier for especially small and mid-sized companies to compare costs between their own IT operations and a Cloud-based alternative,” he said.

The Web page with the online calculator asks a user for data on planned server capacity, the number of development, test and production servers in use, and the network’s storage capacity. The software also takes into account the life of the|servers, capacity use and expected infrastructure growth of the company.

A user of the calculator then sees the costs of both operations side by side.

Janata said the calculations are partly based on market data that Experton analysts have gathered in studies and polls.

The calculator, which is available only in German, can be found here.