Cloud technology is one of the integral parts of the daily life of each of us today. Ordinary users, medium, and large businesses perceive them as an important part of the information and technological processes. This means that among other business solutions for companies, it is very important to focus on choosing a cloud platform provider. This is what will help you to realize in the long term and take your business to a completely different level.
Read the article if you want to understand how to make the right choice. We will compare the three largest and most famous cloud service providers to analyze which one is the best for your goals.
Why do you need a cloud platform?
There are four essential reasons you should consider:
- Minimum start-up investment in infrastructure deployment
To launch your application at the start-up stage, you can rent the minimum resources required by the requirements of the application and are not afraid that they will not be enough. You can be calm – they can always be added without interrupting business processes. Investment in data centers and servers can be replaced by paying only for the resources actually consumed.
- A lower-cost variable
With cloud computing, you can achieve a lower cost variable than with in-house computing. Clouds allow flexible customization of resource consumption – you pay only for what you use.
- Infrastructure maintenance
Cloud solutions allow you to change the configuration of your resources in a couple of clicks, and you do not need to keep a staff of technicians or order their services for collocations – to change the configuration of equipment. As a result, the organization becomes much more flexible, since much less time and money is now spent on experimentation and development.
- Lack of attachment
Thanks to the cloud, you can change the location of your application in the regions in a matter of seconds – specific orientation to the client. A variety of ready-made services that you can use in your projects – ready-made services for storing data, databases, server virtualization, analytics, backups, monitoring, etc.
How to choose a cloud platform?
The essential thing you need to know is that choosing a cloud platform provider is based on your business and technical requirements. It does not matter what you want, but you need to figure out which platform will help you achieve your goals.
Here is a list of key factors to consider when choosing a cloud platform:
- What features are necessary for you?
- Does your company need application integration?
- What is your budget for cloud solutions?
- Do you plan to reduce or expand your capabilities in the future?
- How competent is your IT department? Will employees be able to figure out implementation and maintenance on their own?
Based on this, we can conclude that the final choice is not determined by your tastes and preferences. It is much more important to determine your goals and achieve them using the appropriate cloud platform. If you single out only one of the most important factors, it is worth stopping at economic efficiency. Make sure you understand that cloud computing is not something you can save on. If you use them incorrectly, the company’s budget will suffer greatly. Therefore, you should approach the planning of expenses with great responsibility.
Below you will find more significant factors, as well as a detailed overview of popular cloud systems.
Basic info about 3 market leaders
The Amazon cloud platform was created back in 2006. Thus, this company has become a true pioneer of the market and managed to gain recognition of a huge number of audiences. Already in 2016, their cloud technologies covered about 31% of the entire market. The company is constantly innovating and continues to improve its product in order to achieve new victories.
This system started its way in 2010. The pace of its development is really impressive. Today it is a multifaceted and complex system with data centers in 40 different geographical regions. The system supports a large number of environments, programming languages, and environments in order to meet the needs of different audiences.
The Google Cloud Platform was introduced in 2011. So it is the youngest cloud platform. It is primarily oriented on Google and YouTube search. The company currently has more than 50 services and 6 global data centers. Google Cloud Platform in the cloud market has a 5% share.
Pricing is, by far, one of the most important points for many companies. Moreover, it is also the most difficult because calculating the cost of a particular client requires a lot of effort. On the other hand, it is quite practical for all parties. You can evaluate the budget and agree on a win-win deal. It is worthwhile to calculate in advance that the total amount will depend on:
- Platform configuration
- Associated costs
- Scope of services
Let’s see how the situation is with the three most famous providers.
If you have ever been interested in this decision from Amazon, you must have heard that their pricing policy is quite incomprehensible. Although at first glance, the price list looks quite clear, assessing the actual price of the product is not so simple.
For this, Amazon offers a calculator with a lot of variables. There are really many options, and you will have to spend a lot of time to figure it out. Alternatively, you can use additional cost management tools.
Microsoft’s cost policy is also not easy, although it is more clearly defined. The difficulty is that the company offers a large selection of licensing and configuration options. There are also many special offers here. If you want to maintain the integrity and use this solution effectively, you can use a third-party cost management tool, as is the case with Amazon.
Speaking about pricing approaches, it’s worth saying that Google is different here from other similar companies. And all because it relied on transparency and accessibility. Google prices are quite reasonable, and in addition, many users have the opportunity to get a good discount by signing a convenient and flexible contract.
Next, we offer to understand other features of these three products that will help you make the final choice.
Computing power is a fundamental process for the existence of an IT business. The advantage of cloud technology is that you always have a powerful and extensible tool at hand, with which you can interact remotely and scale at any time of the day.
Amazon uses the Elastic Compute Cloud, also known as EC2, as its main computing resource. It is so good that it is even compared to a Swiss army knife. The core advantage of this solution is that its configuration is incredibly flexible. You can customize the cloud as you need to suit your every need.
Amazon offers a large selection of open source GPU instances, high-performance auto-scaling for both web applications and mobile solutions. In fact, this is all that the user wants from the cloud infrastructure. AWS provides its customers with another significant asset: container services. Your administrators will simply forget about unpleasant headaches using automatic server management.
Fans of Microsoft Azure believe that this solution has several advantages over Amazon and Google products. If you try to select one of them, it will definitely be virtual machines. In fact, they are an emulation of a computer system, which consists of several machines. This can be compared to the already mentioned Elastic Beanstalk . A set of virtual machines provides everything you need to support the required level of scalability. You cannot worry about the services and applications used, such as SAP, IBM, Windows Server, Oracle, etc. Azur provides compatibility with most common solutions. Like Amazon, Microsoft offers users a wide range of functional instances that provide GPUs as well as high-performance computing. But there are other equally important aspects, for example, artificial intelligence. Azur also offers machine learning features and an exclusive platform for Service Fabric applications. This platform of distributed systems allows you to optimize the structure of the application without affecting the level of performance and reliability.
Google bets on the Compute Engine service for different computing processes. One of the main drawbacks is pricing, which is less flexible than AWS and Azure. Compute Engine supports most of the core cloud services. It goes about container deployment, scalability, and data processing, as well. It also provides support for 4 instance families and almost 20 different instance types. Besides, it supports regional location and zone selection at the same time. If you choose a leader, then you should consider AWS and Microsoft Azure. They are the most popular cloud platforms these days. You can expect a high level of computing power. The list of modern services offered is also permanently growing to exceed your expectations.
Storage of information is the connecting link of cloud computing because it allows you to collect all types of information in one store. AWS Simple Storage Service, known as S3, is pretty much the industry standard. In general, S3 created the concept of object-oriented data storage, and a separate Amazon Glacier service was created for data archiving. Azure and the GCP also have fairly reliable and powerful storage.
A comparison of the network function is an important aspect since creating an isolated cloud requires not only a source of computing resources but also a separate VPN access and network address.
Amazon Web Services
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud is one of the most popular services from the Amazon Web Service (AWS) package, which its users choose for its security. This service was first launched in 2009 in order to protect customer data stored in Amazon’s ever-expanding network of data centers. For its work, an isolated environment is created in which users run their AWS instances and can set rules and security policies for them.
Using this product, you also get access to extensive network settings. We are talking about both VPN setup and public IP address configuration, DNS activation and firewall, hybrid cloud connection.
The Google Cloud Platform
Unlike other companies, Google does not have the same extensive offerings. All it can offer is a cloud-based virtual network that supports a number of necessary DNS settings, its own firewall, and public IP subnets. However, many find these features sufficient.
Powerful business intelligence tools are an important argument in favor of cloud computing platforms. A big leap in this area was made by ABC. They created a separate service called Quick Sight. This is the ideal solution if you need simple analytics, ready-made templates, and affordable cost. So, traditional BI solutions will cost you 10 times more.
Service Microsoft Azure, in recent years, has also made a solid bet on its analytics and machine learning. They created a separate subsection for processing analytics and machine learning.
Speaking about the Google cloud platform, one cannot fail to mention their great prospects in this area. Many third-party services and applications already work with software environments such as the Cloud Vision API, Cloud Speech API, and Google Translate.
When you should choose AWS
AWS is a great choice for both start-ups and enterprises. AWS provides a wide range of services that customers can use – from small web services to large-scale migrations of data centers to the cloud. To help customers of all shapes and sizes get started on the platform, AWS allegedly released niche services such as RoboMaker, on the one hand, and at the same time created services such as LightSail (virtual private server) to help even the smallest workloads with one server.
When you should choose Azure
Azure is a mature, broad-featured cloud platform that may be the preferred platform for customers who already use Microsoft products in some way. Although Azure supports a number of services based on open source products, Microsoft’s portfolio in the cloud is what sets it apart from its competitors. Azure provides more than 151 types of virtual machines and more than 26 families of virtual machines that support everything from small web-systems to loads of HPC, Oracle, and SAP. Azure has both Windows and several versions of Linux (RHEL, CentOS, SUSE, Ubuntu). Azure has a separate family of machine learning and AI instances.
If you need high-performance computing that requires up to 128 virtual processors and 3.5Tb of RAM, then Azure is a good choice. If you have existing licenses for the Windows operating system or MSSQL, then transferring these assets to the cloud (BYOL) using the Microsoft License Mobility Program is a good choice and opportunity. The cost of licenses is a significant part of infrastructure costs and will be a major factor for customers who use large deployments of MSSQL and other products.
When you should Choose the Google Cloud Platform
In terms of computing, Google has the smallest number of types of virtual machines (28 instance types in 4 categories), but nonetheless, GCP has one feature that makes these numbers not so important. Google allows users to create their own custom sizes (processor, memory) so that customers can compare the sizes of their cloud loads with their sizes at a preliminary stage. GCPs also bill customers based on the total processor time and memory used, rather than on separate virtual machines. This reduces the loss of paid unused capacity for customers.
Another unique feature is that GCP allows you to connect GPUs to virtually all types of virtual machine instances. This allows you to turn any standard or user instance into a virtual machine, ready for machine learning and artificial intelligence. Google is also a leader in per-second billing, which forces other cloud computing providers (CSPs) to follow suit. Compared to the hourly rate, per-second billing significantly reduces the loss of paid capacity. This allows customers to save up to 40% compared to standard virtual machine sizes and hourly billing.