Choosing the ideal cloud service provider for your business
The cloud migration process is a multi-step operation in which many factors and cloud services are considered. As more and more IT systems become external, choosing the ideal cloud service provider becomes more important and more difficult due to the wealth of options.
Basic considerations when choosing a provider
Choosing a provider is a trade-off that takes into account both the benefits offered by solutions available for purchase on the market and organizational infrastructure and bandwidth. How to avoid a digital leap of faith during the process? How to make a good choice?
There are several basic considerations that must be analyzed and taken into account when choosing a cloud computing provider for a business. There are 11 in particular that an organization must evaluate to their fullest extent. These are:
- Certifications & Standards
- Technologies and Service Roadmap
- Data Security
- Data Governance and Business Policies
- Service Dependencies & Partnerships
- Commercials and SLAs
- Reliability and Performance
- Migration Support
- Vendor Lock-In and Exit Planning
- Business Health & Company Profile
Once all of these are taken into account, there are three cloud service providers that stand out for their ability to provide greatly in all of these categories: AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud.
Amazon Web Services, or AWS, is the first of three top cloud service providers. As the clear industry leader when it comes to cloud services and cloud computing, AWS sets the standard for other top cloud service providers in the form of product offerings, price points, and other cloud services or essential elements.
This wide variety of cloud service offerings enables an even wider use spectrum within business processes. Despite this generalized focus, the AWS cloud management platform provides a suite of integrated tools in a centralized dashboard that businesses can use to monitor and manipulate cloud computing processes and cloud resources.
One of the most prevalent AWS cloud computing service is its cloud object storage or S3. This Storage as a Service offering allows users to store and access data on the web.
Another popular service is the EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), which lets companies rent virtual cloud servers that operate in the cloud. S3 and EC2 are particularly attractive because of their scalability and adaptability, a common theme across AWS products. The pay-as-you-go model of many of Amazon’s products enables smaller businesses to enjoy the segmented benefits of cloud service without the budget of a major firm.
However, AWS also provides benefits to large companies. Its managed services have proven themselves a major point of conversion for large enterprises that want simplified cloud migration processes for easy access to cloud benefits.
With regard to its competitors, AWS has enjoyed much of its success due to its first-mover advantages. Being the first of the cloud computing service providers on the market has led AWS to enjoy a more enterprise-ready system with greater diversity and depth of use. By offering immediate and drastic cost savings for cloud computing services compared to traditional in-house data centers, many businesses immediately jumped to migrate services to Amazon’s new platform.
As a result of these circumstances, paired with a variety of competitive advantages, Amazon currently controls over a third of the market, which is nearly double that of its closest competitor.
However, despite its significant lead in market share, its two most significant competitors, Microsoft and Google, are quickly making strides in terms of product development and customer acquisition. In particular, mobile applications and edge computing are areas where these companies are beginning to eat into AWS’s market share.
Microsoft Azure is among the top cloud providers as the second-largest cloud service provider in the world, just behind Amazon Web Services (AWS). However, as seen in the graphic below, Azure is slowly and steadily catching up due to its cost-effectiveness as a top cloud provider.
Due to its strong reputation as a large technology company and advanced security, many large businesses and corporations looking for a public cloud provider choose Azure’s cloud platform. According to Microsoft, “95% of Fortune 500 companies trust their businesses on Azure.”
For small to medium-sized businesses, Microsoft Azure services can be problematic or out of reach because they are expensive and may not blend well with a small IT staff. A study by Gartner states, “Azure is neither as feature-rich nor mature as AWS.” Nonetheless, Azure is a leading cloud company with strengths in on-demand computing, data storage, and data management, and lower IT costs.
The cloud service makes managing these many services easy through a pay-per-use model where a company pays only for services they opt in for. This model is useful for large businesses that heavily consume computing resources because services constantly need to be added or ended. Since Microsoft Azure supports Java, a programming language used primarily by large corporations, it is highly attractive to larger businesses.
Further exploring cloud migration and cloud computing services, Microsoft Azure boasts a strong and cost-effective hybrid and multiple clouds approach. Large businesses can maximize their on-premises investments and assets when migrating to the cloud, removing the need for a major data center.
A popular service includes the Virtual Machine service that enables the creation of new generation virtual machines in Windows, Linux, or other configurations in seconds. A strong virtual machine is necessary to optimize data centers to manage data effectively.
Another popular service is the Microsoft Azure Key Vault, which allows for the secure storage and tight control of confidential data like API keys, passwords, and cryptographic keys. Another popular service is the Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) which offers the quickest way to start developing and deploying cloud-native apps with built-in code-to-cloud pipelines and guardrails.
Finally, Microsoft Azure has several competitive advantages over other providers. Azure is compliant with government regulations because it is authorized by FedRAMP, a federal agency that monitors the security of cloud products and services. As stated before, Azure is more cost-effective than Amazon Web Services and offers reduced rates for customers that move to its services.
Lastly, Azure has a strong reputation for its high standard of security for hybrid computing and multi-cloud computing. Overall, Microsoft Azure is quickly becoming popular due to its advantageous costs, federal compliance, and flexible and scalable services.
While not as heavily implemented as AWS or Azure, Google Cloud is still the third largest cloud computing services provider, and one of the top cloud service providers, in the world.
The cloud computing service platform provides reliable and highly scalable Google cloud computing services to its users, allowing for large enterprise workloads to be completed in the cloud infrastructure given by a cloud provider. These services help clients compute and store data and help developers build, test, and deploy apps.
One advantage that the Google Cloud platform lends to its customers is that it uses a simple file system. This system is the foundation of Google Cloud Services, handling requests for information via basic commands like write, read, and open.
Due to its ease of use, many small and large enterprises are increasingly adopting the Google Cloud Platform due to its ability to more securely handle IT services for its customers without the need for complicated data migration techniques.
The products offered by Google Cloud Platform are categorized into four categories: Compute, Storage, Big Data, and Services.
- The Compute Engine of the Google Cloud Platform falls under the Compute category. As a part of Google Cloud, the Compute Engine allows customers to build virtual machines and run them on Google infrastructure, making it more secure. Another proprietary feature provided by the Google Cloud Platform,
- Cloud Storage, under the Storage category, allows for durable object and database storage in an efficient manner, allowing data management to occur without the need for a physical server in a data center.
- BigQuery, in the Big Data category, serves as data storage in a cloud platform for business insights, allowing for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions to be implemented in a business following data analytics.
- Translate and Prediction API allows for Apigee API Management which allows consumers to successfully utilize hybrid cloud technologies fully within their business operations.
As a cheaper alternative compared to its competitors, Google Cloud offers several competitive advantages.
First and foremost, Google Cloud provides live migration in a private cloud environment, which allows customers to be unbothered by maintenance by Google since their virtual machines and services are protected from interruption, rebooting, or modification. This separates it from other competitors below it in terms of market share, like IBM Cloud, Oracle Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc.
Second, the Google App Engine provides minimal overheads, allowing for greater economies of scale that allow customers to save more and spend less to utilize the hybrid cloud services provided.
Overall, the Google Cloud Platform is quickly becoming popular due to its cheaper costs, wide variety of cloud services provided, and lack of interruption or modification of workloads.
All three cloud service providers are highly respected and can provide quality solutions for a business, but there are hundreds of different solutions available. These three are all highly reliable for businesses, large and small, and making the switch to cloud computing services now would allow any business to reach new heights of success.
The challenge for companies is to decide when is the right time to adopt cloud services for their business and to make a decision on the cloud service provider that allows the company to achieve both ongoing operational and long-term strategic goals.