The cloud architecture has evolved leaps and bounds in the past few years. Especially in the past year, the growth of the Software as a Service industry has seen a number of companies opting for cloud migration. Multi-cloud has become the new rage already, with vendors eager to develop multiple cloud sources to provide better experiences and reach a wider population.
Cloud providers are vendors that provide information technology as a service directly over the web through the internet. If you are picking one to implement for your business or for personal-scale implementation, you’ll be left confused about which vendor to pick.
Cloud comparison is not as simple as it sounds though, and one of the most appropriate answers for you would actually be the dreaded ‘it depends’. This is because every cloud provider offers some fundamental features as well as some selective features that make them stand apart.
To identify the best cloud provider, we’ll follow a 2-step process. First, out of a list of over a hundred, well-rated cloud providers, we have a list of the top five. These top five are picked keeping in mind their various utilities and unique features, and hence, at least one of them is likely to suit your needs.
The second stage is to draw a direct comparison between the top 3 vendors to identify where they stand apart and how they can deliver to you the services that you need.
In 2008, when the world was new to GPS and location tracking and cloud migration wasn’t even a concept discussed in businesses, Amazon had launched the first cloud-based service – Infrastructure as a Service.What stood out for Amazon was the launch of its Graviton Processor and its subsequent launches. What Amazon did was observe the fact that Arm was used extensively in Data Centers for data storage and management. They began tailoring the Graviton Processor to integrate seamlessly with Arm in data centers to make AWS the first choice for customers.Highly driven by customer feedback, Amazon Web Services is one of the only two alpha cloud companies in the market in terms of revenue generation today. Along with IaaS, the company has worked significantly to develop the cloud. The vision proposed by Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy in 2019 is why AWS is a great cloud provider – Artificial Intelligence services, as well as a special stack that will be useful for analytics functions, seems really fruitful for the future. AWS contributes to the bulk of its parent Amazon’s annual profit (around $40 billion in revenues) and the vision is likely to keep them at the top for some time.
All in all AWS provides a breadth and depth of services and features that are suitable for a substantial number of enterprises.
As far as services and market reach is concerned, Google is 3rd after AWS and Azure. A company that is used to understanding raw data and feedback of customers through B2C, Google is also expanding Cloud into B2B to reach out to industries, backed by the promise of expanding its sales and financial services.
What Google is doing is, rather than tap into the competition’s customer base, it is creating a target audience for itself – integrating Google Ads, finance services, and sales with cloud computing – something none of its competition seems to be doing or even planning for in the long run.
You might argue that Microsoft is doing something similar through its SaaS-based Office 365 and Dynamics model. Still, the fact is that Microsoft earns revenue only through one source – the cloud – after integration with its SaaS services.
On the other hand, AWS is focused more on IaaS, and its data centers and reach is unmatched. So, rather than try to compete with these two on their turf, Google created a revenue model that offers sales and marketing as well as for analytics, ads, and other sources of revenue that neither Microsoft Azure nor AWS provides.
In a way, Google Cloud works closely with Google to provide a complete ecosystem, rather than how AWS and Azure are separate entities with a separate vision and mission. This is what makes a cloud provider like Google an exciting prospect to observe in the future.
Launched in February 2010, Azure is an open-source cloud platform useful for virtualization, design, development, service hosting, and management solutions. The most important offering from Microsoft Azure in terms of both revenue and public outreach has been the commercial cloud.While AWS is heavily reliant on IaaS, Microsoft Azure derives most of its revenue from Software as a Service (SaaS) products like Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics, etc. Azure’s vision for the future is more aligned with that of IBM rather than that of Amazon – both providers are making efforts to integrate cloud with edge computing. The demand during the pandemic, in fact, was so high for MS services (MS Teams) that the company had to face capacity issues on their servers. The Microsoft Cloud model is a combination of multiple cloud services, and these services are presented in the form of an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Some of these services do not even use Azure very extensively but the options and services are so diverse that Azure has become the preferred cloud partner for enterprises.
When you buy Red Hat for #34 billion, you’re clearly sending out the message that you’re arriving onto the scene armed with innovation. What this purchase means is more security and a revolution of the cloud – more than 90% of the global population depends on IBM for credit card transactions, and the Red hat purchase will lend more incumbency and felicitate client relationships.The greatest advantage IBM has that makes it a top-five cloud provider is that it is multi-cloud – a feature that most modern businesses need. IBM has plans to sell Red Hat horizontally, that is, one product for many users. However, recently the company announced Cloud Paks – package-based cumulation of target audience-specific services that can be tailor-made to suit specific industries. So basically, while they may not be very intensely focusing on specific domains like their competition, IBM has very clearly stated that they cater to both kinds of clients – one size fits all and a different shoe for every foot.
Moreover, during the company’s fourth-quarter call, IBM CFO James Kavanaugh said that the next chapter of cloud at IBM will be driven by “mission-critical workloads managed in a hybrid multi-cloud environment. This will be based on a foundation of Linux with Containers and Kubernetes.”
VMWare and Dell have together created a great multi-cloud platform, but that’s not it – VMWare has already partnered with AWS, Azure, as well as Google Cloud, and while it generates revenue from that alliance, its parent Dell Technologies is using revenues and funds to power its own cloud services.With VMWare, scalability and reliability have been at the forefront of all development, and the implementation of Red Hat for a hybrid cloud is a great move considering how adaptable Red Hat is. The end goal for Dell is to combine public cloud technologies with its own platform that can span internal and public resources, and make Dell a future leader in systems engineering, networking, storage, and server integration.
Like we said earlier, the best cloud provider depends on your business needs. We hope that by now you have analyzed the requirements, scrutinized the offerings of each company, and drawn a conclusion through the aforementioned cloud comparison about who to choose for your business.