The Cloud

How to choose the right cloud provider

The promise of cloud technology has spawned tremendous innovation by some of the biggest, most powerful companies in the world.

The promise of cloud technology has spawned tremendous innovation by some of the biggest, most powerful companies in the world. Choosing a cloud provider is a very important undertaking and not everyone can afford engaging a professional managed services team. Get it wrong, and you’ll incur big costs, delays, and headaches; get it right, and you’ll position your firm for a more scalable and profitable future.

To make the right decision, it’s critical to understand the differences among the top cloud providers. Each brings a different set of strengths and weaknesses to the table.

Provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) Azure Google
Strengths With the most cloud services (over 140 and counting) and the longest proven track record, this is the most reliable and fully-featured service provider. And with a deep knowledge base for developers and a robust client marketplace, the chances of finding just what you need for any given situation are high. With a rapid pace of innovation, this is the provider offing the most leading-edge services. This is the Microsoft cloud, and it therefore leverages Windows technology incredibly well— better than any other provider. Microsoft runs their own infrastructure on Azure, so it’s got a proven track record. And the Azure dashboard is by far the most user-friendly. Google has chosen to focus their cloud offerings on containers and machine learning—and they’re a powerhouse in those specific areas. They’re releasing new and useful features at a rapid pace. And they’re often the most competitive on cost.
Weaknesses The high volume of innovation can also be a downside when working with AWS, because keeping up with the pace of new releases and best practices requires an investment in developer time. And the breadth of offerings, while a boon, can also be a burden, as it’s easy to get lost in the number of options. Their pricing model is also somewhat more rigid than other providers if you want to take advantage of the best value options. If you’re not running Windows technology exclusively, Azure quickly becomes less competitive. The relative youth of the service and the rapid pace of their development shows itself in less reliability (i.e., more frequent outages and bugs) than other service providers. The narrow focus on certain technologies and “start-up mode” nature translate into fewer bells and whistles (especially with migration services), and less robust offerings outside containers and machine learning.
Specific business needs
Rapid ideation and prototyping With tons of developer tools, AWS makes it easy to create templates, test things out, create custom configurations, and turn on and off services—all of which saves money and speeds up innovation. - -
Build a full-fledged new cloud application If you’re using any other technologies—Linux, Python, serverless, etc.—or creating something that’s database-intensive, turn to AWS. The versatility of their tools and sheer number of services means AWS can do it all. And AWS currently has the best track record of reliability and innovation, so your new app is poised for scalability. If you’re using Windows technologies like .NET or IIS, Azure is a smart choice because it runs Windows technologies so effectively and efficiently. Google’s emphasis on containers means it’s a great choice if you’re planning to bundle everything you need to run your system (including a micro OS). Containers turn on quickly and are very lightweight—if your app depends on them, Google Cloud is a smart choice.
Disaster recovery For any other configuration, AWS is likely to be your best bet, since their services play well with so many technologies. In particular, AWS has excellent automation serves for managing VMware. If you’re running Windows services exclusively, Azure is a smart choice, primarily because of the excellent automation that’s already built in. -

Whatever cloud provider you ultimately choose, it’s best to work with a partner who understands the landscape of the cloud as well as your business. That’s why at Metal Toad, we’re constantly working with the latest developments in cloud technology and leveraging them to deliver value for our clients. Get in touch for a free consultation if you’re ready to realize the full power of the cloud for your enterprise.

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