July 27, 2018
Most companies look to cloud services for flexibility and cost savings. While all the major cloud service providers offer both, it’s important to select the most compatible service provider for your business. Cloud services represent major revenue drivers for the world’s largest tech companies. This creates fierce competition between the top providers to offer suites of computing services in addition to cloud data storage. Due to this level of competition, cloud computing is relatively affordable and accessible to nearly all businesses. In this post we will demystify some of the pros and cons of five of the world’s top cloud service providers.
At Attunix we focus on managing and developing applications in the Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure. It’s the world’s largest cloud services platform and often the first choice for companies launching enterprise cloud applications. Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS lead the competition when it comes to global infrastructure and cloud services revenue.
Comprehensive Infrastructure: Azure was built for creating, testing, and deploying applications in the cloud. Cloud experts say Azure maintains the top spot since it provides comprehensive services in all three major cloud arenas: software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (Iaas) capabilities.
Innovation: Microsoft also remains deeply committed to innovation in the cloud in the areas of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain. Companies can get ahead by migrating their data with Azure and leveraging the wealth of innovation resources available to them. Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, remains fully committed to growing and innovating the cloud product and is praised for his extraordinary vision and leadership in this area.
Security and Disaster Recovery: When disaster strikes, companies need to be prepared for recovering their data quickly with minimal downtime. Azure provides the most comprehensive disaster recovery in regional and global fail-over options, hot and cold standby models, and rolling reboot capabilities. Azure also offers the Azure Security Center, for which customers can maintain 24/7 unified security management across hybrid cloud networks. Azure follows the security model of Detect, Assess, Diagnose, Stabilize, and Close. Azure overall provides simple, user- friendly security services that protect both networks and end users.
Microsoft Azure requires management which for some can be perceived as a drawback. Management involves monitoring, patching, and maintenance. This can be done in house or through a qualified third party service provider. With the right service provider, Azure customers can receive the management their systems require while reaping the highest ROI through services like app modernization and advanced analytics.
The cloud services industry heats up the Seattle rivalry between Microsoft and Amazon. Amazon’s AWS comes in second of the world’s most popular cloud services. One drawback of AWS is that it doesn’t offer as many end-to-end solutions as Azure, Google Cloud, or even Salesforce. However, AWS continues to be a symbol of the cloud computing movement and is showing initiative in expanding its SaaS offerings to bolster its cloud product.
Flexibility: One of the primary benefits AWS offers is flexibility. EC2 allows for companies to be extremely flexible with their data usage. Customers can expand or reduce their usage capacity in a matter of hours. However, some experience difficulty when scaling up as the EC2 virtual hardware isn’t as robust as physical hardware.
Simple Storage: Of the top cloud service providers, AWS is reported to offer the best solution with Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service). S3 is built to store and retrieve any data from anywhere at anytime. S3 maintains high levels of security and compliance capabilities. However, S3 out of all the major cloud storage options is the most costly.
Google Cloud Platform
The Google Cloud Platform or GCP is the most junior of the top three major cloud services providers. It launched initially to appeal to startups and individuals with the capabilities to build and run their own apps. However, the company recently pivoted to focus intensely on gaining market share in enterprise cloud computing and acquired some big names in business to add to their customer roster including Disney, Coca-Cola, and Apple.
Innovation: GCP is a great option for companies looking for innovation coupled with cloud computing solutions. Google cloud customers can apply the company’s heritage of machine learning and advanced analytics to their data housed in GCP. However, it may be best suited for companies that have the capabilities in house to build their own applications. The GCP route may be a good option for companies that can DIY easily, as Google has received some negative reviews for slow and limited user support.
IBM has positioned itself as a strategic partner for many businesses transitioning from legacy systems to the cloud and generated over $7 billion in revenue helping customers do just that. Like Microsoft, IBM is committed to all three layers of cloud computing: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. This is key for top cloud vendors and bit cloud customers because it provides end-to-end solutions for almost anything businesses need in the cloud.
Bluemix: IBM’s Bluemix is a cloud platform designed for developing and running applications. It supports several programming languages as well as integrated DevOps. One of the drawbacks some users note of IBM Bluemix is that it isn’t particularly user friendly. It serves as a great option for current IBM customers that want to migrate or experiment with PaaS. It also integrates easily with IBM Watson, the company’s AI system.
Sales Cloud by Salesforce is one of the world’s leading customer service cloud solutions. Salesforce earned a spot on the top five due to its enormously successful suite of cloud-based SaaS solutions (primarily its CRM program). If the company aims to increase their influence in the cloud game, it will need to focus on PaaS and IaaS as well. Without comprehensive presence in all three, cloud service providers probably won’t attain comparable market share to Microsoft and Amazon.
CRM: Customers love Salesforce CRM for its flexibility, usability and integration with modern technology. It is not only used for managing customer contacts and relationship history, but provides heightened visibility to the entire sales pipeline. It can automate repetitive tasks, improve productivity with integrated email, and help personalize pitches. Salesforce reports their SaaS solutions help boost customers’ sales by over 30%.
Choosing the Right Cloud Services
At Attunix we help our clients modernize and elevate their business through managing cloud services. We start the process with an impact assessment. In the impact assessment we help clients assess the potential ROI of cloud services, discuss the pros/cons between services providers, review the benefits of Platform and Infrastructure Cloud services, identify which applications and data are best left on-site, and conduct final assessment report and strategic plan to integrate your assets and migration roadmap.