The list of services offered by the major cloud vendors is more or less similar with few of their specialties available exclusively with them. Amazon has been into the cloud market since long and has gained maximum market share due to monopoly. Gartner says Amazon has cloud IaaS compute capacity five times more than the other 14 leading cloud vendors. But other vendors have eventually caught up and have introduced many services similar to those offered by Amazon. Comparing them, we would say Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform has seen a major development in cloud services and provides most of the services provided by its competitors. Microsoft also has a number of cloud apps in their SaaS offerings and the list is progressing with a good pace. Microsoft has partnered with different companies to provide best of the products from both the worlds of Windows and Linux to all its customers. Even the benchmarks conducted by industry analysts’ state that most services from Google and Azure servers performed better than Amazon servers in terms of performance and latencies. The attempts made by Microsoft to make the cloud adoption easier for customers has been the first of its kind, providing them compatibility with other cloud platforms to migrate easily to Azure’s services. IBM has been very innovative recently in picking up the latest trends. IBM’s Watson has enabled a fancy list of services exclusively available for big data and artificial intelligence like concept expansion, language identification, question and answer, relationship extraction, etc, available on its Bluemix cloud platform.
Eventually, after finding the required service, the cost for the service is what matters the most. The pricing for services by cloud vendors has never seen a defined change. Therefore, a careful assessment of the SLA policy by the cloud vendor is always a must before pairing up with them. More or less, the free tier of these cloud vendors has been constant. Table 2 shows the services available in free tier with the limited usage restrictions. The comparison shows that Amazon has a limited offering of free tier services every month whereas for Google and Windows Azure, it is only for a limited period since the starting date.
We don’t say that a specific cloud vendor is fit for your needs but sensing the growth in cloud adoption rate, we have seen a rapid development in most of the cloud vendor’s offerings, and this development rate could never be predicted. Cloud is here to stay and for you to adapt it, so you definitely need to have a long-term plan. We cannot say how easy it would be to migrate your services from one cloud to another, but with the few decision points mentioned above, you could definitely sustain in this evolving cloud era and gain a lot.
(The article was first published in PcQuest)