Azure, AWS and Google dominate the public cloud market with extensive service portfolios and low prices. But sheer size not only brings benefits to customers. This article introduces some interesting cloud providers alternatives.
When companies want to move their IT to the cloud and look for a vendor then they typically think of Microsoft Azure , Amazon Web Services ( AWS ) or Google Cloud first . The public cloud providers are world-renowned and offer a comprehensive range of services as well as many advantages due to their high scalability and flexibility.
Specifically, Microsoft Azure has recently gained a tremendous amount of revenue and has even outperformed the Amazon cloud in revenue growth in the first fiscal quarter . However, company-specific requirements or compliance requirements increasingly ensure that different companies have to look for other options.
In 2010, Microsoft launched its first cloud computing software under the name Windows Azure . Meanwhile, the product is called only Azure and according to the manufacturer its used by more than 500 companies. This makes Microsoft one of the world’s largest public cloud providers alongside Amazon Web Services ( AWS ) and Google.
Benefits of the Azure Cloud
The Azure cloud offers numerous advantages: The basic variants for services such as storage, computing or load balancing can be ordered at reasonable prices. In addition, all services are globally available and the flexible system supports many programming languages, operating systems and frameworks.
The individual services can usually be booked with the click of a mouse and the configuration of the cloud is understandable even to laymen. Borders only become apparent when it comes to administering the cloud. Due to the low prices, personal support is limited and customers need their own IT experts who administer the system and manage crashes. Even if the support of the above mentioned services does not work, internal experts are needed for troubleshooting and administrative documentation.
System crashes also exist in the public cloud
In general, all providers try to minimize the extent of downtime. System crashes can not completely avoid them. For example, in Azure , a few years ago, the storage service was down for several hours. However, with the use of many services and customer applications based on this storage service, many customers were in distress. The flaw was ultimately due to an expired central SSL encryption certificate, which is necessary for communication between different Azure services, and was not renewed in time.
In addition, the Azure cloud limits companies with special requirements, for example in the area of compliance. So, Microsoft adheres to the US Patriot Act. This means that the US government can potentially access all data stored in Azure , even if the hosted headquarters is outside the US and the data is stored in another country.
For companies that need to protect their customers from such access, an alternative cloud solution could be of interest. This also applies to companies that require an individual implementation due to their requirements. The associated cost calculation is sometimes difficult at Azure, and overall spending is quickly higher than planned due to its extreme scalability.
Five cloud providers options instead of Microsoft Azure
Companies looking for an alternative solution to Azure have good options beyond AWS and Google. While the big three combine the richest functionality in their cloud offerings, most companies do not need all the services and features offered. Knowing exactly what your project-specific requirements mean, it’s easier to choose one of the following alternative providers.
The Dutch cloud provider has two solutions with NextVPS and OpenStack. Whether it’s a single machine or an individual dedicated infrastructure cluster, the standard offering is small to standard, small HD, medium HD and high memory packages. Developers and experienced users can fall back on the OpenStack offer. The platform offers high flexibility and performance as well as control via API.
The provider from the US offers a user-friendly frontend and short deployment times. The offer is deliberately kept simple and dispensable with common API functions. You get computing (especially automation) and storage, but no database service. If you need a database, you have to set up the server yourself and install the database on it. Since you need IT know-how for that, DigitalOcean mainly addresses experienced web developers.
Open Telekom Cloud
The public cloud offer of Deutsche Telekom AG is based on OpenStack technology. The functionality does not offer any machine-learning capabilities, but is bigger than with DigitalOcean. The target group is broader. The Open Telekom Cloud addresses all company sizes – from small start-ups to large corporations – and is geared to the large public cloud providers. Although their range of services is larger, it has always been accepted because the operation takes place abroad. Open Telekom, however, is hosted in Germany and is subject to EU GDPR. The offer is particularly suitable for the processing of data. It is subject to European or German law.
SAP Cloud Platform
The SAP cloud is aimed at large companies that already use SAP products. In fact, this is Platform-as-a-Service ( PaaS ); SAP is not a provider of Infrastructure-as-a-Service ( IaaS ) services or any other service model. The platforms primarily provide services for the development, integration and subsequent operation of cloud applications and extensions that have already installed SAP products.
The cloud of Oracle is in direct competition with AWS and offers nearly as many features as the other major public cloud providers. The software producer acts similar to SAP. However, the cloud does not focus so much on its own software, but instead offers IaaS , PaaS , Software-as-a-Service ( SaaS ) and Data -as-a-Service (DaaS). It integrates more than 400 standard applications from partners (for example, CRM add-on modules or an Oracle ERP solution) as well as supplementary apps that were previously part of the software.
Private cloud as an alternative
As an alternative to the public cloud, companies can use a private cloud – provided it offers the right functions. The private cloud is suitable for companies that want to take advantage of the cloud, but unlike the public cloud, need a private, isolated from other customers infrastructure.
Modern private clouds offer many functionalities that are available in a public cloud, but on a customer-specific infrastructure. A solution can be controlled by means of a graphical user interface: this can be used to power up and shut down virtual machines or to provide resources with more power (RAM or hard disk space.) A central storage (storage space) and a log system are available for saving and evaluating log files. Backup concepts are also included, unlike the big public cloud providers, scaling is usually a bit more rigid.
Cloud providers selection – concrete needs count
For companies that want to shift their IT to the cloud, there are good alternatives to the three big public cloud providers. Examples are CloudVPS, DigitalOcean, Open Telekom Cloud, SAP Cloud Platform and Oracle Cloud. Which is the right choice depends on the specific requirements. Companies that analyze these closely in advance will certainly find the right solution .
Good providers offer support in this process and the customer develops the right strategy together with the cloud and hosting service provider. As a result, the right cloud provider can be meaningfully selected. And for those who rely on the big clouds like Azure , AWS or Google, there are matching managed services.
Please share your experience and knowledge about other Cloud providers alternatives to Azure, Amazon and Google.