You decided to move to the cloud and developed an overall cloud strategy. Now you need to choose a cloud provider. The big three in the industry are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. All offer similar services in various categories, including compute, storage, identity, security, database, AI and machine learning, virtualization, DevOps, and more. One size doesn’t fit all. You need to determine your needs and which cloud provider fits you best.
Points to consider when choosing a cloud provider
Selecting the right cloud service provider can be a daunting task. Evaluating and ranking the importance of each item below may help you make the right choice for your business.
Cloud service type – First, you need to determine what cloud setup you need – public, private, or hybrid. In addition, there are three types of cloud services; Iaas, PaaS, and SaaS. Once you know the kind of cloud you need, you can start looking at the various cloud providers.
Capabilities and product offerings – Each cloud has its top offerings. AWS and Azure are the most extensive cloud providers and have more or less the same capabilities and product offerings. Making a list of your critical needs, specialized services (such as Windows Virtual Desktop or Azure CosmosDB), and products may narrow down your options.
Technical expertise – The critical decision in selecting a cloud service provider may be your team’s experience and knowledge. Adopting new technology may increase the “hidden” cost of moving to the cloud. For example, if you are a Microsoft shop, and your needs are SQL Server, Windows, .NET, and Office, then you are best off looking at Azure cloud.
Cost – For most businesses, the most crucial factor is cost. Depending on your need for products and services, the price may vary from cloud to cloud. While all top three clouds, AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, are competitive, some products may differ.
Security and compliance – Due to your type of business, you may have unique security and compliance needs. While AWS and Azure have most of the standard compliance certifications, they may not have your required certification. Although the cloud has various security options, you must ensure security is enabled.
Support and Maintenance – This is another critical area to compare costs. Each cloud service provider has a different support and maintenance contract.
Location – The top providers have multiple physical and logical locations if the location is essential to you.
Multi-cloud – AWS and Azure are two complete clouds that provide almost everything you need in the cloud. For example, AWS for file storage and messaging, Azure for DevOps, database and developer tools, and Google’s cloud for documents and emails. However, adopting a multi-cloud cloud approach may be a way to meet all of your needs. Just be aware this approach usually comes at a cost. If you don’t plan properly, your cloud services may cost you more than you planned.
Hybrid Cloud – Some services (such as large data storage) may be cheaper keeping on-premises rather than in the cloud. Using a hybrid approach can save.
Specialized Cloud – besides the top three providers, there are specialized cloud providers that may save you money. For example, Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a service that provides faster services for content delivery. If you have tons of content to download (images, files, videos, photos), using CDN will cost less than live streaming and video streaming from Azure and AWS. WordPress hosting and bulk email services are other areas where specialized cloud providers offer cheaper options than the top service providers.
Help in making the right decision
The answer to which cloud service provider is right for you is not an easy decision. It all depends on your business needs and cloud strategy. If you need help developing your cloud strategy to make the right decision, contact one of our experts today to guide you.