Cloud computing services are becoming necessary for businesses and make sense from both a strategic and performance angle. But choosing a cloud for your business isn’t the same as choosing one for personal.

In general, business clouds

  • Extend storage
  • Help you manage resources
  • Provide access to data at any time, from any location
  • Improve security
  • Provide access to technology.

There are three main types of cloud computing platforms: public, private, and hybrid. They each have their strengths, but when it comes to public clouds, the most popular cloud computing platforms are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). When comparing services from each of these platforms, it’s essential to consider the size and goals of your company, your expected growth rate, and your budget.

However, not all business cloud platforms are the same. They offer different features, and some are more compatible with specific business models and company sizes. This article will serve as a comprehensive overview and comparison of the top three public cloud services.

Provider overview

Similar to how many feel about the PC vs. Mac debate, brand loyalty is common simply because of use history.  You need to look past the brand to decide what is best for you and your customers.

In general, you should consider the following

  • Find a reliable provider. Other than name recognition, providers need to emphasize security and customer feedback.
  • Evaluate stability. A provider should have regular updates, continuous performance, dispersed platforms, and load balancing.
  • Consider economies of scale. What is the ratio between the cost of running an in-house server versus the available resources of an enterprise cloud?
  • Look for standardized service. Does the company offer cost-effective bundles of apps and the resources you need? Bundled services can save 40 percent over purchasing a la carte IaaS, SaaS, and other digital products.
  • Evaluate flexibility. The last thing you want is a contract with a provider that inhibits agility and growth.
Graphic with the information AWS Developer and management tools Machine learning and predictive analytics Databases and storage solutions Business productivity tools App integration compute Azure Big data and predictive analytics Game and app development Scalable data warehousing Blockchain technology DevOps IoT integration Google Data management and storage App development SMB business analytics and AI Productivity and workload management tools

AWS Service Overview

Amazon is a giant in many ways, so it is no surprise that it would offer a robust cloud computing platform for enterprises. Amazon Web Services is built on a vast global framework and has 66 availability zones. They account for 33% of the total market share in the cloud computing industry, mainly due to the 200+ managed services offered.

AWS supports all operating systems and ranks as the top IaaS platform for availability, reliable performance, and the number of applications. AWS offers 18,000 different services including:

  • Developer, engagement, and management tools
  • Machine learning and predictive analytics
  • Databases and storage solutions
  • Business productivity tools
  • App integration
  • Compute

Key strengths associated with AWS are their

  • Breadth and depth of services
  • Platform configuration options
  • Robust partner ecosystem and the AWS Marketplace

Azure Service Overview

Microsoft Azure has always been a solid platform for companies already working with a Windows-based system and is now a direct competitor to AWS. One nice feature is its Linux-friendliness related to virtual guest operating systems and compatibility with Linux container platforms.

Azure does need a bit of maintenance and a high level of expertise to use the platform, but the advantages often outweigh the disadvantages.

Azure’s power is providing  infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)., Azure also comes with built-in and ready-to-run server apps that support a range of languages, including .NET, Java, PHP, Node.js, and Python. The platform is available in 54 regions worldwide, with services designed to increase productivity while deploying the most current technology. It’s also one of the most manageable enterprise clouds for configuring and operation. Azure provides services such as:

  • Big data and predictive analytics
  • Game and app development
  • Scalable data warehousing
  • Blockchain technology
  • DevOps
  • IoT integration

Key strengths associated with Azure are their

  • Ease of migration and deployment
  • Wide range of productivity and collaboration features
  • Seamless integration with the Microsoft suite of products

Google Cloud Service Overview

Google is the newest provider on the scene. It has the shortest range of the three providers, but Google makes up for it in other ways. GCP is innovating in undersea server development and is currently available in 20 regions. Google is expanding its offerings and footprint in an effort to be a tougher competitor to Amazon and Azure.

All of the functionality is operable through a new console that was designed with ease of use in mind, and it’s simple to set up and configure. Services include:

  • Data management and storage
  • App development
  • SMB business analytics and AI
  • Productivity and workload management tools

Key strengths associated with GCP are their

  • Robust big data and analytics capabilities
  • Strong cloud-native capabilities
  • Expertise in the latest technologies such as containers

Cloud provider pros and cons

Here’s a brief breakdown of the critical points in our comparisons. Each is strong on utilizing AI and other advanced tech, they provide ample storage and features, and they are all strong on security and data protection.

Pros and Cons of AWS

This company has the benefit of age and experience when it comes to cloud-based enterprise solutions. Although their pricing structure is difficult to maneuver, they offer more of each service you’re looking for, regardless of the type or size of your organization. However, the size and sheer scale of the Amazon platform makes it difficult to get much  personal attention.

Compute: AWS’s flagship offering, Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), is just one part of their system. They have the largest scale in computing function and, like Amazon itself, offer lots to choose from but very little personalized service.

Storage: They have a large range and various options for on- and off-premises storage and databases. AWS only provides a basic backup service, but there are other options through their range of storage solutions. And while they don’t offer a true hybrid model, their server Gateway allows users to create their own.

Tools: AWS is at the forefront of addressing AI and machine learning tech issues and further pushing the boundaries of face, voice, and object recognition.

Pricing: As far as pricing goes, AWS is the most difficult to gauge. In general, their pricing structure is pay-as-you-go with tiered pricing and volume-based discounts as usage increases

Pros and Cons of Azure

Azure is committed to advancing the open-source community and  integrating the software and apps already used by companies, so it is an ideal platform for startups and developers. This allows for effortless configuration and integration with very few compatibility issues.

Compute: This is currently the only platform of the big three to offer a hybrid cloud model. That gives companies the best of both worlds when it comes to scalability and security. They are best known for the Virtual Machines service and AI optimization incorporated into almost every feature and function.

Storage: The best advantage of hybrid cloud platforms is demonstrated in their storage solutions. Companies are able to take advantage of off-site storage for non-essential functions and some applications. It’s also the only platform among the three that offers more than one backup service and a website recovery function – surprising given the strong demand for backup redundancy as a cloud storage feature – and it has the highest number of SQL-supported databases.

Tools: This platform is flexible and agile operation through a combination of  Microsoft compatibility and open-source availability. You can scale up or down at-will, and all of your legacy data will still have a safe home. You’ll also benefit from their extensive investment in AI and machine learning tools.

Pricing: Pricing is flexible, but you may need to do your homework evaluating the best pricing options on a project-by-project basis.

Pros and Cons of Google

Google Cloud is still growing, and a number of its basic features are still in the beta phase. They’re committed to creating carbon neutral technology to support resource conservation, which may be a consideration for companies looking for greener tech.

Compute: Google Compute, their basic computing platform, supports both Windows and Linux.

Storage: Google lacks storage solutions, particularly because of the absence of backup options. They do offer SQL and NoSQL support.

Tools: The available tools and functions seem to be a work in progress. Google Cloud is off to a strong start, but they still have a way to go if they want to catch up with AWS.

Pricing: In addition to their AI development, Google stands out for making it easier to work advanced tech into your budget. With this platform, you’ll get basic prices for basic services that are still innovative and unique in their own way.

Which Cloud Provider is Best for My Business?

All three providers have on-demand pricing, a free tier, and some form of security. They are all reputable companies, but there are some important distinctions.

AWS is a good fit if:

  • You’re looking for more global reach.
  • You want stable, reliable service from a cloud platform with a long track record.
  • You need flexibility and a wider range of services.
  • You’re a larger company.

Azure is a good fit if:

  • You’re migrating to the cloud for the first time.
  • Most of your business apps and platforms are Windows-based.
  • You’re looking for a hybrid solution.
  • You’re a developer.

Google Cloud is a good fit if:

  • You’re looking for a comprehensive container-based model
  • Your company is already well ahead in digital migration and wants to become leaner and more cost-efficient
  • Your website works within a hyperscale networking environment
  • You develop and deploy cloud-based software and apps

How Anteris can help

All things considered, it is not about choosing the best cloud provider, but rather the best cloud provider for your company. In general, we suggest leaning on a company with deep experience in all cloud and on-premise platforms so you can be sure the right strategy is in place for many years to come.

In the same way that your business is unique, your cloud needs are unique as well. At Anteris, we can help you determine your business needs and select a cloud provider that will elevate your business. We offer a variety of cloud management services to best suit our Clients. In addition to our partnership with public cloud providers and our hybrid options, we offer Anteris Cloud Solutions, a private cloud in a local space. Your data would not be in a shared space, but rather in a private, redundant infrastructure. This would reduce your IT footprint, provide secure remote access to the infrastructure, and allow for affordable redundancy.

Let us work with you to determine the best cloud services option for your business. Schedule an appointment today to find out how Anteris makes cloud services freeing, not frustrating.