There are three major cloud providers: Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure. All provide high-quality, robust cloud services, and VAST IT Services provides support for all three cloud providers.

Businesses need to choose which cloud provider or providers they will use. With cloud being based on low-cost, commodity infrastructure, are there meaningful differences between the providers? How does a business make this critical decision about the cloud?

Factors in Selecting a Cloud Provider

There are numerous criteria that can help businesses decide among the cloud providers.

1. Cost.

The goal of using cloud for many businesses is to achieve lower costs, and the different cloud providers have different prices and different pricing models that can lead to significant differences in cloud expenses, even when the technology and usage are the same. Both per usage costs, spot instance costs, and reserved instance costs should be evaluated.

2. Use cases.

Once you get beyond the infrastructure basics, cloud providers can be distinguished by the services they provide. As an example, knowing whether your goal is to have a rapidly recoverable environment, build a cloud instance for disaster recovery, or to leverage the latest in machine learning and analytics gives you distinct requirements to measure the providers against.

3. Familiar technology.

Cloud is new, so for those coming to cloud from a Windows environment, Azure provides a familiar, comfortable environment. While the other providers all support Microsoft technology—you can use .NET on Google—there’s no question that the best support for Microsoft products comes from Microsoft.

4. New technology.

Amazon and Google are both known for rapid development of new and innovative technology in the cloud.

5. Reliability and disaster recovery.

All three cloud providers have had outages, but you can assess the latest statistics and evaluate which provides the reliability you need. Because failing over to a different region offers enhanced reliability for cloud, also consider the location of each provider’s regions.

6. Security and compliance.

Using Azure allows Active Directory to be the single source of identity for both premises and cloud users. Federated identity management is also possible in the other clouds, but requires more configuration and management. To meet compliance and data residency requirements, review where the cloud provider has its data centers. The virtual private cloud offerings of the providers can also be assessed.

Deciding which cloud provider to use determines the experience you will have in the cloud and needs to be made carefully. The right decision can be to use one of the providers, multiple providers, or even none of the providers. VAST IT’s cloud planning services are part of a set of cloud services to guide and support you during your entire cloud journey. Contact VAST IT Services to work through your cloud decision-making and succeed in your transition to cloud.

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