Networks

Cloud Computing Providers

Amazon, a well-known organization that provides many technologies and services, offers a highly sophisticated and advanced cloud service, AWS (Amazon Web Services); some of its various products include applications dealing with computing, storage, developer and management tools, networking, databases, and security services. Amazon describes its cloud services as being able to boost productivity, lower IT costs, as well as increase flexibility and scalability. In cloud computing, Amazon offers its virtual servers, Amazon EC2, and Amazon LightSail, which launches and manages virtual private servers. Additionally, Amazon VPS deals with isolated Cloud resources. By using AWS Elastic Beanstalk, starting and managing web apps has never been easier. Amazon also offers highly advanced cloud storage methods such as Amazon S3, which is scalable storage, and Amazon Glacier, low-cost archive storage. When regarding Cloud databases, Amazon Aurora is a high performance managed relational database. Amazon RDS manages relational databases for MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, as well as MariaDB.

Gaming, my favorite subject involving computing, is an area that Amazon focuses on extensively. Amazon Game Lift is a managed service used for deploying, operating, and scaling dedicated game servers; this service is primarily intended for session-based multiplayer games. With this service, server infrastructure can scale on-demand and can quickly match players with available game sessions. One of the best features of Game Lift is the ability to pay for only what bandwidth or resources one uses, not on a monthly or annual basis. To sum it all up, Amazon does indeed offer a wide variety of services that make it an ideal choice for a Cloud provider. AWS offers excellent functionality, scalability, and is priced relative to its performance. AWS provides several support plan pricing models, including Developer (greater of $29.00 or 3% monthly AWS charges), Business (greater of $100.00 or 10% of monthly AWS charges for the first $0–$10K, 7% of monthly AWS charges from $10K–$80K, 5% of monthly AWS charges from $80K–$250K, 3% of monthly AWS charges over $250K), and Enterprise (greater of $15,000.00 or 10% of monthly AWS charges for the first $0–$150K, 7% of monthly AWS charges from $150K–$500K, 5% of monthly AWS charges from $500K–$1M, 3% of monthly AWS charges over $1M).

Google Cloud Platform (GCP), another excellent option, offers unparalleled web-based services, which are greatly strengthened form its search market dominance. What separates GCP from its competitors is its developer-focused products (something not found in other cloud platforms). GCP organizes its cloud services into nine categories- compute, storage and database, networking, big data, internet of things, machine learning, identity and security, management tools, and developer tools. GCP also differs in their pricing models, offering no up-front costs, pay as you go models, and no termination fees. Google allows you to only purchase what you require and even provides a simple calculator on its main page to decipher and estimate your plan’s cost. As a current user of the various cloud offerings from Google, I certainly love the flexibility of their products, the ability to quickly scale our operations, as well as enjoy the entire G Suite-range of applications.

Microsoft Azure has claimed superiority in cloud technology for some time, providing industries with leading cloud services. AWS has been around for longer than most of its competitors, thus enabling them to have a large user base and efficient support structure. Many Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft Azure, further solidifying their role as a trusted choice. Similar to its competitors, Microsoft Azure offers various support plans, including Basic, Developer ($29/month), Standard ($100/month), and Professional Direct ($1,000/month). With the powerhouse of a company such as Microsoft leading the charge, Azure is backed by a robust security model and enhanced functionality with other Microsoft products.

Last, but certainly not least, is Salesforce’s cloud platform, focused primarily on a CRM basis. For maintaining contact with customers, storing data that is available from any location in the world, designing sales strategies, and compiling data to decipher industry trends, Salesforce offers unparalleled business abilities. Sales Cloud, Salesforce’s cloud utility, comes in four CRM editions, including Essentials ($25/month), Professional ($75/month), Enterprise ($150/month), and Unlimited ($300/month). While Salesforce’s cloud products are not as robust as some of its competitors, for a sales-focused organization, its abilities are hard to beat.

With the magnitude of available cloud providers out there, the selection process needs to be sophisticated. Aspects of each cloud provider need to be carefully examined and applied to the organization’s specific requirements. So, what makes a good cloud provider, good? Service availability, or the calculations on how much uptime/downtime the network has, should be a top priority for any business. Response time and application performance should be sought after as well, as if a large portion of an organization’s operations are on the Cloud, it must perform well, be able to scale, as well as adapt to changes on the fly. Utilization and capacity are both necessary for any cloud adoption, as many providers charge you for either how much processing power you utilize or the storage you consume. Avoiding extra charges for failing to estimate your needs correctly can be quite costly; this is why understanding the various cost models is so vital, like options such as ‘pay as you go’ and ‘cloud bursting.’

While cloud computing is a rising star in the tech world, many companies are frantically attempting to make the change as quickly as possible. To help prepare for this switch to cloud computing, I have listed some helpful tips for Cloud adoption. One of the first aspects of transitioning to cloud computing is simply understanding what it is, and more importantly, what it can do for your company. To ensure that you get all the benefits such as enhanced collaboration, efficiency, flexibility, and customer engagement, you must do your homework.

Cloud computing can be confusing, and many think the switch will be quick and painless; however, the transition can take a significant amount of time and human resources; to help reduce this, it is advised to create an effective cloud computing implementation and investment plan. The plan should be developed as a long-term project with many areas that need attention. Next, training is going to be a significant factor in the success of your adaptation to cloud computing. Hiring or training skilled IT professionals who are proficient in cloud computing is necessary, as it can be quite a headache for an amateur.

As enhanced flexibility is one of the most sought-after advantages of cloud computing, it is even more important to remain flexible after adopting the Cloud. Technology grows and changes at such a fast rate. It is crucial to stay ahead of the curve; this applies to new cloud technologies, rules, regulations, and training. With more organizations switching to the Cloud, it is quickly becoming the new best-practice approach, providing organizations a clear pathway into the world of tomorrow.

References

Maguire, J. (2020, August 10). Top 16 Cloud Computing Companies 2020. Retrieved September 14, 2020, from https://www.datamation.com/cloud-computing/cloud-computing-companies.html.

Amazon. (2017). Cloud Products. Retrieved from https://aws.amazon.com/products/.

Google Cloud Pricing Calculator. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2020, from https://cloud.google.com/products/calculator.

Azure Support Plans Comparison: Microsoft Azure. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2020, from https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/support/plans/.

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