AWS alternatives to consider: Yes, the cloud king has worthy competitors

Amazon Web Services is almost synonymous with “cloud computing” for thousands of enterprises and SMBs. We won’t even attempt to explain why. Just take a look at the service catalog of AWS, and you’d know. Dozens of machine types, hundreds of software packages, and dozens of data storage options — it hardly gets any wider than that. Throw in the clout that AWS enjoys because of its client base, and you’ve got a giant in the cloud computing market, if ever there was one. Which cloud service provider should you open the door for then? That should be a settled question, right? Not quite, and you know that. In this guide, we will give you reasons to at least stop and ponder over the next cloud contract you sign. Hint: Amazon is not the undisputed champion of cloud; after all, and there are AWS alternatives.

Here are some scenarios and situations where you’d much rather look for a vendor with full scrutiny rather than signing a deal with AWS without giving it any sort of thought.

AWS alternatives: Dedicated bare-metal performance is offered elsewhere

Virtualization is the backbone of the cloud, and it comes with hefty price tags. Virtualization systems rely on codes that smartly identify every workload request, and assign it to the right virtual machine. Of course, higher the number of these codes, denser the layer becomes, which ultimately slows down virtual machines.

Some AWS alternatives are niche cloud service providers who’re focusing on diluting this layer, and pacing the way for delivery of bare-metal level performance for Docker containers on their virtual machines. This means that you can get more out of your cloud spending by going with such a vendor. Though this is a need-specific and almost niche requirement, there absolutely is a market for this, which AWS does not rule.

You want independent accommodation in dedicated ‘boxes’

SMBs and small enterprises often don’t realize that, ultimately, they’re sharing server space with other clients of the cloud service vendor. So, there will always be a layer of settings and defaults you’ll need to live with. Plus, there are the nagging questions of how safe it is to have your data co-located in a server.

If being delivered a “slice” of a complete machine is not how you want to endorse cloud computing, you’d have every reason to consider AWS alternatives. IBM Cloud, for instance, offers dedicated bare-metal independent boxes for businesses, allowing any level of customization and choices around SSD, RAM, and processor core information. This independent access is available under a monthly lease model.

Why buy a sword when a needle will do?

With so much talk about enterprises generating gigabytes of data every day, it would seem impossible to think of systems, people, and even businesses that just don’t need a lot of computing and storage resources to stay in shape, unlike “The Nutty Professor,” who was clearly not in shape. Too many carbs! OK, but this is another subject.

Well, that is true, though, as several websites continue to do as well as always even when all they use are static web pages, CPanel, limited storage on shared servers, and the bare-minimum cloud computing resources. For any kind and number of reasons, these websites and their admin folks have no benefit out of entering into a contract with AWS, as their basic cloud computing requirements are best met by AWS alternatives that are niche players focusing on entry-level clients.

Buying solutions, not platforms

Cloud computing alternatives to AWS

The biggest mistake enterprises make, especially those that end up ruing their choice of cloud vendors, is to buy platforms when all they need is a solution. Office 365 and G Suite are just two examples of power-packed, scalable, and ultra-affordable cloud-powered business solutions.

Getting a small team of developers on board can help you with customized add-ons that can integrate your web browsers with these applications. If that’s all you need, why even consider getting into a contract with a cloud giant the size of Amazon? Remember, AWS offers platforms for you to build business-specific solutions. If all you want is a quick solution, then buy one, and don’t overspend on a platform.

Automated scale-up and optimization too good to ignore

A perfect example is Google App Engine, which your company’s in-house or hired developers can use to create basic Python codes. The illustrious part is that Google took care of the data storage, load balancing, scaling, and configuration.

The means that developers can quickly create new codes, and Google can then scale up the resultant applications, and charge business only on the basis of the increasing users. This helps businesses keep cloud application development and maintenance costs under check, and also means they can make things work with smaller teams of developers. In such a scenario, the ease and convenience on the menu outmatches that of AWS.

For enterprises aligned to advanced data science

AWS has often been pointed out for its seemingly oversimplified approach to data science. On the other hand, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and even Amazon (in its non AWS solutions) deliver their data science and machine-learning capabilities in the form of cloud-based tools.

This helps enterprises leverage machine learning and advanced data science-powered tools for their business applications. Also, these tools help clean your data, and improve and automate your testing and training methods. So, for businesses that want all kinds of choices when it comes to algorithm level customizations and data models, AWS is just the start of the search.

Windows is all you want to hear, see, feel, and experience

Amazon Web Services

Is there anything wrong with that? We don’t think so. And as long as you feel so, does it even matter? For enterprises that only want to be running Windows systems, Microsoft’s cloud solutions appear much closer to home than anything else. Speaking of running, Seth from “Superbad” should run more (Forrest Gump ran enough, that is for sure!) but he was pretty intelligent, though let’s back on the right path here.

Transferring existing licenses when you move to Microsoft cloud is a breezy affair. You can even implement a hybrid strategy from a license management perspective, keeping some on-premises, and moving some onto the cloud.

Alternatives may suit you better

AWS is massive. AWS is great. AWS powers the digital world. However, it’s not the only wheel of the vehicle. So consider AWS alternatives that might eventually and actually suit you better.

Photo credit: Shutterstock/Pixabay

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