Comparing the different cloud providers can look like comparing apples to oranges. The problem lies in the fact that all cloud providers may appear to be the same from a distance. However, upon close inspection, you’ll find out that they are completely different from one another. To put it simply, comparing different cloud providers isn’t an easy task for anyone.
Ever since cloud computing rose in popularity, different providers have reinvented their cloud services with new pricing models, new configurations, and employed other methods to help their cloud services stand out from the rest of the competition. This has resulted in making things even more complex when it comes to creating a price comparison.
However, people interested in purchasing cloud services must perform fair comparisons of the different cloud service providers to make the right choice for their business. Here, we are going to explore the different ways that buyers can compare cloud service providers and what key metrics to look for when comparing different cloud service providers.
What to Look for in a Cloud Provider?
When comparing cloud service providers, it is important that you identify what to look for in their services. We are going to look at some of them which include the following:
A cloud service provider should offer top-notch security since they will be storing your business’s sensitive data. Most providers have their own security measures. However, you should look for someone with internationally recognized certifications.
Another important thing to look for is data security when you are shifting your IT data to the cloud. Compliance, risk, and privacy are important factors you should consider. You must ensure that the cloud provider chosen by you has the necessary controls for protecting the sensitive data. If the cloud provider has data centers in another country, the laws of the country will regulate your data. Therefore, it is recommended to choose a cloud provider that has data centers nears you.
Reputation and trust are everything when you’re trusting a cloud provider to store your data. You should read testimonials, reviews, and case studies to get an idea of a cloud provider’s reputation and trust levels. Ask to speak to existing clients to find out whether a cloud provider stands true to its claim. You must also find out if the cloud providers you have shortlisted have any certifications and accreditations as well since you should only work with a cloud provider with a good reputation.
You should also consider the tier of the data center offered by the cloud provider. The reliability and uptime of the data center are related to the tier and its recommended to search for top tier data centers. This will allow you to take advantage of greater reliability from the cloud service provider.
5. Don’t Go for White-Labelling
White labelling is all about rebranding products and services offered by one company to make it seem as if it is offered by another company. This is a practice common among cloud providers. You need to avoid white label cloud providers who don’t control their data centers.
Factors to Consider When Comparing Cloud Providers
There are three main factors you should consider when you’re comparing cloud providers, and these include:
- Types of provider
- Services offered
To give you a better idea, we are going to discuss all the factors below.
1. Comparison Based on Type of Cloud Provider
When you’re comparing different cloud providers, you should be extremely diligent in verifying their pricing, overall capabilities, reliability, and business stability. There are also different dimensions of cloud services which you should explore. They include:
- Risk and security
- Location of data centers
- Countries and regions of operation
- Business stability and size
- Compliance and audit capacity
- Trustworthiness and reliability
- Contract terms and pricing models
- Robust API, self-service, and ease of use
- Service-Level Agreements (SLA)
The main cloud service providers dominating the cloud industry are Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. They are followed by various small regional providers in different global regions.
One of the first things you must consider is which out of the ‘Big Three’ should you target? Should your business acquire the services of two of the Big Three cloud providers to avoid vendor lock-in and ensure competition? You may choose one or another provider depending on the area your business operates in or choose to work with small providers that will provide you with unique services.
2. Comparison Based on Cloud Services Offered
Assessing the different cloud services provided by cloud providers is a difficult task. To make things easier, here are some of the things you should consider when comparing their services:
- Value-added services
- Underlying technology
- Actual performance
- Chip generation and CPU technology
- Storage configurations and technology
- Service specifications
- Size or class of a cloud service
The first thing to compare for end-users should be the specifications of the cloud services. After this, you should be doing some price comparisons. However, the specifications of any cloud provider only offer a very selective view of its overall performance.
The factors that can be explored readily are the chip technology on the physical server, the volume size and storage type, the amount of memory, and the number of vCPUs. However, cloud providers’ services don’t live up to how they were advertised sometimes. Therefore, you must look at the pricing to get a complete comparison.
3. Comparison Based on Cloud Prices
Understanding the price of cloud services is not an easy task because cloud providers are continuously offering completely newer services or newer versions of existing services while their pricing strategies are focused on achieving a competitive edge against the competitors.
There are straightforward pricing models, but others can be complicated. When trying to understand cloud service pricing, you should look at the following factors:
- Bundling of services
- Billing increments
- Price of individual services
- Discount strategies for multi-year commitments
- Currency fluctuations for global businesses
The one constant about cloud services is that their prices continue to drop, and discounts are available readily to attract new customers. This is a race that hyperscale providers are engaging in to grab as much of the market as possible and it will end or slow down eventually. Currently, it works to the advantage of consumers.
What makes pricing comparisons complex is that placing workloads to the cloud needs more than a single server along with network, storage, and other services that are required to meet the needs of total application. A business may get a discount by getting a multi-year contract. However, that doesn’t make a lot of sense when cloud prices continue to fall.
Looking at the picture from the perspective of a consumer, calculating the different pricing options for cloud services can be a confusing experience that requires the expertise of financial experts. However, consumers should look to find new ways for monitoring the price of cloud services and make decisions about who to partner with and what cloud services to use.
by Bobby J Davidson
We love our company and we love what we do. Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business! As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.
The company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing a one call source for organizations in need of Enterprise IT Consulting and Management. We also provide a line of products in the boutique Cloud Server space with a touch of high-end website strategy consulting and design services. We personalizes the IT Service experience with a team approach, working with clients from diverse sectors of industry, including energy services, financial, legal, entertainment, healthcare, hospitality, retail and general and/or corporate business. percentotech.com/