The use of cloud computing is on the rise, which means that more providers are available for you to use. The problem with having so many choices is choosing which one is the best for you. There are things to consider like security, up-time guarantees, extra features, the cost of service and a number of miscellaneous features that you need to take into account. Let’s compare the five most popular cloud Competitors.
Amazon Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2)
Amazon’s EC2 service is likely one of the oldest cloud-hosting options in existence. This gives is the unique advantage of having a very long track record and the slight disadvantage of being in use by more people and businesses. EC2 acts as a baseline for what you should expect from cloud hosting. You pay for the services you use and have the ability to pay for reserved features with a small monthly fee. You get a moderate level of security that uses security certificates and “industry-standard” encrypted VPN connections.
The cons of EC2 lie in the fact that it only provides a moderate level of security. While the monitoring is superb, the service-level agreement only guarantees 99.95% up-time. EC2 also comes with its own proprietary protocol, which your business may not support without some work.
GoGrid offers a number of features aimed at providing raw power for developers and computation-intensive operations. They utilize an array of SSD cloud servers with replication, MapReduce, dynamic schema and an architecture aimed at being able to scale up when you need it to. Among the cloud providers listed here, they appear to support the most operating systems. This advantage is likely thanks to their use of Open Source MongoDB software.
There are two big problems with GoGrid, however. The first concerns their hourly, monthly and annual prices. On average, they tend to be as costly as more premium services. The second concerns their fairly lax security. They provide little in the way of securing your connection to their servers and there are various reports about security breeches when using GoGrid.
GoDaddy’s cloud servers come bundled with 8 datacenters, an extensive support system and support for 5 instance types. Their service is offered on a monthly fee schedule, which can be one of the cheaper solutions for cloud hosting compared with other providers.
The problems with GoDaddy’s cloud hosting services extend to their poor security, lack of certifications and the impossibility to scale up. Compared to Amazon’s EC2, they have extremely poor monitoring and thus you can run into some problems with their service being unavailable.
Sparknode Cloud Hosting
Sparknode’s service offers an excellent and cost-efficient approach for businesses that are just experimenting with cloud hosting. You receive ample bandwidth transfer, the ability to scale up and the ability to use up to 8 Intel Xenon Core processors. On top of those features, Sparknode Cloud Hosting offers a level of support that is comparable to GoDaddy while having a monitoring service that rivals EC2 in its comprehensiveness.
While the pricing is competitive and nearly unbeatable for businesses that require fewer resources, the higher tiers are somewhat pricy compared to other providers.
Terremark provides their services with the standard pay-as-you-go pricing model. They offer three types of plans to the public, two of which come with managed hosting. Terremark provides nine datacenters around the United States, which gives them the ability to handle a very large amount of work.
While Terremark provides fairly robust hardware, they are severely lacking when it comes to the quality of their support and monitoring. There are numerous reports of outages affecting service with little-to-no response from Terremark support.
Choosing the Best Cloud Provider
The best hosting provider for you is specific to your needs. Consider your business’s comfort with dealing with technical issues, how much data you’ll be transferring and how reliable you need your cloud provider to be. How much down time can you afford? More importantly, how secure do you need your cloud host to be?
Contrary to what you might think, all the aforementioned factors are more important than the cost of cloud hosting. Though the five cloud providers listed here are among the leaders in the service they provide, it’s still a good idea to explore them on your own. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, as the best provider for you should always be able to answer anything you can ask.