Since the early days of Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) back in 2006, cloud computing has come a very long way. What started off as a basic service has evolved into a comprehensive offering that includes a range of functionality as real-time analytics, database as a service, and computing. Cloud computing is also no longer limited to Amazon. Other major organizations have come to the party including Microsoft and Google.

The sheer wealth of choices that are out there entails that it can be difficult to choose a provider.

How can you ensure you find a cloud-computing provider that is right for your needs? How can you proactively ensure that your provider can grow with you as your needs evolve?

Here at Mentastack, we have been using cloud providers since they first started to emerge. We integrated a range of clients apps with cloud platforms and know their shortcomings and benefits. Gathered a cloud platform base, we understand that it is quite exhausting to select a provider correctly.

If you’re struggling to choose a cloud provider, our handy guide will help you to focus on the factors that matter and ignore any unnecessary noise. Contact us and we will select the cloud provider which will save your money and meet all the requirements.

Let’s start by taking a look at the types of services that are on offer before progressing to a comparison of the major providers in terms of cost and features.

Computing Services

Computing services typically require a per-hour charge. They offer the configuration of the virtual machines according to user needs and location, memory, and storage capacity. The ability to choose the virtual machine location is useful because it allows you to minimize network lags, co-locate services. However, while virtual machines are extremely flexible, they incur the most maintenance and configuration.

 

Many contemporary applications are installed in containers, such as Docker. The major cloud providers offer users an opportunity to orchestrate and deploy these containers. Containers give you a reliable environment in which you can run your code while making development tasks and deployment. Some cloud vendors provide you with a chance to take things a step further by managing all environment tasks on your behalf so that you don’t need to worry about where the code is running. All you need to do is deploy the code. You even have the option to deploy code with a delay in response to a certain time or a given trigger event. Read about the CI/CD approach in software development that significantly improves the working process and team-client collaboration.

Storage

Cloud computing storage services typically take the form of a generic object storage that can store arbitrary binary data. Some form of object storage is on offer from all cloud providers; however, they do differ from one another in terms of how the data organization and the system configuration.

In some cases, you can use cloud computing storage to host static websites without the need for a web hosting.

If the security issues crossed your mind, you’ll be pleased to learn that the ability to encrypt data is a standard feature. The majority of cloud storage providers also allow you to activate version tracking. That lets you see the changes made, by whom and retrieve data overwritten by mistake.

Databases

There are many different database types available; as such, database-as-a-service has become an integral element of cloud platform services. The databases that are covered include traditional forms, such as MySql and SQL Server, NoSQL alternatives such as MongoDB, and big data offerings such as Hadoop. All the cloud computing providers typically offer proprietary database platforms in both relational and No-SQL options. For example, Microsoft and Amazon offer a range of standard databases including Postgres and MySql.

 

When you’re choosing a cloud service provider, in addition to taking the type of database into consideration, you should also bear in mind other important factors such as how the database performs and is hosted, the extent to which it is scalable, and any risk of redundancy. For example, if the database is hosted on an SSD that is connected directly to the server, it will be much faster than one that involves an arrangement of more traditional shared hard drives.

Analytics

It’s highly likely that you will be seeking a system that offers you analytic insights into the patterns that can be observed in your data. The offerings that are available from cloud computing providers in this regard are diverse. Services typically range from more simple tools, such as Tableau, through to highly complex machine-learning functionality.

Analytics services can also include the ability to query sources of big data as a means of analyzing real-time data streams. Furthermore, some providers offer the functionality you need to apply SQL-like queries to sources of data that do not typically support queries; for example, some of the storage systems described above. You can benefit from the ability to simultaneously query across multiple sources, thereby deriving a single result from different datasets. Also, you can perform analysis of real-time data streams such as stock prices.

Cloud computing companies provide you with an access to advanced data analytics tools of this nature. Also, they give you an opportunity to harness powerful technologies, such as machine learning and AI. That helps to train your application to recognize the patterns that matter the most to you.

Auxiliary Services

In addition to all the services described above, the providers have a range of messaging and network services. They allow companies to move their full IT infrastructure across to the cloud. Such services include routers, load balancers, and firewalls; services that facilitate the scalability, such as caches, queues, and content delivery networks; and messaging services.

There are also typically a range of developer tools available; for example, source control, online development environments, deployment management, and server buildout. On top of all that, you can even access platforms that allow you to host and develop a range of applications, from games to business tools.

The list is extensive and today more and more services appear on a daily basis. As such, you can rest assured that, whatever you want to build, there will be something out there to meet your needs.

Security

Let’s briefly return to that all-important issue of security; something that should be top of your wish list when choosing a cloud service provider. Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, the three biggest providers, have developed a wide range of expertise in this field because they have had to; they are all major attack targets. Their vast experience has translated into a range of security offerings that span a range of services including physical and virtual data center security, encryption, and OS-level security. All major providers constantly complete security surveillance and operate highly specialized access controls.

 

Security is a complicated beast that poses a lot of problems. Through using a cloud provider, you have a chance to tap into the expertise that major corporations develop. As such, hosting your app there make you benefit from a stringent level of security than your own server.

Need some help?

There is no sense to select the first cloud company you found or waste your time comparing the dozens of them. Contact us at [email protected] and we will provide you with a detailed estimation of timing and price for your project. Give us a call at +1 844.880.5473 and we will give you a solid plan how we will turn your idea into reality as a bonus.

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