Why do organizations often choose an AWS alternative?
There are plenty of AWS alternatives, and some are as big as the AWS cloud. Businesses are choosing these for a variety of reasons, including costs, security, privacy, and more.
The names that come to mind when someone says “public cloud” are the big guns--Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft’s Azure, IBM Cloud, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). However, in recent years, organizations are choosing AWS alternatives, GCP alternatives, and Azure alternatives.
These big four cloud computing platforms are well known and occupy the lion’s share in the cloud marketplace. But they are not alone. There are many other large cloud computing services like Oracle Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Fuga Cloud, and Digital Ocean.
There are also many other alternatives to AWS, like smaller public cloud hosts offering different hosting plans with block storage, cloud infrastructure, virtual machines, and database services.
Here’s an interesting stat. According to Synergy Research Group, worldwide cloud spending exceeded $45 billion in 2021. That’s a 37% growth from the third quarter of 2020.
However, they also note that alternative cloud hosting services racked up a massive $17B. This means that businesses are increasingly choosing smaller alternative cloud providers too.
Clearly, the big four face challenges and the name doesn’t seem to give them their competitive edge anymore.
Why are businesses choosing AWS alternatives?
There are many reasons to go with an alternative cloud services provider, but the most common reasons are as follows:
Cloud companies expand their business services to vast territories around the world to capture markets. However, not all services will meet compliance requirements or regulatory standards.
For example, cloud hosting platforms store data on multiple servers across the nation and even around the world. If your business is bound by location-specific regulatory requirements, this could lead to violations.
It’s often misunderstood, and companies think that cloud vendors take care of such issues, but that’s not the case. If you collect customer data, it’s your responsibility to keep the data within geographical boundaries or according to regulatory requirements.
Businesses often have processes that may require a hybrid cloud storage model. Some are in the cloud; the rest are stored locally.
Alternative cloud platforms tend to take a hands-on approach and may accommodate complex requirements. In some instances, businesses also spread out their data across vendors, including alternative cloud platforms.
AWS Cloud is known for its aggressive pricing options and a variety of cloud subscription models. This approach helps make cloud services accessible, but not for everyone.
Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Oracle Cloud may not always have the most cost-effective solutions for you. For example, you may not require all the services offered in an hourly or per-minute pricing model.
If you have an unmanaged plan, it is best to leverage an advanced management console to control cloud costs. You can also use a cost explorer like (AWS Cost Explorer) to identify hidden costs and access the benefits of turbo plans.
Some workloads also perform better on specific niche-based well-designed platforms. This makes it important to discuss your options with a managed service provider. Leverage their knowledge to identify the best solution for you, as they can provide competent, unbiased advice.
The cloud offers more than a flexible work environment. Each cloud service platform has its own expertise, but none of them is specialized in everything. Amazon focuses on stability but does not use the latest cloud technology. Google Cloud is good for big data and artificial intelligence, and Microsoft is excellent for cloud deployment with Windows-related workloads.
But what if your requirement is different and you need to focus on something else like security or privacy? What if you need help to enhance operations quickly and effectively? Sometimes smaller cloud providers are better placed to offer expert, personalized services to cater to your exact needs.
Technical support is as important as service. Your issues need to be prioritized and resolved quickly. Some cloud service providers charge you monthly, and you have to pay even if you don’t request any support. Others will bill you only for what you use.
Cloud computing giants might offer proper automated response systems. The downside may be the robotic component that comes with it.
However, if you need a hands-on approach, try considering other providers. Usually, alternative cloud platforms have teams with an account manager who provides more personalized services.
Here are some questions to ask a potential cloud services partner:
- How important is personalized support?
- Can they speak your native language?
- How much can they help with cloud migration?
- Will it be easy to migrate to another service in the future?
Celebrities are celebrities because people know them. Their public life is turbulent because they hardly escape the public eye. Easy to spot, you can say.
Now, apply that analogy to cloud services. Hackers have infiltrated widely used cloud service providers before. A recent example is how a threat actor socially engineered their way inside Uber’s AWS, Google Cloud, and HackerOne platforms.
The point is that hackers are well versed in the inner workings of corporate giants. Whereas smaller, alternative cloud providers rarely attract attention.
Some countries have loosely made laws that their governments take advantage of. For example, under the guise of the Patriot Act and the Freedom Act, the U.S. government can easily carry out mass surveillance of both citizens and companies.
Switzerland, in contrast, has better, strict privacy laws. Storing data in Switzerland is more secure than in the US or European Union.
Read more about the benefits of storing data in Switzerland here.
Businesses move to the cloud for different reasons. It can be to meet their data storage demands and security requirements or to enable new initiatives leveraging the clouds.
However, cloud computing giants may not always provide the best solution if you have specific requirements. Especially if you are looking for flexibility, niche-specific expertise, or cost-effective solutions, an alternative cloud services provider may fit the bill.
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