Are you in charge of selecting your company’s cloud provider? Not sure where to begin?
You’re not alone.
It’s a big choice that can have a ripple effect across your entire enterprise. If you’re looking for an easy answer, you might be out of luck. But there have been reports conducted around the subject that can help guide you.
Let’s sort through the information that’s available and look at some factors to consider before making your decision.
Network management company ThousandEyes recently conducted a benchmark study which compared the global network performance of the “big three” public cloud providers — Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft AZURE.
According to Zeus Kerravala from Network World, ThousandEyes was focused on the cloud providers’ network performance (latency, packet loss, jitter) and connectivity architecture. They also ran user connectivity tests from 27 cities around the world.
Despite the study focusing on global performance, there were still some useful findings:
- AWS relies on public internet to connect a user and the AWS region. Azure and Google try to keep user traffic on their private network when connecting to their cloud. This difference in technical design can affect the speed of your cloud network connection.
- In areas where fiber routes aren’t readily available, AWS performance can vary significantly. The report used Asia as an example, where the standard deviation on AWS network performance is 30% higher than Google and Azure.
- Regional factors contribute to network performance in certain instances based on the provider. For example, there isn’t a dedicated fiber line set up between Europe and India, which can make Google’s cloud service performance much worse depending on your hosting location.
- All three cloud service providers continue to invest in their networks to fill gaps like this, but there will always be variances in the different networks — and it’s good to have the data to uncover what those are.
Most of the differences in service performance appear to be circumstantial, with the report noting that the only way to know which provider is functioning better is to collect data and measure the performance yourself. Since the internet is constantly changing, what might look like lower performance of one provider may appear different tomorrow.
Unfortunately, cloud services don’t come with set price tags and figuring out the cost for your business can be complicated.
Ultimately, your price is going to vary based on your business needs and circumstances. Cloud management company RightScale was able to conduct an analysis of the big three options and make some general conclusions about pricing:
- If customers use a solid-state memory drive, then Microsoft Azure tends to be the most cost-effective option.
- If you don’t need SSDs, then Google usually comes out as the best deal.
- AWS is most often the middle-priced option among the three providers.
- Once you factor in discounts for longer-term contracts, it becomes even murkier. Google generally has the lowest on-demand pricing for VMs, while Azure usually meets or beats AWS on on-demand pricing.
It’s certainly worth knowing the exact solution your business needs before contacting sales representatives.
Now that you have general ideas about performance and price among the top providers, here are three things to consider during the sales process. This information was gathered by Kristin Knapp from TechTarget.com:
- Make sure that provider is fully committed to understanding your business and the specific objectives you hope to achieve with the cloud. If they are just focused on technology outcomes, they may deliver excellent technology, but it may not be relevant to your business.
- Organizations within a specific vertical market — such as financial services, healthcare or retail — should ensure providers have knowledge of their specific market. This might mean that your organization opts for a smaller niche provider — even if they’re used alongside services from a more significant player like Amazon Web Services.
- The location of a cloud provider’s data centers should also be considered. If your application is very sensitive, you want it to be close to where your users are to ensure the best experience.
Getting information out of providers themselves can be difficult. Making the final decision is typically a long, back and forth process. Should you go with a large provider or is there a niche one that might be a better fit for your environment? How much are you willing to spend? There’s a lot of information to consider.
To make sure you make the right decision, we recommend working with a consultant. We’ll assess your environment, find cloud solutions that make sense for it, help you decide and help
you install it. It significantly speeds up the process and ensures you have the right solution in place. You can contact us here!