How Amazon Web Services (AWS) Compares to Cloud Competitors

 

Amazon Web Services (AWS), a forerunner of cloud networks, beats the competition with a mature, developed platform.Their current offering ranks high in reliability, with a competitive track record relative to cloud-market peers, Azure and Google Cloud. AWS is not only the oldest of the three, but also the largest in terms of scale. The platform currently offers over 140 services. This article compares AWS to other cloud computing solutions looking at the following factors: compute, storage and network, billing and pricing, support and uptime & security.


1. Compute

Moving all of your companies’ infrastructure to the cloud can be daunting, however, AWS allows users to scale their capacity without worrying about compromising security - users can trust the platform to keep information safe. Developers and architects looking to build new applications in the cloud can easily design the components, processes and workflow with AWS. By deploying on Amazon Web Services, companies are offered the advantage of instant scalability and elasticity, reduced operational effort, and automation. Go Pro opted to use Amazon ECS to better understand, manipulate, and manage their environment easier, reducing their compute footprint by 70%. (3)

AWS serverless technology has attracted interesting use cases due to their global capacity. National Geographic wanted to share over take advantage of AWS to make over 130 years of valuable archived content accessible and usable to customers. Using serverless technology, National Geographic reduced development time by months and enabled them to resolve the challenges of translating CMS stored images and manually tag each image at scale. (1)

AWS is the largest in terms of support, both geographically and in terms of supported data. Looking at multiple AWS data centers across over 21 regions around the world, The AWS Global Infrastructure enables companies to be extremely flexible and take advantage of the conceptually infinite scalability of the cloud. AWS compute capacity is increasing at an unparalleled rate - adding the compute capacity of a Fortune 500 company every day. They also have the largest support system in terms of the thousands of AWS partners globally.

2. Storage Capabilities

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides users with multiple storage options, and is the most established cloud on the market. It also offers a number of innovative storage products for hybrid and cloud-native service users, and additional features for businesses of every size and stage. While the add-on services make it easy for startups to use, AWS has been highly praised for their history serving large enterprises such as Honeywell, GoPro, NASA among others.(2,3) The Gartner report summed it up, saying, "AWS is the most mature, enterprise-ready provider, with the deepest capabilities for governing a large number of users and resource”. In Gartner’s Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), AWS earned Highest Placement for Ability to Execute and furthest for Completeness of Vision in 2019 for the 9th consecutive year. (5)

_gartner magic

(Above) Amazon Voted Leader in Gartner's 2019 Magic Quadrant 

4. Billing and Pricing

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is typically the consumer choice for pricing relative to other market leaders like Azure and Google Cloud, due to the innovative approach AWS takes to billing and pricing. AWS allows companies the ultimate flexibility with the option of packaged pricing for each additional service, allowing for small and medium-sized enterprises to choose and pay for the specific services that fit their needs. Some services are billed by the second. This is attractive for startups who can scale up as necessary, paying for additional services and storage as they grow, rather than paying for anticipated storage costs upfront.

Azure pricing fits enterprises, but isn’t nearly as flexible for small to medium businesses. Azure can be too expensive for startups with stricter budgets, and the company has been cited for hidden fees or misleading costs such as hosted server prices that don’t include any storages.

4. Support and Uptime

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offer four types of supports: basic, developers, business and enterprise. AWS has proved more reliable in terms of testing and tooling with solutions due to the experience they’ve amassed over the past decade working with clients like NASA and the FDA. Small businesses can benefit from the trial and tribulations AWS has already endured helping much larger entities migrate and deploy.

As far as competitor’s support, Azure has had multiple service-impacting incidents, including significant outages involving Azure Active Directory. As a result, Azure customers had no controls in order to mitigate the downtime and lost access due to lack of solutions offered by Azure according to the recently released Gartner Report. (7) Azure has little support available in terms of automatic management. Azure clients must manage their data manually, which means that they need somebody to directly operate Azure to ensure their data is properly maintained.

For Azure users ready to migrate, AWS Server Migration Service (SMS) now offers support for migrating virtual machines (VMs) running in Microsoft Azure to the AWS cloud. The new capability makes it easier to migrate existing applications running in Microsoft Azure to the AWS cloud to take advantage of greater reliability, faster performance, more security capabilities, and lower costs.

Google has also been criticized due to their much smaller pool of experienced MSP and infrastructure-centric professional services partners. Google has also been criticized as being immature in their ability to serve enterprises, lacking integration with enterprise systems as well as support. (6).

5. Security

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has a powerful and safe security model that has been improved since inception through their decade leading cloud computing services. Besides end users owning their data, AWS provides adaptive security tools that include data encryption, access control, and a robust firewall system. Not only is AWS the most established cloud player, but infrastructure is monitored 24/7 to help ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of end users data. Companies can build and test on the most secure global infrastructure.

Security at AWS starts with the core infrastructure. Custom-built for the cloud and designed to meet the more stringent security requirements in the world, AWS sponsors some of the largest government entities such as NASA, the Department of State, and Dept. of Homeland Security. While AWS is legally binded to being secure, smaller enterprises can find solace in AWS experience adhering to the strictest of security measures.

Conclusion

Businesses of every size can trust Amazon Web Services (AWS) to keep information secure with their adaptive security tools. When migrating to AWS, users choose security features that are right for their solution, including data encryption, access control, and a robust firewall system. Organizations of all sizes benefit from the security provided by AWS that is trusted by government entities like NASA, Honeywell. End users can trust the reliability of AWS, who remains the largest and most established Cloud leader. While their track record includes migrations as large as Netflix and as secretive as NASA, they aim to offer a diversified service offering designed to fit scaling companies’ growing needs. Plus, AWS offers flexible pricing to ensure users only pay for the services they use. Looking at AWS in comparison to cloud peer leaders, it makes sense that Gartner voted AWS as the leader in their recently published 2019 Magic Quadrant Report.

 

 

 

Resources

  1. National geographic case study - https://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/national-geographic/
  2. International span of AWS - https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/
  3. Honeywell - https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/
  4. Gopro - https://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/gopro-containers/
  5. Case studies NASA/Dept of homeland security - https://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/government-education/all-government-education-nonprofit/
  6. Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide - https://www.gartner.com/doc/reprints?id=1-1CMAPXNO&ct=190709&st=sb