Until few years back, there were not many cloud service providers. Recent trend of businesses to move towards hybrid clouds has seen new entrants. I compiled a list of top ten cloud service providers. Note that I have not arranged them in any order like “good to bad” or “bad to good”. The list is just the ten most used and useful names in the field. Let us know how you would rate them.
Cloud Computing Services
1] Microsoft Cloud Services
There are many cloud services to the name of Microsoft, including OneDrive, Office 365 and Azure. OneDrive and Office web apps are good. As a storage and sync software, OneDrive is among the most accepted cloud storage service. Azure is good, but people have their own preferences. Going by what I read on the web and elsewhere, Azure has still a long way to go before it gains more customers. What are the changes that Microsoft can make to Azure to sell it more and to sell it across the planet? As of now, I’ve heard they are adding more datacenters to Azure for faster operations.
2] IBM Cloud
IBM cloud has two main offerings:
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and
- Cloud Software (Software as a Service – SaaS)
It also offers Platform as a service and calls it BPaaS (Business Platforms as a Service). The company has been assisting people build their own private clouds as well as streamlining these private clouds with public clouds so as to create a hybrid cloud that organizations (clients) can use. The best thing about it is that you do not have to spend much time and money to build and streamline the hybrids.
Because the IBM engineers are experts, they do it fast and they do it cheaper. In my other article about hybrid clouds too, I mentioned IBM being the best option for hybrid clouds as their service is easy to set up and gives you good security for both your private cloud as well as the IBM cloud products.
Note: I will explain SaaS, PaaS and IaaS in a separate article in detail. For now, SaaS is when cloud software is installed on your device for services such as backup and sync etc. PaaS is where the cloud offers you a platform for performing things. Instead of investing into things or customizing them, developers – for example – can develop and test their products on PaaS. Infrastructure as a service is self-explanatory. You do not have to buy and set up infrastructure. You just use the Infrastructure provided by different cloud providers, especially the IBM. Not only that, you can add or reduce things you need and pay only for the things you use, making it the cheapest option for businesses.
3] Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
Basically Platform as a Service (PaaS), the Amazon Elastic Cloud offers a platform for developers and students, a place to develop their apps. It also offers them facilities to test the programs just like the VMWare. From Amazon EC2’s home page:
“Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.”
Talking about Amazon EC2, it is necessary to mention how some hacker created a genuine account with EC2 and used it for Sony Playstation Data Breach. That, however, does not mean that IBM clouds have a weaker security. They employ SSL and keep the processes encrypted all through your session.
4] Citrix Cloud Platform
Another big name in the IT industry, Citrix is now planning to go king size. Check out www.cloud.com to see that some wave is about to come. I cannot, at this point, say why it has reserved the domain and asking for email IDs, but I think it would be something that both individuals and businesses can use in addition to their own private cloud. But that is future. Right now, Citrix’s home page says:
“Citrix CloudPlatform, powered by Apache CloudStack, is the industry’s only future-proofed, application-centric cloud solution proven to reliably and efficiently orchestrate both traditional enterprise and cloud-native application workloads within a single unified cloud management platform.”
This statement makes it look like Citrix is oriented more towards hybrids instead of offering a complete public cloud solutions for their clients. I may have interpreted it wrong. Please correct me if so.
5] Joyent Cloud
Joyent was chosen by Dell for supporting its own cloudware. If a network like “LinkedIn” choses Joyent for its operation, you can be sure that the cloud service provider is one of the best. On its homepage, Joyent has the following to make it obvious that this too, is for hybrids:
“High-Performance Hybrid Cloud for Today’s Demanding Web and Mobile Apps”.
Basically, it seems that the company teams up with organizations to help them with private clouds and hybrid clouds. Visit www.joyent.com to know more about the company. The Wikipedia entry on Joyent will confuse you.
6] BlueLock Cloud Services
The company projects itself as a data recovery service. It coined a new phrase that goes “Recovery as a Service”. It’s obvious that your data, if rendered unusable, can be recovered using Bluelock Cloud Services. This comes into the category of SaaS.
The company also offers IaaS. Businesses can use just the amount of infrastructure they want and increase or reduce the items being used based upon the requirement. Among its many services, it also offers a cloud solution named VMware vCloud Datacenter Service Provider. According to the website, this is mainly used to create Hybrid clouds with VMware tools.
7] Verizon Cloud
This might come as a surprise for many. Verizon is basically a telecom company and offers on-demand videos etc. Well, it acquired Terremark and is all set to provide cloud services. I am including it in this list because Verizon has been very popular while Terremark has a good background of providing cloud services. With more than 50 datacenters across the planet, I am sure Verizon-Terremark is going to be a hit in the near future.
Basically, they would be Infrastructure as a service and talks are on to offer some products of Oracle as a cloud service to their customers. That way, users will be using the latest version of the product as the Verizon/Terremark will kept them updated.
8] SalesForce Cloud – Ruby Platform as a Service
Salesforce is a known name and it recently acquired Hereku, the company that offers an ever expanding Ruby platform. Lower rates and greater flexibility make it appealing to business houses. Again, I believe this would be a hybrid cloud instead of people opting entirely for the Ruby – without on-premise cloud. Also, Hereku is Paas (Platform as a service) that enables developers to not only build, but also test their programs.
9] RackSpace Cloud
This is one of the most popular cloud service providers that run their offerings mainly on OpenSpace code. The latter is an open source code for developers interested in creating applications related to cloud. Rackspace offers all three services: SaaS; PaaS; and IaaS. With more and more people trusting Rackspace (mainly because it is built on open source code), the cloud is poised to grow both horizontally and vertically.
10] Google Cloud Platform
Though there are not many takers for this, Google Cloud Platform does deserve a mention when talking about top ten list of cloud service providers. The main ones are Google App Engine and Google Compute. There are several other Google cloud services too, such as Google Cloud Print and Google Drive. Logically, you can create apps on Google App engine and test them using Google Compute that charges by minutes you use the service. I cannot comment on the state of Google Cloud Platform as of now because Google has a habit of shutting up things suddenly, but I would sure like to draw your attention to Google Apps that are becoming an integral part of most businesses.
The above are results of my research about cloud computing. Again, I remind you that the list of top 10 cloud service providers is not ranked in any specific order. Rather, it just contains the top most used and popular services with a proper scope in the near future. Some have already made it to the top, like Amazon… few others need a little changes to further customize user needs, like Azure… and still others need proper marketing to educate people about the cloud services’ worth, like the Google Compute Engine. With a heavy research done to compile this list, I would like to listen from you about your views and experiences about these or any other cloud service providers. Please share them using the comments section below.
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