The Top 7 Cloud Providers for 2016

As a business platform, we at orga.zone focus on data management – storage and distribution – for small and medium businesses in a global marketplace. Our “Backend-as-a-Service” does only do a few things and some infrastructure questions must be solved in combination with other services. We help our customers with these providers around the globe.

While doing so, we have worked with different providers and services. Here is our list of cloud providers and their services with specific strengths and weaknesses:

aws amazon

AWS von Amazon

Let’s start with the obvious: the service by Amazon is powerful. You get Linux or Windows servers quickly and they have a ton of extra storage options, from plain drives to object storage offers. Really good is the DNS service “Route 53”, that allows you to do Geo DNS services – like: if someone from Japan asks for my Domain, answer with IP number 4 and if someone from Cuba requests the site, answer with IP number 6… That is the coolest and best configuration I have seen in a while. For plain computing power on the other hand, AWS is and has been in the upper price range. Not really expensive, but for larger machines with a global CDN configuration a hefty sum! Also: Happy Birthday, AWS – they are now 10 years on the market! Another pro for the service: it is indeed mature!

Google Cloud

Google Cloud Plattform

The next obvious choice is the platform by the search giant, which has also grown tremendously in the past years. It is a bit younger than the AWS offer, but with a backbone you can feel in the developers console. Some services are missing (like the Geo DNS capability) and some other services are unique (like access to some Google services, like maps or translation services). We are using some of the computing power of Google for our projects and the process is OK, deployment of computing instances are quick and straight forward.

microsoft azure cloud

Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

The 3rd global player in the row of our big names first is Microsoft with their platform. In terms of choices and availability the once hated company has changed so much, that I have to officially send my KUDOS to the company for a nice and well-working cloud management console. We have only a few dedicated computing instances there, but the service is stable, fast and offers everything on a level that partially exceeds AWS and Google. Especially the marketplace for installation images is nice. While AWS offers that, too – Microsoft did a good job in playing in the same league! They also have the storage and CDN options!

softlayer cloud

Softlayer cloud by IBM

This is a personal favorite of mine. My previous company ran more than 15 years on the Softlayer infrastructure and was offline for less than 5 days altogether. They have only grown since the time they were a little hosting company called “EV1servers” and are now my entry number 4 to the list of the big players in the market. Their object storage, dedicated servers, CDN, etc. offer is pretty complete. Their network is fast and most of all – their staff is reachable and friendly! Probably the fastest support replies I had with companies of that size!

atlantic net

ATLANTIC.net VPS Hosting

When we talk about the smaller guys, we leave the classical “cloud” offers. But let me throw the really nice guys from Atlantic.net into the round, if you are looking for pure computing power. Their VPS (virtual private servers) are incredible fast and stable. Their pricing is competitive and from all 7 service providers I have tested: nobody installs a CentOS 7 image faster. I am not sure, if they forgot to throttle their boxes down, but installing CentOS Linux 7 with a custom distribution took less than half the time compared to all others!

vultr cloud cdn

VULTR Global VPS Cloud

The second “smaller” player in that big list is VULTR – we took them as a pure VPS provider into our proxy network and they are the only ones with brainless IPv6 configuration (DigitalOcean.com does that, too) and working with IPv6 on the larger platforms should be the way they have it… as a checkbox on installation request. Additionally they offer storage services, too – yet I have not tested that!

digitalocean review

DigitalOcean Fast VPS

As a VPS provider on a cloud infrastructure, we selected DigitalOcean over 2 years ago and keep them close as our weapon of choice for spontaneous additional servers. Their installation and management console is very good for VPS installation. They also offer a nice and simple API to fire up additional servers on request.

Conclusion

If you just need VPS systems installed with a simple Linux installation: the smaller services are to prefer! If you just need a CDN, I also think that full scale cloud providers as Amazon or Google are “over featured” for that and services like CDN77.com or Cloudflare could be the better choice for you.

If you are looking for a Geo-senstive DNS service, I have not seen anything better than AWS. For VPS installation nothing faster than Atlantic.net.

So: there are more services (VPS.net, Deutsche Telekom Cloud, etc.) out there to evaluate and it all comes down to your specific needs. We will update this post when we find some new nuggets in the market! Stay tuned!

 

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