Is your organization considering bringing workloads to the cloud? If so, you are clearly in the majority. According to a 2016 study from CompTIA, over 90 percent of companies claim to use some form of cloud computing.
Cloud computing offers a host of benefits including flexibility, cost savings, more robust disaster recovery, increased security and collaboration, mobility and improved reliability and productivity to name a few. Learn more about the benefits of cloud computing.
If you’re just beginning to consider your cloud technology solution options, you will find that there are a myriad of choices.
Some of your options include major players like Amazon (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and IBM Cloud. There are also many smaller niche players.
AWS - Amazon is the market leader with 57% of the market running their applications. They offer a range of services with some of the key options being Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Elastic Block Store (EBS), Glacier Storage, Elastic Beanstalk, Simple Storage Service (S3), Relational Database Service (RDS), and DynamoDB NoSQL database.
Microsoft Azure – Microsoft is undoubtedly one of the top contenders in the cloud technology vendor market. By most accounts, it is the second largest vendor behind Amazon. Microsoft offers options in the three major categories of cloud computing – Software as a Service (Saas) Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
IBM Cloud – Now considered by some to be one of the “big three,” IBM’s cloud computing service has seen significant growth in the past few years. Drilling down into IBM options can be confusing as they use a number of different brand names. According to Datamation.com “The ‘IBM Cloud’ label is an umbrella category that covers hardware, software and services that helps enterprises build private clouds, as well as its Bluemix public cloud services, which offers some PaaS and IaaS options.
Google Cloud Platform – Depending on what or who you read, Google and IBM are both contenders for a spot in the top three. Suffice it to say that they are both “top four” and Google’s cloud revenue continues to climb. Along with Microsoft and Amazon, Google offers a broad selection of PaaS and IaaS options.
Google tends to focus a bit more on some specialized tools for developers. They also claim to have more “customer-friendly” pricing and state their pricing is "on average 60% less for many compute workloads compared to other cloud providers."
According to Gartner, one of the main drivers of cloud adoption is storage. Gartner offers the following guidelines for selecting a cloud storage provider.
- Security & Compliance
- Value-Added Services
Decisions should be made based on the context of the business you are in, your overall business objectives and what you hope to accomplish with a move to the cloud. Every business has a unique set of needs – needs that include technologies, security, service management, data governance, etc. It is important to be sure that both your internal decision-makers and your intended provider are on the same page as far as meeting those needs.
The Journey Requires Planning
Migrating to the cloud is a journey that requires planning. Whether you are just beginning to test the waters with cloud technology services or considering an enterprise-wide move to the cloud, an assessment with a trusted managed cloud services IT partner that specializes in managed cloud services and understands best practices and strategies can help ensure that your approach is in alignment with your business objectives.
In addition to helping your company determine which cloud technology services are best suited to your business needs, a managed IT partner will also have the expertise necessary to create a thorough integration plan. They can work with your team to develop an approach for your migration, identify any security concerns, ensure a seamless and secure transition and position your organization to maximize the many benefits of cloud computing.
Find A Qualified Partner
If your organization is moving to make cloud part of their strategy, a roadmap is critical. An experienced IT partner can work with your team to build a comprehensive plan for migrating servers, applications and/or workstations to the right platform (or combination of platforms) and completely manage and secure them as a service. Putting experienced professionals in charge of the migration, management, and security of your agile, server-free environment, allows your team to focus on what they do best and manage their work at any time from anywhere.