Cloud Providers: recommendations and common pitfalls

Today I’m going to share my experience with cloud providers with you: the word “cloud” has been on everyone’s lips in the last… three years?

Still, my feeling is that most tech companies / software companies / developers do not really know what they are talking about.

As you may have noticed, every new tech project that aims to be successful needs to live into the cloud – or at least, your R&D team leader says so.
Yeah, it’s cool and trendy, like the “IoT” thingy or the “Industry 4.0” word. Cloud has been [ab]used as wow word for long time now.

Do you really need the cloud? What’s all that fuss about? Will the cloud help you in having success with your next revolutionary application? These are the right questions, and answers won’t come easily.

Which are the leading players in the cloud scene?

Without any hesitation I can list the “big threes”:

  • Amazon Web Services

    (aka AWS) – one of the first, maybe the biggest, let’s name it the Great Dane
    it is well known and its giant size will make you feel safe. Amazon’s offer is really extensive (you will need a “for dummies” guide – services are geek-named and you will scroll at least 3 minutes to check them all – what was that Amazon SNS for?). You can do pretty anything from sending emails to image recognition, and if you need speech synthesis they’ll do it for you aswell.
    Be aware of the vendor lock-in issue, though. Once you design an application to leverage AWS service, it will be hard (and costly) to change the vendor. AWS is cloud at “the Amazon way®”. Everything is Amazon-customized: from hardware configurations, to Linux OS, firewalls, all Amazon-branded. You are going to search for “how to do xyz on amazon” on StackOverflow.
    Yeah, you can stick with EC2 (basic computing service) but you will not make full use of AWS offer – and the price tag is higher than most competitors. Oh, their price calculator is designed to be on pair with their other services. The SDK is awesome and available in nearly all known programming languages.
    You can start a 12-moths (resource-limited) trial to explore this huge universe. VERDICT: NOT FOR DUMMIES

  • Google Gloud Platform

    (aka GCP) – it’s BigG, after all… I will compare it to a Golden Retriever
    you will feel at home, safe and it won’t hurt you – or your babies. Google cloud offer is less comprehensive than AWS but this comes with a more flexible pricing model. It’s easier to start and the software stack is less customized. You won’t find strange-named tools or complicated procedures: the administration console is well-engineered and easy to learn.
    Still not immediate for a newbie, but they offer a 500 $ welcome credit and there’s an almost free-forever limited plan available. GCP SDK is pretty neat and well mantained. VERDICT: BIG BOYS DON’T CRY

  • Microsoft Azure

    (aka “I don’t need a code name”) – could Microsoft not try to make money on something? In my mind it’s an Australian Cattle Dog
    When you are looking for a dog, this is not the first you will imagine, yet it is a good choice for some kind of people. If you own an horse, you know what I mean.
    Microsoft did a good job in creating their cloud service. I still don’t like their administration console: I hate their “let’s put a dashboard everywhere” approach. Sometimes we just need a stupid list.  What I do like, obviously, it’s their Windows-related offer: Windows Servers, Exchange Server, MS SQL Servers

An ousider that I really want to introduce is DigitalOcean, currently my choice (yes, this article is biased). I like enjoy its resemblance with a German Shepherd

 

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