Cloud Computing Solutions

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Introduction

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services (servers, storage, databases, networking, software, etc) over the internet. This offers flexible resources and rapid access to various infrastructure.

Why are companies moving to the Cloud?

The main reason companies are moving to the cloud is simply because of reduced costs. Without the cloud, companies need to manage their own infrastructure/datacenter. The costs of servers, electricity and maintenance can amount to great costs.

Amazon AWS

Amazon AWS

History

Amazon AWS was launched in 2002 by a concept paper published by Chris Pinkham and Benjamin Black. Pinkham and Black envisioned Amazon's infrastructure to be entirely standardized, automated and web based. AWS was launched for public use in 2006 with three services: S3 for storage, SQS for message queuing, and EC2 for compute capacity in the cloud.

Amazon AWS Offerings

Currently, Amazon still offers all of the services it started off with, as well as services for data analytics, blockchain, database management, Internet of Things, machine learning, and governance and compliance. With all these offerings, AWS is seen as the best option for clients looking for a wide range of services.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure

History

In the mid to late 2000's AWS had started to gather major popularity and Microsoft was determined to catch up. At the 2008 Microsoft Developers Conference, Microsoft announced that they will be rolling out their own Cloud services, Azure. At the conference, they acknowledged AWS but only saw it as a base-level service and said that eventually all Microsoft enterprise software will be an online service. In 2010, Microsoft's cloud was officially launched to the public with Azure for computing, storage, and networking; Microsoft SQL for database management; Microsoft .NET for developer services; and Microsoft SharePoint and Dynamics CRM.

Microsoft Azure Offerings

Microsoft's established presence in enterprise environments gives it a great advantage for helping companies move to the cloud. Many enterprises with Microsoft on-premise systems such as Windows Server and Active Directory naturally choose Azure for a seamless transition. Another strength of Azure lies in it's Platform as a Service (PaaS) capabilities. Azure is aimed towards providing developers with the environment and tools to build and deploy service rapidly. Developing and deploying applications is only half of the story, the real work is managing those applications - in this regard, Azure has developed a fully automated, self-service solution that allows its clients to monitor, patch, backup, and manage security. As discussed earlier, hybrid solutions have been a huge win for Microsoft. Azure takes advantage of resources available in datacenters and offers a wide range of connections such as: VPNs, CDNs, and ExpressRoute - all of these improve usability and performance for its customers.

Google Cloud

Google Cloud

History

While the other two on this list started out by provided IaaS solutions, Google Clouds marks it's beginning with a PaaS approach. In 2008, Google launched App Engine, a platform for developers to build and deploy applications. App Engine's initial release was free, but it came with limited resources and support for only a few languages. It wasn't until 2010 when Google expanded to enterprise customers by offering Cloud Storage and started competing with IaaS providers. In 2012, Google launched Compute Cloud - this gives the ability to launch virtual machines anywhere in the world and allows customers to scale instances rapidly

Google Cloud Offerings

Google Cloud has been widely known as the 'copy-cat AWS' in the cloud community for its late inception and always trailing behind the major providers to offer new cloud services. Despite this face, Google Cloud has shown that it has the potential to compete. AWS has been the go-to for Big Data analytics, but Google has provided Bigquery, which allows users to process massive volumes of data rapidly. Being the number one search provider in the world, Google knows what it takes to process data rapidly and meaningfully.

Conclusion

Out of the three, Microsoft Azure seems to be likely to take the lead in the near future. Google Cloud's unreliable product line and lacking enterprise support will likely be their death without a major image rebranding and proof of existing clientele. Amazon AWS has the majority market share, but their wide range of services lack the depth of Azure and their lack of support for hybrid-cloud users put them at a major disadvantage with enterprises not able to move critical systems and data to the cloud. With Azure's continuous improvement to its product line features and providing transitions to its existing on-premise clientele, it will be the primary cloud provider.