Amazon groups its Infrastructure as a Service offerings into the four categories of Compute, Storage and Content Delivery, Database, and Networking.
To store objects (that is, pretty much anything), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) is the service that’s been running the longest, and as such it has extensive documentation, including free webinars, tons of sample code and libraries, articles and tutorials and very active discussion forums where Amazon developers provide very useful feedback on a regular basis.
- You can implement SQL solutions with Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS) (supporting many DBMS), Google’s Cloud SQL (supporting only MySQL at the moment), and with Azure’s SQL Database, SQL Data Warehouse and SQL Server Stretch Database.
- Also newer NoSQL solutions are available with Amazon’s DynamoDB, Google’s Bigtable and Cloud Datastore, and Azure’s DocumentDB and Table storage.
- But who wants a DB when all you need is a cache? If that’s the case, then Amazon’s ElastiCache and Azure’s Redis Cache might do it.
- For more, check the solution that amazon offers — Cloud Databases with AWS.
Microservices introduce new challenging architectural tasks like load balancing, service discovery, containerised applications, etc.
Google Cloud Compute offers Kubernetes out of the box, which is an open source and popular microservice orchestration technology based on Google’s expertise.
Amazon Web Services tackles the problem with proprietary services like Amazon ECR, Amazon ElasticBeansTalk etc. They are valid tools but unlike Kubernetes they tend to make the applications cloud platform dependent.
Digita Ocean does not provide any tool or service, after all to cut the costs their policy is to provide just virtual machines with limited additional service.
Choosing the cloud platform is not an easy task, if I had to write a guideline in few sentences I would say:
- DigitalOcean for small or highly customised projects. Good to cut infrastructure costs when few servers are required and there are system administrators who can install and mantain the applications.
– Amazon Web Services from startups to big projects. Good to leverage the great offer of services out of the box and simplify the system administration especially in big teams, while paying attention to hidden costs.
– Google Cloud Compute from startups to big projects. Good to leverage Google’s open source technologies and services and save some infrastructure cost.
Amazon AWS tends to be the most expensive in terms of infrastructure (IAAS) costs and DigitalOcean the cheaper, while GCP (Google Cloud Platform) is in the middle. Anyway the DigitalOcean price list is the simplest, while the Google‘s one is more structured but still transparent and discounts are applied automatically. Amazon Web Services looks cheap but sometimes with hidden costs, in addition the procedure of getting discounts for continue use is no way as simple as the Google’s automatic discounts approach.
DigitalOcean, to cut the price, has a do-it-youself approach, it provides virtual machines and basic funtionalites like DNS or additional disks, all the rest is left to the system administrator.
DigitalOcean requires more system administration work, while Amazon AWS can greatly redure the administration time
Amazon EC2 is free to try. There are four ways to pay for Amazon EC2 instances: On-Demand, Reserved Instances, and Spot Instances. You can also pay for Dedicated Hosts which provide you with EC2 instance capacity on physical servers dedicated for your use.
|Block Storage||w||Rackspace Cloud||$0.12|
|Cloud Files||w||Rackspace Cloud||$0.1|
|Cloud Storage||w||Google Cloud Platform||$0.026 (standard) / $0.02 (DRA1)|
|Data Lake Store||w||Microsoft Azure||$0.04|
|Simple Storage Service (S3)||w||Amazon Web Services||$0.03 (standard) / $0.0125 (infrequent)|
|Storage||w||Microsoft Azure||$0.024 (LRS2) / $0.048 (GRS3) / $0.061 (RA-GRS4)|
- Durable Reduced Availability
- Locally Redundant Storage
- Geographically Redundant Storage
- Read-Access Geographically Redundant Storage
For the specs and details, see Amazon Glacier, Cloud Storage Nearline by Google, and Azure Backup; and check also the archiving solutions these providers offer — Data Archive by AWS, and Backup and Archive by Azure.
|Cloud Storage Nearline||Google Cloud Platform||$0.01 (storage) + $0.01 (retrieval)|
|Glacier||w||Amazon Web Services||$0.007|
|Storage||w||Microsoft Azure||$0.01 (LRS) / $0.02 (GRS) / $0.025 (RA-GRS)|
Aside from storing and archiving, they provide more specific options, such as Amazon CloudFront targeted for building a content delivery network (CDN), same as Google’s Cloud CDN and Azure’s Content Delivery Network. But if you have more exotic requirements, make sure you check their sites.