OnlyConnect Systems Ltd

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If you want to host an application in the cloud, or to use cloud services, there is good news. Competition between vendors big and small is intense, so you can get a good deal. Those options soon narrow though, if your requirements are complex. Further, it is rarely a good idea simply to pick the cheapest option. These business relationships tend to last a long time, and there are many factors to consider:

A note on independent hosting

Most of my focus is on three large cloud providers: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. But what about smaller providers? Personally I have a lot of time for them - in the right context. This web site is hosted by an independent provider. It is cheaper than the equivalent would be on Azure or AWS. If there is a problem I can call and get someone on the phone who is in a position to take action right away, rather than the rather bureaucratic and sometimes frustrating support ticket process with the large providers. The provider is technically savvy and I am very happy with the service.

That said, the provider has a very limited range of services - essentially various levels of virtual machines or co-located servers, plus internet connectivity. It is down to me to install and configure the software I need.

Of course there are other providers who are not so bare-bones. But none that I know of come close to the huge range of services on offer from the giants. Another advantage of the big three is that you get enterprise-quality computing, even if you are a small business. For example, all infrastructure is resilient at least across two datacenters, and optionally across multiple regions (in cloud terms, a region consists of multiple datacenters).

The smaller hosting providers can offer an excellent service, but for flexibility, scalability and features they cannot come close to what is on offer from the big ones.

AWS vs Microsoft Azure vs Google Cloud Platform: general remarks

To be continued...