A Year of Platform Modernization: How to Choose the Best Cloud Provider
Cloud for Application Transformation
A major part of the modernization process for a legacy platform is moving to the cloud. It’s the cool thing to do and with reason.
Need a partner to help you navigate the modernization process or migrate to the cloud?
By migrating to the cloud, your platform can integrate with the latest and greatest cloud-based technologies. This makes for easier maintenance, better security, and cooler features. But how do you choose the best cloud provider?
Who are the Best Cloud Providers?
Let’s start with the major players. You might have heard of them: Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
In the cloud computing world, they are better known as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure.
These heavy hitters invest a lot of time and money into advancing new technologies.
According to PwC’s 2018 Global Innovation 1000 Study, the providers’ annual research and development spend is:
- Amazon – $22.6 Billion or 12.7% of revenue
- Alphabet (parent company of Google) – $16.2B or 14.6% of revenue
- Microsoft – $12.3B or 13.7% of revenue
Needless to say, the providers invest a lot to support emerging technology like yours.
Cloud Agnostic or a Single Cloud Platform
But, before you start thinking about which cloud provider you want to go with, you need to figure out how you want to work in the cloud. Do you want your platform to be cloud-agnostic or go all in and commit to a single cloud platform?
What’s the difference?
Cloud-agnostic applications are portable. They can move to any cloud provider or be multi-cloud…without impacting functionality. This gives organizations a lot of flexibility. You have the freedom to choose tools that are best for your product and company. So, you are not locked into what a single vendor can provide.
But, at what cost? Moving between providers can be costly. AND organizations must bear the burden of managing products and the infrastructure stack in-house. As a result, performance and troubleshooting can suffer.
Single Cloud Provider
For those not afraid of commitment, choosing a single cloud provider has its perks.
By landing on a single cloud provider, you can leverage the services and features the provider includes as part of their platform natively. This reduces the complexity of managing pieces of your infrastructure. It also means you are more likely to have tools that integrate and communicate well with each other.
That said if you decide to move to a different provider down the road…have fun rewriting your code base. And if the provider you chose makes changes affecting your platform…you are stuck adjusting to those updates.
Choosing the Best Cloud Provider
So how do you choose? There is no right answer. We know, worst reply ever. But the reality is the decision depends on your business goals and the maturity level of your modernization project.
Did you know that this post is part of a year-long platform modernization blog series? Check out the entire series!
So let’s say you have decided to go with a single provider, how do you choose the right cloud provider?
We are not here to try to sell you on any one provider. To be honest, we partner with all 3 and think they are all great options.
To start we recommend checking out this article by the Cloud Spectator. The article breaks down key factors to consider when choosing a provider:
- Regions and countries that providers operate in
- Data center locations
- Size and business stability
- Security and risk
- Reliability and trustworthiness
- Audit and compliance opacity
- Pricing models and contract terms
- Service-Level Agreements (SLA)
- Ease of use, self-service, robust API
Keeping these factors in mind, let’s see who hosts the software you use every day?
It might sound silly–but think about it.
If Netflix trusts a provider to reliably deliver your (and 130 million others) binge-watching sessions, what does that tell you? The platform can scale quickly to meet high traffic volume and can store huge amounts of data with ease.
What about hosting PayPal? That platform has the security and bandwidth to process 10 billion annual transactions.
You get the idea.
So…which provider does Netflix and your other favorite streaming services trust?
- Need some time to veg out and binge your favorite tv shows on Netflix or Hulu? Thank AWS.
- Looking for a playlist on Spotify to get you through your run? Hosted on GCP.
What about your favorite social media platforms?
- Wedding planners and weekend crafters rejoice! Pinterest is hosted on AWS.
- Checking Twitter to see if your kid’s school closed for a snow day? All GCP.
Let’s say you need a last minute birthday or holiday gift. Who is hosting your favorite online retailers?
- Lululemon, Under Armour: AWS
- Target, eBay, Lush: GCP
- Asos, Macy’s, Marc Jacobs: Azure
Who handles your hard-earned cash?
- Does Paychex process your precious weekly payday? Azure.
- Making a Paypal purchase or banking/investing with Charles Schwab? GCP.
- What’s in your wallet? If it’s Capital One, AWS.
Just for fun, here are a few other things you might care about:
- The FDA, CDC, NASA, and USDA all trust AWS.
- If you spend your weekends playing Pokemon Go? Niantic is hosted on GCP. Or if you prefer to be old school and plug into your Nintendo, AWS is Player 1. More of an Xbox gamer? Azure.
- Traveling sometime soon? Well, if you are flying with Alaska Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Spring Airlines, or Singapore Airlines…Azure.
- Thanks to GCP for satisfying your pizza craving and hosting Pizza Hut AND Dominoes. Yum.
- And next time you book an Airbnb or a Lyft, AWS has your back.
It’s pretty clear, each of the big players are trusted by some pretty reputable companies.
Finally, the hard-hitting question…which CEO would you most like to grab coffee with?
Amazon – Jeff Bezos
Bezos is now the richest man in the world, leading Amazon to become the second US Company to pass the $1 trillion threshold.
What does he do with all that money? Well, he is also a total space nerd…and even owns his own space-exploration company. He also donated $2.5M in 2012 to defend gay marriage in Washington.
Google – Sundar Pichai
Pichai joined Google the same day the company launched Gmail. Since he has led the launch of Google Chrome, Google Drive, and the Gmail app.
However, despite spearheading one of the world’s leading technology companies, his family did not have a phone until he was 12 years old. He later went on to run the mobile platform portfolio for Androids.
Microsoft – Satya Nadella
Many people credit Nadella with revitalizing Microsoft’s company culture. And the share value shows it, tripling since Nadella took over.
In addition to a more collaborative work environment, employees at Microsoft also get regular vlogs from Nadella about the books he is currently reading. Need something to chat with him about? Poetry, cricket, or running is a good place to start.
So, who would you most like to grab a latte with?
All said and done, there is a lot that goes into choosing a provider. Whether you decide based on who has the coolest CEO or which offers the best security features, we hope this gave you more insight into choosing the right cloud provider. Or you at least had a little fun in the search process.
Modernizing a legacy platform or moving to the cloud? We are experts at cloud migration and partner with all 3 major cloud providers. Let us know how we can help with your modernization project.