Cloud transformation is becoming more popular every day and the cloud industry is gaining tremendous growth. Applications running on the cloud have become the norm in all types of organisation. With such kind of an experience, traditional on-premise technology is slowly dying off. However, some companies are adopting for both offline and online technologies and the mix is known as hybrid technology. We have different players right now including VMware, Microsoft, AWS, EMC and Rackspace competing for this lucrative business.
Due to the number of different variations of hybrid cloud technologies offered, the marketplace is a bit confusing to first time customers. In this guide, we will focus on the comparison of the five hybrid cloud providers and help you to find the best bet for your business. The industry is still becoming a little bit wider. But with the right approach, you can choose the best infrastructure that reflects the level of functionality needed in your business. You can opt to go for private, public or hybrid cloud but remember not all solutions are equally created.
To start with, let’s differentiate the difference between public and private clouds. The former runs on a shared environment and the company offering the service shares the hardware, network and storage to its users. By contrast, a private cloud is maintained by a company’s network behind a firewall and this requires purchasing the right equipments including servers and storage devices. Private clouds are a little bit expensive but they offer more control. On the other hand, shared clouds are not that pricey and they are good for small businesses.
Nevertheless, in certain scenarios, a company may want to switch between the two modes and this is called hybrid cloud. To find the right match for a cloud solution, you need to consider the following:
- Delivery mode,
- Ability to use the technology on trial as well as costing,
- Integration with other applications,
- Operating system and mobile compatibility,
- Backup and recovery,
- Service level agreements,
- Scalability and
- Vendor reliability.
In regards to the above let’s review VMware, Microsoft, AWS, EMC and Rackspace. Let’s look at the viability of each one of them as a hybrid cloud option.
As a subsidiary of Dell Technologies, VMware is one of the best cloud computing technologies that managed to virtualize the X86 computer architecture. It supports multiple operating systems including Windows, Linux and Mac. VMware ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor also runs on server hardware without requiring additional software. Dell is a very reputable company and is here to stay because it also sells millions of desktop computers, servers and laptops.
VMware delivery model is very simple. To try the service, you just need to sign up for the service in a public portal that manages free trials, license keys, downloads and support. Most of VMware’s documents and website information are detailed in English. An activation email is then sent to your registered address and you can start evaluating the products while interacting with VMware’s experts and communities. Their portal also have a knowledge base and purchasing products/services is a straightforward process once your become comfortable with a certain service.
Some of the VMware’s premium products include: Workstation 12.5 Pro, a leading Edge PC Virtualization, Fusion 8.5 - the ultimate Windows on Mac® experience and Workstation 12 Player- streamlined PC Virtualization for Business. By the time of writing this guide, the virtualization solutions were costing around $200. However, vSphere Essentials Kit - the most cost-effective virtualization solution was somewhere around $800. Upgrades of VMware’s products are available on demand at a reduced price. Service level agreement is friendly. The VMware solutions come with security guides and by following their best practices, you can create a secure virtual box by closing unused ports, managing files better, using SSH, SSL e.t.c
Microsoft is not just a king of Operating systems such as the cutting edge Windows 8 and Windows 10. It is also continuously battling the leading cloud companies. Their innovative cloud technologies even allow charging per second and this is something that is rare in the cloud industry. Most charge per minute or per hour. Their famous product is the Azure container which gives users a virtual slice on a physical Microsoft server. Another good thing to note about Microsoft cloud is their super-affordable payment model which makes it an ideal technology for users who want to runs experiments before going live.
In the world of cloud computing, containers like the one that Microsoft offers are becoming trendy because of their efficiency when compared to virtual machines. Microsoft is an ideal choice for corporate data who want to rely on the Azure Cloud and Container services with speed and simplicity. As an enterprise grade computing platform, Microsoft Azure is open, flexible and it allows business to do more and move faster with their computing needs.
They even offer Webinar and their blog and online documentations are easy to follow. I used their online cost estimator to find out how much an SQL database user can use per month and the estimated cost was around $4.99. However, prices may vary and this is just a quote because the date of purchase, currency and type of agreement may reduce/increase the estimated cost. Microsoft supports compute engine for virtual machines, networking, storage, containers, SQL databases, security and identity as well as API integration. By using Microsoft cloud, you will be relying on a security level that has been built since the 1980’s.
Amazon AWS is best suited for companies that want infrastructure as a service for their businesses. Purchasing physical servers and maintaining them to run your mission critical applications can be very costly and this is where AWS comes in. Their price model is very affordable. By the time of writing this guide, their plans were ranging from $32 to $255 per month. AWS boasts of many years of experience because they have been in the cloud industry since 2006. So, their level of security is a bit tight and this has allowed them to have a great score in unmatched cloud products.
Irrespective of your organisation, you can build the infrastructure that is right for you. For instance, you can run a web application, storefront, website and database. Their complete management tools make it easy for first-time users to try and use their services without any hitches. Infrastructure as a service is not only meant for big organisation, most website owners and small business enterprises are opting for Amazon AWS because of its reliability, ability to run updates as well as service level support. The vendor is also reliable and their revenue growth is steady thanks to their Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) and database usage.
The core features of AWS include; compute, storage, database, networking and content delivery. All these can be controlled via a secure web portal right from the comfort of your home/office. Their management tools include; auditing, monitoring/logging, storage creating and much more. Most people who use AWS like its ability to handle large database data. For instance, if you need a database management solution that can handle terabytes or petabytes of data, Amazon is the way to go. AWS is also preferred by both in-house and third party applications that need secure cloud architecture with great computing powers and complicated storage needs.
AWS supports both Linux and Windows Servers distributions and their data centres are spread all over the world making it the best solution for multinational companies. Setting an Amazon AWS cloud is very easy especially if one is familiar with deploying operating systems instances and images such as Ubuntu. Also, one can perform SSH connection from a secure terminal such as Putty. From there, one can start running commands and everything will flow as expected.
Irrespective of your business demands, you can do more, move faster and perform better with your data and computing needs. Dell EMC has enabled the next generation of software application that require distributed and scalable cloud solution with an enterprise level reliability. Businesses are now escaping hardware and interoperability constraints without spending more with these technologies. This has enabled small, medium and big enterprises to focus on their primary business while leaving the rest to Dell EMC. At the end, businesses are able to create unified cloud layer that gives them ease of accessing data as well as automating their business processes.
Some of the Dell EMC data storage products include; Enterprise Storage, Entry and Midrange Storage, All-Flash Storage, Cloud Storage and Software-defined Storage. For modern data centres that require physical servers, Dell EMC has three products that include Rack Servers, Modular infrastructure FX series and Modular Infrastructure C Series. Dell EMC is also the best for data protection solutions such as Dell EMC Data Domain DD2200, Dell EMC Data Domain DD6300 and Dell EMC Data Domain Virtual Edition.
Most of the Dell EMC solutions are physical equipments with prices starting from $17,934 for storage, $9,891 for data protection and $739.00 rack servers. However, if you have the need for such business solutions, Dell EMC is the best choice for storage, management and protection of both structured and unstructured data. You can scale out with each and your business will reach the best level of performance that is efficient and flexible. This will help you to optimize the resources and get the best outcomes from your computing workloads.
Last but not least, Rackspace offers the best tools and technologies for public cloud. The solution can catapult your business and help you achieve and maintain your growth levels with efficient computing infrastructure. Rackspace is backed by thousands of system engineers and experts that have created the best environment that gives you the best control for your computing needs. Its locking features are well ahead of others.
Some of the Rackspace solutions include; virtual cloud services that offer fast, reliable and scalable cloud computer services on demand, cloud load balances – a reliable failover for high-traffic sites and cloud database for those who want reliable MySQL databases on the cloud. A business that needs a virtual cloud service and a relation SQL database will pay around $110 per month.
Rackspace has an online community, live chat, blogs and documents for all kind of peoples. They also have a developer portal and a great customer service. The customer stories are also a great encouragement for beginners.
So if you need public, private or hybrid hosting, the ball is on your side. You can evaluate the solution that works best for you in terms of service delivery, costing, ease of getting on board, security, backup, scalability, learning materials and vendor’s reliability. I believe this guide was able to give you some great insights and getting started with your cloud hosting needs will be easy.