Cloud Service Providers

Top 5 Cloud Service Providers: A Comparison

The days of hard drives are long gone. Welcome to the era of cloud computing, where cloud is the king and cloud service providers, the kingsmen. And this is not what we are saying, just look at the statistics. With a projected 17.5% growth in 2019, the global public cloud services market is likely to hit the $214.3 billion mark. In fact, 2018 saw organizations’ average annual budget of $2.2 million spent on the cloud. Additionally, 90% of the companies are already on the cloud. Clearly, these numbers have a story to tell, “if you are not on the cloud, your days are numbered”. The massive adoption of the cloud is not without reason. The ease of accessibility, cost effectiveness and disaster, are just a few factors facilitating the move to the cloud. 

Cloud Service Providers: A comparison

While there is sufficient literature out there to help you understand the rise of the cloud and the reasons behind it, let us have a look at the top cloud service providers. The public cloud has numerous providers. Each of them is contending to sweep the market place by offering different benefits to lure the users. Here we present to you a comprehensive comparison between the top 5 cloud service providers that you must consider if you’re planning to move to the cloud-

Amazon Web Services

Often referred to as AWS, Amazon Web Services, is one of the most promising cloud service providers, with a 34% market share. Dominating the public cloud market, the scope of AWS operations are huge. With a plethora of services and features, AWS has come to be known as the most enterprise ready cloud provider. 


Pros of AWS

Providing great speed and agility, AWS are easy to use, even for a first time user. Additionally, the security and reliability that come along not only helps maintain data privacy but also secures the infrastructure. Finally, its pay as you go model allows users to pay only for what you use, nothing more and nothing help.

Cons of AWS

While AWS is any developer’s dream when it comes to cloud computing, however, this dream comes at a cost. Despite successive reductions, AWS is considered to be expensive and a technical fee for immediate support is called unnecessary. Additionally, the pricing model often becomes complex and beyond the comprehension of a layman.

Free Trial & Credits

To help users gauge the experience before actually paying for it, AWS offers a 12- month free trial, after which the user has to move to a paid version to continue using the services. Additionally, AWS offers credits for startups from time to time through webinars and events and becoming a part of different communities. These credits can come in handy when using AWS. Check this out to understand how AWS is helping create a thriving startup ecosystem on the cloud with AWS Activate.

Google Cloud Platform

49% of IT managers using public cloud platforms, show an inclination towards Google Cloud Platform. Right from application and storage to computing services, google cloud offers a plethora of functionalities. Invariably, this makes it the trusted partner for over 4 million apps. 


Pros of GCP

Google grade security that accompanies GCP is a big reason why users side with it. Additionally, when it comes to the economic viability, GCP comes at a lower cost than some of the other top cloud service providers. This makes it affordable for startups and small businesses and even the pricing model is relatively easier to comprehend. 

Cons of GCP

When it comes to the cons, limited features and the availability of some services in beta mode are the most claimed ones. Additionally poor documentation and lack of robust customer support reduce GCP’s appeal to the users

Free Trial & Credits

Like AWS, Google Cloud Platform also offers a 12 month free tier to encourage the users to get a feel of it before making a financial commitment. Developers and startups can apply for the Google Cloud for Startups Program to avail credits offered by GCP and use the services at affordable prices.

Microsoft Azure

Next in line for comparison stands Microsoft Azure. With 11% market share, Azure offers over 100 products for users to leverage from and expand their businesses. In fact, in 2017, Gartner called Azure a top leader in the Cloud Infrastructure as a service space.


Pros of Azure

To begin with, Azure offers high availability. In fact, it only entailf 4.5 hours of downtime in a year, i.e. 99.5% uptime. This is significantly higher when the competitors stagger at 98%, 95% and even as low as 90% uptime.Its cost effectiveness, especially with the accompanying security provisions and scalability options drives its adoption by IT managers. 

Cons of Azure

While Azure comes with lower capital costs, it does not offer management of the cloud data center, which invariably is an added cost to the user. Additionally, Azure requires platform expertise for maximum efficiency, Finally, Azure’s approach to using a single vendor comes with attached risks in case of failure to fulfill obligations.

Free Trial & Credits

Following the steps of the other cloud service providers, Azure also offers a 12 month free tier. In fact, creating a free Azure account will also fetch you some credits to use for 30 days to explore any Azure service.  Additionally, visual studio subscribers get free credits monthly.


A simple set up with affordable pricing, DigitalOcean is one amongst the top cloud service providers for the right reasons. By allowing developers to accomplish simple tasks very quickly, it is becoming a preferred option for a lot of techies, consolidating a revenue of $250 million.


Pros of DO

Firstly, its ease of use is one of the top reasons driving its increased adoption. Following a what you see is what you pay model, DigitalOcean is an affordable option, especially for early stage businesses. Its user friendly interface and high scalability, drives its adoption amongst most of the users.

Cons of DO

DigitalOcean cannot be installed by oneself and requires professional expertise. Additionally, when compared to its competitors, DO is present in fewer regions. Finally, time and again, there have been security issues that users have faced and at times. Also, the errors aren’t properly dealt with has been a constant complaint.

Free Trial & Credits

For users to try before they pay, DigitalOcean offer $50 worth of free credits for 30 days. Following this users have to pay for the services they use. Hatch by DigitalOcean is a promising route for startups to avail free credits. Additionally, it keeps coming up with other offers like free credits on using credit cards, etc. to lure users from time to time. 

IBM Cloud

The final in this list of cloud service providers, comes IBM Cloud. With a 6% market share, IBM cloud’s adoption is gradually increasing. As other cloud service providers, IBM cloud too offers the users a plethora of products to choose from.


Pros of IBM Cloud

Users see the potential of an integrated hybrid cloud when planning a switch to IBM Cloud. Additionally, as it is built on open technologies, the potential for flexibility and interoperability is huge. It’s a pay as you go model, making it economically viable and the prices in general are affordable. 

Cons of IBM Cloud

Security and privacy breaches stand as two of the biggest roadblocks in the mass adoption of IBM Cloud. Additionally, users have reported a loss on the control of data as one of the drawbacks of IBM Cloud when compared to other cloud service providers.

FreeTrial & Credits

IBM Cloud offers a Lite Tier with 256MB of Cloud Foundry Memory for users to try before they pay. The Startup with IBM program offers up to $120,000 free credits for startups to boost their transformative growth and access over 130 services. 

Cloud Service Providers: Which one to choose

Well, there is no definitive answer to which cloud service provider to go for. Simply understand your requirements and perform a cost- benefit analysis among the various cloud service providers available.


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