So, your company has decided to move to the public cloud – harnessing the many benefits that public cloud has to offer. No doubt, one of the first questions on your journey is: Which public cloud provider should we use?
Companies most often opt for one of the big three: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform (GCP); additional options exist as well. While many of the large players offer very similar services and options, there are some nuances and differentiating factors that may go into your decision.
When looking at which workloads to move and where, organizations typically consider the following:
- Their existing public cloud footprint. If this isn’t your organization’s first foray into the public cloud, it can make sense to migrate future workloads to the public cloud environment you already use. Many companies do this for several reasons – for example, so they can leverage internal expertise and also, to take advantage of discounts and incentives that public cloud vendors typically offer as you stay and expand your usage.
- Costs. ‘Where should we run this?’ is a question we often hear from clients, followed by ‘What are the costs of doing so?’ In cases where services across the public cloud providers are relatively equal, companies often look at where they can accomplish their cloud goals in the most cost-effective way.
- Availability SLAs. Downtime isn’t just frustrating for users, it often has major financial ramifications. So, companies often factor availability (and lost revenue, due to anticipated downtime) into their cost comparisons. For each public cloud provider you’re evaluating, you can look at the availability service level agreements (SLAs) around the services you intend to use. High reliability, right of the box, for mission-critical applications is typically an important consideration.
- Existing software licenses and operating systems. While you could move and run your workloads on any public cloud, companies often express preferences toward particular environments based on their software licenses and operating systems. For example, many Microsoft enterprise agreements are extended to the public cloud – making it financially compelling for large Windows shops to migrate to Azure, over other options. On the other hand, companies with lots of Linux environments often select AWS, which tends to offer many services that work well with Linux.
- Speed of deployment. Public cloud vendors offer various provisioning and automation tools for application deployment. Look at the automation methods they provide you and how quickly they run. Minutes vs. hours can make a big difference, especially when a company needs to scale applications rapidly and on-demand.
- The ‘latest and greatest’ factor. How current are the operating systems, products and services that the public cloud vendor is offering? Many companies want access to the latest versions and cutting-edge tools, right as they’re released and factor this into their public cloud decisions.
Evaluating which public cloud provider is best suited to meet an organization’s business goals can be challenging and complex, as requirements can span public, private, hybrid and multicloud environments. By focusing on key considerations including costs, speed of deployment and compatibility, organizations can find managed services providers who can meet their unique needs.
To learn more about how our Managed Cloud Services can help your organization, regardless of which stage of the cloud migration journey you’re on, click here.