Service cloud providers in 2023

Service cloud providers in 2023

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To compare different cloud providers, you must first determine the points on which the comparison should focus. Indeed, there are several cloud providers, diversified and classified on the basis of several criteria, divided in three categories: Type of cloud providers, Cloud services offered and Cloud prices.

When talking about the types of cloud providers, we are obviously referring to 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, etc. (Marks, 2018).

When it comes to cloud services, the classification is usually made based on a comparison focused on cloud models, including IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. However, this is not enough. One must consider, as Eric Marks details, the services offered in their basic characteristics, such as service specifications, class or size of a Cloud service[1], storage technology and configurations, CPU technology and chip generation, actual performance, underlying technology, value-added services, etc. (Marks, 2018)

The cloud prices criteria include the pricing of individual services, the billing increments, the reserved instances and up-front discounts as compared to spot instances or unused capacity being sold on a discounted price to ensure target asset utilization, the discounting strategies for multi-year commitments, the bundling of services, the currency differences and fluctuations for global enterprises, etc. (Marks, 2018)

Thus, to establish a comparison between cloud providers, we will base ourselves on some of these elements mentioned above without claiming to cover all the cloud providers existing in the world today. We will therefore limit ourselves to the best-known cloud providers that are the best-ranked in the cloud market. These include AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, Oracle, IBM, and Tencent Cloud.

In the following pages, we will make a comparison based on the 7 points as detailed by Andriy Stashko: Market Share, Cloud offerings, cloud cost, cloud locations, cloud strength and cloud weaknesses. (Stashko, 2021).

1. Market share

AWS

2020, Amazon becomes an IaaS market leader from 2020. According to Canalys, it was holding 31% of the cloud market share (Canalys, 2021). For AWS, 2020 year was an exceptional year: Reporting a revenue of $45 billion in 2020, which is 30% more than the announced revenue the year before. 

Microsoft Azure

From Canalys report, Microsoft Azure’s market share among IaaS cloud providers is 20% (Canalys, 2021). During the Q2 2021, Microsoft Azure’s revenue grow up and reached 50% with a result of $17 billion. Observation: Increasing of Microsoft Azure offerings demand each year, specially because of the improvement of the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility services in Q2 2021 (Microsoft, 2021).

Google Cloud

Only 7% for the Google Cloud market share in terms of IaaS, as a service market (Canalys, 2021). In 2020, bad investment but necessary for probability improvement, loss of $5 billion for an overall $13 billion revenue. (Canalys, 2021). 

Alibaba Cloud

Biggest market share in China and Asia-Pacific for IaaS and IUS (Infrastructure Utility Services). In 2020, growth of 6%  (Canalys, 2021).

Oracle cloud

Around 2% and top 5 ranked globally. In 2021, revenues: up 3% year over year, cloud licenses: up 4%. (Oracle Corporation, 2021). 

IBM cloud

Less than 5% (Marko, 2021). In 2021, revenue went up 20% and RedHat’s revenue increased by 18%, nonetheless, the total IBM earnings went down 4.5% (IBM, 2021).

2. Cloud offerings

AWS

180+ cloud services for a broad range of use cases and industries. The most commonly used Amazon services cover, identity management, compliance, compute, relational database services, cloud storage, content delivery service, web service, and security (Amazon, 2023).

Microsoft Azure

600+ services. Azure has IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS offerings.  Azure gallery services manage on-premises directories synchronization, identity manage, security, compliance, AI and machine learning, analytics, databases, storage, networking, development, DevOps, monitoring, virtual desktop infrastructure, web services, migration, internet of things, etc. (Microsoft, 2023)

Google Cloud

150+ products covering computing, storage, databases, data analytics, AI and machine learning, networking and more development tools (Google, 2023). 

Alibaba Cloud

Provides both PaaS and IaaS. As Azure, AWS and Google Cloud, Alibaba Cloud offers services for elastic computing, databases, storage, networking and CDN, digital finance, security, enterprise and media services, AI and machine learning, developing and operations, domain and hosting, etc. (Alibaba, 2023).

Oracle cloud

100+ cloud services, including Analytics and AI, Data management, Application development, Hybrid cloud, distributed cloud, Computing, Security, Identity and compliance, governance and administration, observability, migration, etc. (Oracle Corporation, 2023) 

IBM cloud

174+ cloud services for AI and ML, analytics, blockchain, containers, databases, computing, developer tools, internet of things, logging and monitoring, networking, storage, and security (IBM, 2023). 

3. Cloud Coast

AWS

Pay-as-you-go model. Depending on service options chosen. The security offering is included in many subscription terms. Have discount plan for nonprofit organization.

Microsoft Azure

Similar to AWS. Sometimes, Azure is more affordable and when AWS is more economical. Still, Google Cloud is more affordable than both AWS and Microsoft Azure. (Stashko, 2021). Offer discount plan for nonprofit organization, and $200 free credit for new subscribers.

Google Cloud

Pay-as-you-go model. Google Cloud provides $300 in free credits for 90 days to new customers. Startups can get a minimum of $2,000 in initial startup credits to use (Stashko, 2021).

Alibaba Cloud

Comparing to others cloud service provides, Alibaba has a low coast by around 25%. (Stashko, 2021)

Oracle cloud

Oracle give discount to its traditional customers if they decide to migrate to the cloud. Less affordable as AWS. Offers a pay-as-you-go model for some IaaS and PaaS. 

IBM cloud

Higher prices than the ones offered by IBM’s rivals. IBM offers discounts for monthly usage. The final price can be negotiated (New Tech Forum, 2017). 

4. Locations

AWS

245 countries, 25 geographic regions, 80 availability zones, 215 Edge locations and 225 points of presence in 90 cities across 47 countries. All regions are isolated.  Every region consists of several availability zones. (Stashko, 2021)

Microsoft Azure

54 regions, more available than others, minimum of three availability for each zone. 4 Options for VMs high availability and resiliency: single VM[2], an availability set[3],  an availability zone[4], and region pairs[5] (Stashko, 2021).

Google Cloud

200 countries, 25 regions, 76 zones and 144 network Edge locations. (Stashko, 2021)

Alibaba Cloud

28 regions, 86 availability zones, over 70 countries, over 2,800 network nodes. Present in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and the United Arab Emirates (Alibaba, 2023).

Oracle cloud

29 cloud regions. Customers can distribute their applications within at least three fault domains. Some regions offer three availability domains. (Stashko, 2021)

IBM cloud

60 data centers and 9 multi-zone regions, 2,600 points of presence between data centers and networks, up to 20 TB outbound bandwidth.

4. Cloud Strength

AWS

Largest market share in IaaS and PaaS, large enterprises deploy business-critical workloads to Amazon, strong managed service provider network with 67 partners.  

Microsoft Azure

Most number of service offerings, partnerships with Oracle, VMware and SAP, strong managed service provider network with 32 partners, leader of the PaaS segment of cloud service providers.

Google Cloud

Leader in big data, machine learning and data science capabilities, best end-to-end AI platform.

Alibaba Cloud

Offers a broad set of available, performant and secure PaaS and IaaS, as other service cloud providers, is effective for hosting large apps and is scalable to sustain a peak number of users (Stashko, 2021).

Oracle cloud

Strong partnership with Microsoft Azure, easy multi-cloud implementation.

IBM cloud

Hybrid cloud and AI company, has Instana,  is viable option for legacy applications, especially for memory-intensive databases. 

5. Cloud Weakness

AWS

Expensive services, high optimized then difficult to switch to another service provider.

Microsoft Azure

Expensive support, lower ratio of availability zones than other cloud service providers, doesn’t provide any form of guaranteed capacity to its customers (Stashko, 2021).

Google Cloud

Challenges with positioning as an enterprise-class IaaS solution, smaller pool of well-versed managed service providers.

Alibaba Cloud

limited adoption in many parts of the world, then big need of investment in international markets to become a genuinely global cloud service provider (Stashko, 2021).  

Oracle cloud

Snowflake unavailable, small market share in the database PaaS, “the company has made several steps in offering new products, such as Oracle Cloud Functions, that enable developers to create, run and scale applications in a serverless environment, however, not all of the new products have been adopted by Oracle’s customers” (Stashko, 2021).

IBM cloud

Revenue growth is 22%, more inferior to the 45-50% growth rate from AWS and Azure, complex platform. Laggard in the cloud service providers market, in many cases, IBM is not embracing the newest models. 

6. Cloud Benefits

AWS

Most mature and enterprise-ready provider, influential track record of customer success (small-medium and large enterprises), offers over 100 products that users can test for free, offers a 1-year trial for some products, offer short free trial services for Machine Learning, compute, security, analytics, and compliance.

Microsoft Azure

Well suited Microsoft services users, provides consistent services on the cloud, strong player in all use cases, including edge and comprehensive cloud offerings, in which other cloud vendors are not that well-versed. Offers $200 credit to new users for one month.

Google Cloud

No worry about the vendor lock-in because of the open source google offerings (TensorFlow, Kubernetes, and Istio) which are influencing significantly the deployment, scaling and management of enterprise IT in the cloud. 

Alibaba Cloud

Services with a 44% better average network latency than the public ISP between the US and China (Alibaba, 2019). 75% better network consistency than the public ISP (US-China), more predictable.

Oracle cloud

Meticulous architecture, competitive services. Oracle delivers all of its services simultaneously in all its global regions, unlike other cloud providers, offers a Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer for clients, offers a free tier with no time limit and $300 for new customers.

IBM cloud

20 always-free cloud products and 11 short-term free trial products (IBM, 2023), 10 limited-time offers, 24/7 support via a ticket system with its free plan. 

Conclusion

There are many other companies which are coming up with cloud services and are performing better day by day. We cannot compare all of them here, but we cannot ignore their existence. However, we can list some of them which we know are performing and offering good and great services: ServerSpace, Adobe Creative Cloud, Kamatera Cloud, VMware, Rackspace, Red Hat, Salesforce, SAP, Verizon Cloud, Navisite, Dropbox, Intel corporation, Twilio, Digital Ocean, OVH Cloud, Hostinger, Scala Hosting, Cloud Sigma, Linode, Cloudways, and more. Of course, each of them has its own specificities, strengths, and weaknesses.


[1] This aspect of Cloud services typically revolves around the ratio of vCPUs to RAM and is a general way to compare equivalent VMs and VM families from provider to provider.

[2] Virtual machine with no replication

[3] Virtual Machine with one or more copies within the same availability zone

[4] Virtual Machine with one or more copies of different availability zones

[5] Virtual Machine with one or more copies on different Azure regions.

References

Alibaba. (2019, March). Alibaba Cloud for MNCs. Retrieved from extension://elhekieabhbkpmcefcoobjddigjcaadphttps://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/cn/Documents/technology/deloitte-cn-alibaba-cloud-white-paper-for-mncs.pdf

Alibaba. (2023). Alibaba Cloud's Global Infrastructure. Retrieved January 13, 2023, from Alibaba Cloud: https://www.alibabacloud.com/global-locations

Alibaba. (2023). Cloud computing services. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from Alibaba Cloud: https://www.alibabacloud.com/help/en

Amazon. (2023). AWS Documentation. Retrieved January 11, 2023, from AWS: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/?nc2=h_ql_doc_do

Canalys. (2021). Global cloud infrastructure market Q4 2020. Retrieved January 13, 2023, from Canalys: https://www.canalys.com/newsroom/global-cloud-market-q4-2020

Google. (2023). Cloud Computing Services. Retrieved January 13, 2023, from Google Cloud: https://cloud.google.com/

IBM. (2021). IBM Reports 2020 Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from https://newsroom.ibm.com/2021-01-21-IBM-Reports-2020-Fourth-Quarter-and-Full-Year-Results

IBM. (2023). Catalog. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from IBM Cloud: https://cloud.ibm.com/catalog#services

IBM. (2023). IBM Cloud free tier. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from IBM Cloud: https://www.ibm.com/cloud/free

Marko, K. (2021, January 11). Cloud providers jockey for 2021 market share. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from TechTarget: https://www.techtarget.com/searchcloudcomputing/opinion/Cloud-providers-jockey-for-market-share

Marks, E. (2018, December 14). How to Compare Cloud Providers, Services, and Prices in 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from Cloud spectator: https://cloudspectator.com/how-to-compare-cloud-providers-services-and-prices/

Microsoft. (2021). FY21 Q2. Retrieved from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/Investor/earnings/FY-2021-Q2/press-release-webcast

Microsoft. (2023). Azure products. Retrieved January 13, 2023, from Azure: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/products/

New Tech Forum. (2017). Cloud pricing comparison: AWS vs. Microsoft Azure vs. Google Cloud vs. IBM Cloud. Retrieved January 13, 2023, from InfoWorld: https://www.infoworld.com/article/3237566/cloud-pricing-comparison-aws-vs-azure-vs-google-vs-ibm.html

Oracle Corporation. (2021). Q3 FISCAL 2021 FINANCIAL RESULTS. Retrieved January 13, 2023, from https://investor.oracle.com/investor-news/news-details/2021/Oracle-Announces-Fiscal-2021-Third-Quarter-Financial-Results/default.aspx

Oracle Corporation. (2023). Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Documentation. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from Oracle: https://docs.oracle.com/en-us/iaas/Content/home.htm

Stashko, A. (2021, May 5). Top Cloud Service Providers: A Quick Comparison. Retrieved January 12, 2023, from Avennga: https://shorturl.gg/FzTH6