Why you should look beyond the big 3 cloud providers

The cloud has, for the most part, become a commodity. Most enterprise cloud workloads require a small variety of hardware. After all, how many organizations are actually doing quantum computing or even AI training workloads in the cloud? The fact is, the majority of businesses simply need core cloud services: compute, block and object storage, CI/CD and testing environments, backup and failover, and low-risk options for hybrid cloud or multicloud deployments.

That’s why technology analysts have recognized “alternative cloud providers” as a legitimate and growing segment of the cloud services market, clearly distinct from the Big Three hyperscale public cloud providers—Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). 451 Research, for example, in its 2020 Trends in Managed Services and Hosting Report observes:

Hyperscale public clouds make up a significant majority of public cloud market revenue. However, there is still room for alternative cloud providers to add value as enterprises increasingly adopt multicloud strategies, and smaller companies opt for services that intentionally skew away from the complexity of hyperscale cloud.

For the first time in the 12-year history of cloud computing, companies have legitimate and arguably better-suited choices in providers. We’re talking about alternative cloud providers like DigitalOcean, Linode, and Vultr, who are now in many ways on par with (and, in the case of price performance, outperform) the Big Three mega clouds.

Worldwide data centers

One of the myths about hyperscalers is that they offer superior networks and data center hardware. For all intents and purposes, there is no difference between the hardware on the racks of alternative cloud providers and what AWS has on its racks. The compute power is basically identical.

If you’re wondering about global reach and scalability, rest assured that alternative cloud providers have got you covered. Granted, alternative cloud providers are not big enough to directly compete with AWS, Azure, or GCP, and they have no designs to. But they have extensive global networks that deliver ubiquitous availability via world-class data centers placed strategically around the world.

The resulting global network is capable of blanketing users, scaling massive workloads, complying with variations in regional laws, and providing instant recoveries in flawlessly orchestrated failovers. Today, the global networks established by alternative cloud providers are already scaling to meet the needs of Fortune 50 companies, so scaling to support the workloads of small and medium-size businesses (SMBs) is not an issue.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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