Business leaders should weigh variables of different cloud providers

January 15, 2015

As more business leaders overcome their fears of cyberattacks due to possible breaches of insecure systems and devices, cloud computing will boost its growth rate. The advantages are too plentiful to ignore.

Companies can streamline operations with inexpensive and easily accessible information storage and backup. Meanwhile, expanding cloud capacity is much less expensive than traditional investments in data storage. The cloud calls for much less energy expenditure compared to IT centers of old, which required elaborate server hubs that had to be run throughout the day. This means that the cloud, which minimizes carbon footprint, could be viewed as an environmentally conscious and sustainable alternative.

However, once business leaders express a willingness to implement cloud computing into their operations, it can be difficult to separate the competition from one another. What makes one cloud service provider better than the other provider?

A year-long recap for cloud service providers
Amazon Web Services and Google both recorded highly impressive years for their cloud operations, according to Network World. Much of this can be attributed to the very low levels of cloud downtime for each company.

Google Cloud Platform’s storage service finished with a mere 14 minutes of downtime, or 99.9996 percent of uptime, throughout 2014. Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud concluded the year with 2.41 hours of downtime, or 99.9974 percent of uptime, from 20 total outages in the past year.

“The more established players are fine-tuning their systems and becoming quite stable,” Jason Read, CEO of CloudHarmony, told the news outlet. “AWS has been providing cloud services longer than anyone in the market and Google uses its existing infrastructure for its cloud, so it too has a long track record of managing a reliable distributed system.”

New AWS cloud feature improves service’s strength
Elastic Compute Cloud Spot Instances allow AWS cloud users to name their own price on available computing capacity, Data Center Knowledge reported. When the spot price exceeds a customer bid, spot instances are reclaimed and then given to another user. AWS has developed this reclamation step with a two-minute warning period, known as the Spot Instance Termination Notice, which precedes an instance shutdown.

“Your application can use this time to save its state, upload long files or remove itself from an Elastic Load Balancer,” wrote AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr, according to the news outlet. “This change will allow more types of applications to benefit from the scale and low price of Spot Instances.”