Best PracticesCloud

Head in the Cloud: Comparing AWS & IBM, and When to Go Local

By May 23, 2019 No Comments

Whether you are considering switching to cloud computing. adding the cloud to your on-premise infrastructure, or looking for a new provider, it can be difficult to figure out the best choice for your company. It is important to find a cloud solution that will improve your business’ accessibility, data security, and bandwidth, while still making sure it fits your business’ budget and timeline.

Cloud Solutions

Amazon Web Services Cloud (AWS) and the IBM Cloud are two of the biggest names in the industry. Businesses are likely to trust them due to name recognition and the financial and technical resources those companies have. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to working with big industry cloud vendors, as well as smaller, more local ones that can help your business make its decision.

 

AWS Pros

AWS is considered the largest provider of cloud-based services. It currently has over a million active users and earned 17.5 billion in revenue in 2017. AWS offers flexibility, scalability, security, and financial savings, proving to be immensely beneficial to the businesses who use it.

AWS offers services to fit businesses of all sizes, so as your business grows, your cloud storage can grow too.  Amazon’s primary off-premise cloud computing platform, Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2), has been considered extremely flexible because of its data usage policies. Through EC2, businesses are able to obtain new servers and increase capacity within minutes.

AWS is also highly secure, using a granular permissions policy. A built-in firewall restricts the public from your cloud. In addition, Amazon Identity and Access Management (IAM) helps to control user access, designating specific access to certain resources for select employees. Therefore, your company would be less at risk for a data breach.

Finally, AWS is “pay as you go”, which can save you money in the long run. Without a contract, you are free to terminate service or eliminate storage from a server whenever you wish. Businesses are less likely to overspend, as the services change to fit your needs.

AWS Cons

Despite its flexibility and scalability, however, AWS may not be a good fit for all businesses. AWS has a steeper learning curve than some comparable options. Though this results in increased ability to customize and configure to what you want, it takes more time to figure out.

In addition, AWS has suffered from some major service outages over recent years, causing their customers to lose possible revenue. In March of 2018, AWS Direct Connect, advertised as a “more consistent network experience than Internet-based connections”, experienced connectivity issues that affected their customers. Just a year before that, an incorrectly typed command shut down service for four hours in Northern Virginia, where much of AWS’ cloud infrastructure is located.

Some customers have noticed extra fees on sometimes complicated and confusing bills. One of these is incurred by unused instances, so be sure to monitor your usage and determine which instances your business can remove. Data transfer can also run up your bill. While transferring into EC2 is free, transferring data out can be costly. Finally, ELB–elastic load balancing–distribute application traffic and scale resources to meet demands. However, you will be charged each month for each ELB, even if you do not use all of them.

IBM Cloud Pros

Comparable to AWS, IBM earned 17 billion in revenue last year. In recent years, IBM has been building up its cloud computing offerings by working with third-party vendors.  With its diverse and innovative ideas, IBM Cloud may suit your individual business.

IBM-owned Softlayer, now simply referred to as IBM Cloud, offers bare metal servers on a paid subscription level. It is the only major cloud vendor to offer this service. These single-tenant servers tend to perform more reliably than multi-tenant virtual machines as it is assigned to one customer and a hypervisor is not needed. They are able to complete more demanding workloads than the basic cloud infrastructure.  As these servers are available on an hourly basis, companies can use them to perform data analysis only when necessary.

IBM Watson is a supercomputer that uses AI to perform as a question-answering machine. Its abilities include voice recognition, language processing, and business analytics. Using Watson allows companies more easily make connections between data and process it quickly, helping you to scale and adapt your cloud when the need arises. Through Watson, your business will gain access to various analytical functions to decipher and draw insights from data.

As both features focus on data, IBM Cloud’s “data first” approach becomes clear. Businesses are becoming increasingly focused on data analysis in a more digital environment, and IBM is following that trend.

IBM Cloud Cons

The risk of working with such a large corporation is customer service and support. Due to the volume of help requests, the expert technicians tend to be hard to reach. The cloud can take time to learn, and without easy access of support, this time only increases.

IBM Cloud is not the right choice if your business needs a more short-term option, as it can take multiple hours to configure a bare metal server. The benefits to this are more flexibility and customization, but if your team only needs it for a few hours or days, it may not be the best fit.

IBM Cloud offers three pricing options that take into account your business’ resource usage and support. Businesses may select a pay-as-you-go model, or a monthly subscription model. Though this is a flexible payment plan, a more local provider has the ability to customize a strategy to fit your specific business’ budget.

With all of the features that big cloud computing companies boast, why opt for partnering with a local provider? When businesses search for cloud computing companies, they are searching for solutions and for ways to incorporate technological advances to increase their bottom line. Many local cloud computing companies are a great option to help meet those goals. They foster strong relationships with their customers, as well as offer customization and attentiveness.

The Benefits of Hiring a Local Cloud Provider Company:

Stronger Relationships Due to Easy Accessibility

Though the cloud is mandatory in a world where employees need to work remotely and total connectivity is a requirement, most businesses still need on-premise IT infrastructure as well. Having a local provider that can install and manage on-premise infrastructure, in addition to the cloud, may save your business time and money. These providers are more easily accessible over the phone and in person, saving time and helping to establish strong working relationships.

Customization

Local cloud providers can customize services and pricing to fit a company’s specific needs, as they are able to maintain a presence at your business. Cloud services can be tailored to budget requirements and your business’ particular industry. neteffect technologies works with your IT managers to create a system and strategy that works for your business. By having “feet on the street”,  engineers are able to help with all parts of a project and see it through. They have the the ability to implement device independent equipment specific to your business that integrates with your cloud solution.

Individualized Attention

Larger providers do not have the time to give individualized attention to each customer. Their assistance is often more scripted and formalized. Instead of discussing your business’ needs with one dedicated team of engineers, your contact is a chain of people you have likely never spoken to. Due to a smaller customer base, local providers tend to be more attentive to their customers’ unique needs and can spend time reviewing strategies and systems with them.

When considering which cloud computing provider to choose, be sure to look beyond the big name. Local companies host many of the same offerings and innovations while also providing in-person support. Though AWS and IBM Cloud are popular options due to their flexibility, scalability, and diverse selections, local providers can create a more individualized fit.