For many enterprises looking to improve their operations and expand their footprints in today's competitive business landscape, the cloud is the logical next step. Whether it's to run backend applications like Big Data analytics for actionable business insights, or to deliver more and better front-end services to a growing customer base, cloud infrastructure is a must-have. And for many organizations, the public cloud is a better bet than building out a private cloud. The public cloud's elasticity, scalability, and superior cost-effectiveness can be a boon to just about any enterprise. If your customers are considering investing in public cloud infrastructure, keep these three cloud computing giants in mind.
1. Microsoft Azure
Azure, the hybrid Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering from longtime IT giant Microsoft, is in use at a whopping 57 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Microsoft Azure's customers include Xerox, 3M, Mazda, and Diebold. Smaller organizations can benefit from Azure as well, however: Microsoft promises provisioning so easy that a new customer can sign up and deploy a cloud solution in five minutes. In addition, Azure offers extensive flexibility. Customers can integrate their existing on-premises investments with their Azure-hosted applications for a near-instant hybrid cloud, leveraging homegrown applications seamlessly alongside Microsoft Azure-managed Big Data, mobility, server and network virtualization and webapp offerings, among others.
2. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Another leader in the IaaS market, Amazon Web Services has long been known for its extensive array of options to suit the needs of any organization, large or small. Databases and virtual private cloud infrastructure are among the many cloud solutions AWS provides, and Amazon EC2 storage services are some of the best-known in the field. Like Microsoft Azure, AWS also offers managed cloud platform services for common workloads like Big Data and mobility management. In addition, the variety of compute and storage features, from basics like file system storage and CDN to more cutting-edge technologies like application containers and desktop virtualization, enable customers to build custom hybrid cloud deployments that perfect fit their needs.
Often known as the main competitor to AWS, Rackspace is another long-lived enterprise cloud hosting provider. Unlike Azure and AWS, which offer managed services but do not make them the focus of their offerings, Rackspace bills itself as "the #1 managed cloud company." This makes the company particularly attractive to enterprises without the manpower, budget, or expertise to manage their desired cloud infrastructure offerings in-house. Rackspace provides turnkey ecommerce, webapp, content management, email and collaboration, and private cloud packages, among others, and adds consulting services for issues such as security and compliance into the mix. These offerings help make Rackspace particularly friendly for the newbie enterprise cloud adopter.
Just about every enterprise recognizes the benefits of cloud computing in today's fast-moving, ever-changing business environment, but not every enterprise considers itself ready to take on the challenges of deploying and managing a custom cloud. As your customers' trusted technology partner, steer them towards cloud computing vendors that can make the task easier. In the long run, both you and your customers will benefit: the cloud isn't going anywhere, and businesses that hope to push ahead must either adopt or become obsolete.
Which cloud services do you recommend to your customers?