Microsoft Azure is a public cloud computing platform by Microsoft that offers a wide array of cloud hosting services across the globe. If you want to develop new applications on the cloud or scale your existing applications, Microsoft Azure can be an excellent platform for that. While Azure is powerful, sometimes you need to look for an alternative hosting platform.
Why Should You Consider an Alternative to Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is one of the most reliable cloud hosting providers, but some issues with the platform might encourage you to search for its alternatives. Here are a few reasons to consider an alternative to Azure:
- Multiple Outages in History — Microsoft Azure has faced multiple outages in its history. The reasons behind these outages range from leap day bug DNS issues. As a result, you might consider the platform frustrating when it comes to ensuring your desired uptime. Getting the uptime the platform advertises is extremely important to make sure your applications are running correctly. But the previous record of Microsoft Azure isn’t highly satisfactory, which leads users to find alternatives to it.
- Data Security — A significant concern of the users is data security when it comes to hosting your web applications in the cloud. According to the policy, Microsoft Azure may provide your data to the government even if they are stored outside the US. This is a big threat to data safety, which is why many customers might not choose Azure as their cloud hosting provider.
- Not-So-Good Support — Though Microsoft Azure offers plenty of products and services, the support is frustrating compared to other cloud hosting providers. In many cases, you might not get proper documentation for your services. And if there is any issue with your services due to bugs, it might take an eternity to solve.
- Comparatively Expensive — Despite having a pay-per-use policy, Microsoft Azure can get really expensive if you want to expand your requirement for services. You must spend a lot for the scalability you want. And this can be frustrating for smaller organizations that have just turned to the cloud computing world.
- Complex Interface — If you are just starting out in the cloud environment, the feature-packed user interface of Microsoft Azure can be a nightmare to find the desired options. As it packs a lot of advanced features, it can be difficult for beginners to get through a deployment or something.
Top Alternatives to Microsoft Azure
If your needs are simple, it may be overkill to choose Azure. This platform is more suitable for large organizations. So, here are some alternatives to Microsoft Azure that you can easily use.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the most popular cloud computing service providers in the world. It provides different services like computing power, database storage, content delivery, and many more. AWS was launched in 2002, a lot earlier than Azure; it’s one of the biggest competitors. But its cloud products were launched four years later.
This platform works in different configurations depending on the requirement of the users. You will get user-friendly programming models, databases, etc., here. So, working on this platform is much easier for users. The platform is also very cost-effective.
AWS offers multiple storage types that you can use to host enterprise-grade applications. Regular business websites can also be hosted on the platform. If you need a lot of computing power to develop gaming applications, that is also available in AWS. Besides, you can create and scale different SaaS and e-commerce applications using the platform.
Analyzing and managing big data is also easy with AWS. It offers some free tier services. And users can also pay in fractions depending on their use.
Google Cloud Platform or GCP is a part of Google Cloud that provides public cloud infrastructure for its users. You can use its different services to host web applications of any kind and scale your applications.
The platform started in 2008 with a developer tool called App Engine. Currently, Google Cloud Platform has data centers in 24 locations around the world, which is expected to go higher any time soon. Google Cloud Platform offers services like computing, hosting, storage, database, networking, big data, machine learning, etc.
GCP uses advanced software-defined networking, which enables the platform to deliver stunning performance in all terms. Google App Engine is under the Compute Services category, which you can use to deploy various applications. Compute Engine is an IaaS to create and run virtual machines.
Google offers dedicated networks for users so that you can manage your applications better. Plus, cloud hosting plans here are much more cost-effective than their competitors. GCP follows a pay-per-use policy, so you will only be paying for the service you use.
You all might know IBM Corporation as the pioneer of personal computers. The company stepped into the world of cloud computing in 2013. Currently, the platform provides more than 170 products and services related to cloud computing for B2B organizations. IBM Cloud follows its competitors like Google Cloud Platform or Microsoft Azure in terms of service models. So, you will get IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS on this platform.
Its services include cloud computing, cloud networking, cloud storage, cloud analytics, developer tools, artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, management, security, etc. Accessing virtual resources is convenient on IBM Cloud. You have the liberty to choose from bare-metal or virtual servers here.
Besides using the platform as a supplement for your on-premise servers, it can be used as an independent server too. It is compatible with different programming languages like PHP, Java, Python, and many more. Creating virtual machines, natural language processing APIs, etc., are possible if you choose IBM Cloud as your cloud computing service provider.
Security is one of the main priorities on this platform. So, you can be sure of data safety no matter how many services you use. Plus, you have the pay-per-use feature here.
DigitalOcean is one of the largest cloud hosting providers in the world. The company started in 2011 and is currently providing a wide array of cloud computing services and IaaS to its users. The user interface of this platform is much easier than its competitors. So, it can be an excellent place for newcomers in the cloud computing world.
It introduced SSD-based virtual machines to the industry, and that has become the standard today. DigitalOcean calls its virtual machines Droplets that can be managed and monitored using the platform. It has data centers in 14 locations around the globe.
Deploying your application to the cloud can be a big hassle. But DigitalOcean has comprehensive documentation to guide you throughout the process. As a result, complex processes like managing a Kubernetes cluster become much easier.
And it seems to have the most affordable pricing plans where someone can use cloud services for as low as $5 per month. The competitive pricing of the platform makes it highly popular among small teams or startups. But unfortunately, there isn’t enough support for Windows or other operating systems. It can be an excellent platform for Linux deployments with great support.
What is Microsoft Azure?
The platform was formerly known as Windows Azure since its launch in 2010. It has evolved into one of the industry-leading cloud platforms, and about 85% of Fortune 500 companies use this platform for cloud computing. But why is Azure so popular among users?
Azure provides the following forms of cloud computing.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
The platform is compatible with different open-source technologies. So, it is highly convenient for users to develop their applications in this cloud platform. This flexibility is a big reason behind the popularity of the platform.
Microsoft Azure provides services in 18 categories. These categories include computing, migration, networking, storage, analytics, containers, artificial intelligence, integration, developer tools, security, databases, etc. There are more than 200 services under these categories.
Users can create web applications and test them on the platform. It can also help you host your new applications or migrate existing applications to the platform. Besides, creating virtual machines for your needs is also easy with Azure. Your virtual devices and directories can be synced easily. If you need a large amount of data storage, that is also available on Azure.
Microsoft Azure uses a pay-as-you-go model for charging its users. So, you need to spend only on the service you use in your applications. Using multiple services may require additional costs. And you can also get customized pricing if you want to use certain services for a long time.