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  • Cloud Computing market is growing faster than ever and will continue to grow for many years.

    There are many cloud hosting providers; however, very few offer a range of products to host from a simple static website to complex machine learning applications.

    As per Flexera, AWS (Amazon Web Service) is a leader.

    So undoubtedly, Amazon is the leader today, but others are doing pretty well. Le’ts take a look at some of the following reliable cloud platform to host your applications. There are probably hundreds of hosting providers and offer multiple types of hosting. However, in the following, I will focus on some of the best IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) platforms.

    AWS

    AWS needs no introduction. But still, if you are not aware, it was launched in 2006, and it operates in 20 geographical regions across the world. It offers a large number of products to meet every business requirement. You can virtually host any applications, including networks like firewall, DNS, Load balancing, or even you can have your virtual private cloud.

    To read the complete list of products offered by AWS, you can refer here.

    The great thing about AWS is you pay for what you use and offer a FREE tier for some of their popular services. So, if you are looking to try out AWS, take advantage of a FREE account to experience the platform.

    If you are looking for some guidance to get it started, then I would recommend taking this online course to get an overview of the AWS cloud.

    DigitalOcean

    A popular cloud hosting among developers – not as big as AWS or GCP, but DigitalOcean platform experience is world-class. Pricing is a big advantage – you can get the VM from as low as $5 per month.

    Can you imagine? Computing is very cheap.

    Recently, they announced few services like managed Kubernetes, database, load balancer, object storage, etc.

    DigitalOcean is available in 12 data centers globally. If you are a startup, you can get 12 months of infrastructure credits through their Hatch program.

    Kamatera

    Kamatera offers a variety of cloud services like firewalls, servers, storage, block storage, load balancer, etc.

    The platform is super user-friendly and offers over 40 of the most popular applications and services deployment, with a click of a button. Some of them are listed below.

    • WordPress
    • Docker
    • pfSense
    • NFS
    • MongoDB
    • HAProxy
    • Mattermost
    • Rancher
    • Elasticsearch
    • OpenVPN

    Even though the company has over 20 years of cloud experience, Kamatera in the new booming player in the global markets, with 14 Datacenters across four continents, Kamatera’s sudden increase in popularity is mainly due to its unique added values – fairly price VM (starts from $4 a month), amazing scalability and flexibility with server configuration and payment options, great performances, and most important: customized and tailored made cloud services with 24/7 support.

    Microsoft Azure

    Microsoft Azure was launched in 2010 as Windows Azure, and later in 2014, it was renamed, Microsoft Azure. Azure has a large set of product offerings, including its own software like IIS, MS SQL, Exchange Server, and much more.

    Get the complete list of products from here.

    Literally, everything – AI, IoT, compute, security, analytics, container, database, etc.

    Microsoft Azure is also available in Mainland China, so if your business in China, this would be your interest. If you are a startup, you can join their BizSpark program to get free Azure service.

    Vultr

    Could hosting could be a tempting choice with its scalability and reliability. However, managing a platform like AWS or Azure could become a cumbersome job.

    Vultr simplifies this while offering cloud hosting at highly economical costs. The plans start at as low as $2.5 per month.

    Vultr provides a majority of the features you can expect, like auto-scaling, resizing, choice of OS, high-speed SSD storage, and others. Some of the following are worth mentioning.

    • Choice of 16 different regions
    • Runs redundant cloud server in the background to ensure excellent uptime
    • Abundant choices for computing as per custom needs
    • Provides dedicated SSD block storage to scale up storage anytime
    • Provides APIs to build or manage your own custom hosting platform on top of Vultr
    • Schedule automatic backup, take a snapshot of the entire VM.
    • Firewall and DDoS protection
    • Load balancer for scalability and high-availability

    With easy to use control panel, you can get your VM up and running in around 60 seconds.

    Google Cloud Platform

    GCP (Google Cloud Platform) lets you create anything from a simple blog to complex applications.

    If you are serious about latency to build performance-oriented applications, then GCP can be your first choice. We all know about Google’s product Gmail, YouTube, Search, they are hosted on the same infrastructure. Google cloud is available in 19 locations and got more than 130 network edge locations.

    Most of their products are available on all the regions so you can host your application in your neighborhood or near to the users. For WordPress users, I listed some of the best-managed WordPress hosting on Google cloud.

    GCP offers $300 in credit to be used in 60 days as a free trial.

    Alibaba Cloud

    You can’t ignore China market, so Alibaba Cloud – a gateway to China. With a vast number of products offered, you can think of hosting almost everything inside China to provide the best possible experience to your customers.

    • Qingdao
    • Beijing
    • Zhangjiakou
    • Hangzhou
    • Shanghai
    • Shenzhen
    • Hohhot
    • Hong Kong

    and 12 more international data center locations.

    You can get up to $1200 worth free trial. Here is quick architecture to tap China market when you have no offices in China.

    Alibaba Cloud also offers ICP support, which can be a great deal when you don’t want to get into complicated ICP license process and formalities.

    UpCloud

    UpCloud is a developer-centric platform that focuses on making DevOps easy.

    It is a unique platform that supports infrastructure creation using code. It supports the majority of the Infrastructure as Code (IaC) frameworks like Terraform, Ansible, Packer as well as LibCloud. Moreover, it also provides API client libraries in various popular languages, which makes it stand out.

    UpCloud stands out for the below features.

    • MaxIOPS storage which ensures better performance
    • Build custom OS images to meet organizational security standards
    • Powerful API to automate everything
    • Private networking between their data centers

    Need to build a private cloud? Sure, you can have your physical servers in their data centers. Perfect for building a hybrid cloud platform.

    Linode

    Linode is perfect for hosting web applications, from a personal blog to eCommerce.

    Linode takes care of everything, starting from cloud migration to DNS configuration, load balancing, auto-scaling, and providing predictable pricing. It would be a good alternative to DigitalOcean.

    Linode is well-known for its essential features, like below.

    • Excellent 24×7 support
    • Nano computes for tiny web applications or for a test server
    • S3 compatible object storages which make it an ideal fit for big-data analytics and machine learning operations
    • 11 global data centers giving excellent deployment flexibility and ability to meet country-level norms
    • One-click apps for WordPress, Drupal, Gitlab

    Brightbox

    Brightbox Cloud Hosting

    Brightbox is a perfect choice for the European market. It provides a 100% UK region hosted solutions. Technologically, Brightbox provides highly advanced security and enterprise-scale features like PXE bootable hardware, fully private networking, and the ability to use practically any operating system.

    Despite its simplicity and limited catalog of services, it ensures that the provided services are fully backed with essential backend services. It provides some unique services with each of its offerings.

    Cloud Servers

    Similar to other providers, Brightbox offers a range of Cloud VM to choose from. However, it does have some unique offerings to make it a preferred choice.

    • Ability to export custom image snapshots similar to Amazon Machine Image or Azure Machine Image for the virtual machines
    • Cloud IP support that allows switching servers easily while keeping the IP address
    • A full private network of servers to avoid any eavesdropping or spoofing

    Cloud Storage

    Object storage is becoming increasingly popular these days, with organizations migrating a lot of infrastructure to the cloud. However, the major challenge for organizations in cloud migration is the movement of data and its consistency thereafter. Brightbox makes it easy with the below features:

    • Manual data import from a USB, SATA or any other similar storage devices
    • Self-healing storage within inbuilt redundancy
    • Storage is based on OpenSwift standard which ensures that you can connect to the storage quite easily

    Additionally, Brightbox also provides you with the facility to have auto-scalable Cloud databases and load balancers to balance load across different servers.

    Conclusion

    There are many IaaS platforms, but above are trusted by millions of web applications, so you won’t go wrong in choosing them. None of the platforms is perfect, so try them all and see what you like, what fits your business requirement, budget, etc.