The 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 simple static websites to complex machine learning applications.
As per Flexera, Azure & AWS (Amazon Web Service) are market leaders.
Undoubtedly, big techs are doing excellent; however, there are other emerging players as well. While there are probably hundreds of cloud hosting providers, I will focus on some of the best IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) platforms.
AWS needs no introduction. But still, if you are not aware, it was launched in 2006, and it operates in 31 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 firewalls, DNS, and Load balancing, or even you can have your virtual private cloud.
To read the complete list of products AWS offers, you can refer here.
An excellent thing about AWS is you pay for what you use, and it also offers a FREE tier for some of its popular services. So, if you are looking to try out AWS, take advantage of a FREE account to experience the platform.
In addition, startups can benefit from AWS Activate, where they can apply for $100,000 worth of free AWS credits. This complimentary package also includes expert help in learning, building and deploying the cloud product for your use case.
If you are looking for guidance to get started, I recommend taking this online course to get an overview of the AWS cloud.
A popular cloud hosting among developers – not as big as AWS or GCP, but the DigitalOcean platform experience is world-class. Pricing is a big advantage – you can get a VM for as low as $4 per month.
DigitalOcean is available in 14 data centers globally, including there four legacy data centers that are at capacity and can only be used by their existing customers.
If you are a startup, you can get 12 months of infrastructure credits through their Hatch program.
The best part of DigitalOcean is its managed database service like MongoDB, MySQL, Redis, and PostgreSQL, which are extremely helpful for non-tech-savvy users. Finally, every new user gets $200 worth of free credits for a risk-free trial.
DigitalOcean recently acquired Cloudways to offer managed hosting like WordPress, WooCommerce, Magento, PHP, and many more applications.
Kamatera offers various cloud services like firewalls, servers, storage, block storage, load balancer, etc.
The platform is user-friendly and offers many popular applications and service deployment, including:
Even though the company has over 20 years of cloud experience, Kamatera is the new booming player in the global markets, with 18 Datacenters across four continents.
Kamatera’s sudden increase in popularity is mainly due to its unique added values – fairly priced VM (starting from $4 a month), amazing scalability, and flexibility with server configuration and payment options, great performance, and most importantly, customized and tailored made cloud services with 24/7 support.
Microsoft Azure was launched in 2010 as Windows Azure, and later in 2014, it was renamed Microsoft Azure. It has many product offerings, including its own software like IIS, MS SQL, Exchange Server, etc.
You can get the complete list of products from here.
Literally, Azure has everything – AI, IoT, compute, security, analytics, container, database, etc.
Additionally, Microsoft Azure is also one of the few outsiders to have servers in Mainland China. If you are a startup, you can join their BizSpark program to get up to $150,000 in free Azure credits.
Cloud 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, with plans starting 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 are worth mentioning, such as
Choice of 30 global locations
Redundant cloud server for excellent uptime
Abundant choices for computing as per custom needs
Dedicated SSD block storage to scale up storage
APIs to build or manage your own custom hosting platform on top of Vultr
Schedule automatic backups and snapshots 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 minimizing latency to build performance-oriented applications, then GCP should be your first choice. We all know about high-performance Google products like Gmail, YouTube, and Search, which are hosted on the same infrastructure.
Google Cloud is available in 37 locations and has more than 187 network edge locations.
Most of their products are available in all regions so that you can host your application closest to your target audience. For WordPress users, I listed some of the best-managed WordPress hosting on Google Cloud.
GCP offers $300 free credits to be used in 60 days and 20+ free products to get that priceless first-hand experience.
If you can’t ignore the Chinese market, Alibaba Cloud – is your gateway to it.
With a vast number of products, you can think of hosting almost everything inside China to provide the best possible experience to your customers.
Datacenter locations in China include:
Besides, it has footprints in 14 more international locations.
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 processes and formalities.
Lastly, Alibaba Cloud has 50+ offers worth up to $8,500, covering its vast range of cloud products for new subscriptions.
UpCloud is a developer-centric platform focused 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.
A few more noteworthy features are:
MaxIOPS storage which ensures better performance
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.
A well-known DigitalOcean alternative, Linode (now acquired by Akamai), is perfect for hosting web applications, from personal blogs to eCommerce.
It takes care of everything, starting from cloud migration to DNS configuration, load balancing, and auto-scaling, all the while providing predictable pricing.
Linode is well-known for its essential features, like:
Excellent 24×7 support
Nano computes for tiny web applications or for a test server
S3-compatible object storage, which makes it an ideal fit for big-data analytics and machine-learning operations
11 global data centers giving excellent deployment flexibility and the ability to meet country-level norms
One-click apps for WordPress, Drupal, Gitlab
Brightbox is a perfect choice for the European market, with 100% UK-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.
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
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 the 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.
OVHCloud can serve a wide spectrum of personal and business use cases with its public and private cloud services.
They cover dedicated servers, cloud storage, and backup, network security, VPS & email, containers, databases, load balancers, etc.
As of this writing, they have 30 data centers located in Australia, Singapore, North America, and Europe.
Besides, OVHCloud offers $200 worth of free credit to new customers to try out its public cloud services.
Serving over 8 million customers, IONOS has a robust cloud services portfolio.
Web-hosting and eCommerce
Backup and storage
Dedicated servers and VPS
Personally, I observed IONOS offerings clearly directing personal and enterprise customers to their suitable products. This is much less confusing than what an average user feels at industry-leading cloud providers like AWS or Google Cloud.
Besides, IONOS has an envious features catalog comprising redundant servers, consulting, a pay-as-you-go model, 24/7 expert support, and more.
Lastly, based on the product, IONOS welcomes new users with free credits or risk-free trials with money-back guarantees.
There are many IaaS platforms, but the 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.