Cloud Computing Comparisons
As we saw in Part 1, Amazon Web Services being the pioneer in Cloud Services
As the cloud computing services are getting popular day by day, more companies have started evaluating the different offerings vis-à-vis their requirement. As we saw, it is not only the pricing models, but also service models and support plans differ. All these make it challenging for the companies to choose a cloud vendor suitable to the needs. The value of cloud services consists of its performance and cost.
One of the key values is the ‘Pay As You Go’ metered service. The other two are packages available and support.
For the same windows server operating system (Windows Server 2008, 32 bit / 64 bit), for the same virtualization type used (Xen based VM), the service delivery models of Gogrid, AWS and Rackspace are presented in their own way.
(Gogrid is an offshoot of Servepath)
Gogrid can be termed as an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider. Gogrid’s bonding with Microsoft is thicker. Both Microsoft’s BizSpark program and WebsiteSpark program can get along with Gogrid service seamlessly. As we know now Microsoft is not allowing the same programs as with AWS. Microsoft WebMatrix is also available with Gogrid with a free $ 150 service credit.
Gogrid’s prime data center is available at San Francisco. The second data center has been started in Ashburn, VA. Gogrid’s SLA Service Level Agreement is clear with 100% uptime Guarantee against 99.95% of AWS. Gogrid’s availability status with Cloudharmony reports 99.999% both for US East and West.
Amazon Web Services can be termed as an IaaS and Platform as a Service (PaaS) provider. The global coverage of AWS with 4 regions (US East- Virginia, US West N. California, Europe West Ireland, and Asia Pacific Singapore) speaks well for AWS. The practical difficulty is that Windows components should be added by the user. Amazon allows existing Windows Server licenses usage but subject to strict eligibility criteria. Amazon EC2 running with Windows Server and SQL Server is a popular use case.
Initially the users found the Gogrid’s user interface very easy to handle. Now AWS Management Console has improved a lot that it has become easy to handle. Automatic configuration of Windows Instances, particularly with .Net applications needs a lot of fiddling by developers.
(Formerly known as Mosso.)
Cloud Servers for Windows is launched by Rackspace very recently. Though, the price, package and support are good resulting in a lot of attraction. This is a Microsoft backed offering meaning customers can have additional Microsoft support. Rackspace’s datacenters are available in North America, Europe and Asia.
Custom configurations with full administrator access, Ability to upgrade server size on-demand are hallmark features. While resize up feature is available resizing down is not available.
Service support of cloud vendors is a critical point to consider. As it is, most of the small and medium sized companies are planning to tap the cloud services; the inside availability of IT operational resources are limited with them. Porting the web applications to the cloud and managing the service needs a lot of IT management expertise. In this scenario, support becomes a critical element. While Rackspace claims Fanatical Support Gogrid provides 24/7 technical support. The weak link for AWS is support. As it is, with the service itself, there is no technical support except we can use community forums. AWS Silver and Gold support is costing and can go up to 20% of billing.
Based on the above, we can tentatively rank the three vendors, Gogrid, AWS and Rackspace in three aspects, Pricing, Packaging, and Support as below:
As mentioned this is tentative and we look forward to valuable feedback and comments from our readers.