AGIX Discussion

IaaS Alternatives to AWS (Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and IBM Softlayer)

Amazon has a head-start with AWS IaaS services. We use AWS at AGIX by default because we know what they have to offer and we know what to expect with pricing and performance. We also have automation tools that work well with their stack. We’re often asked for alternatives for comparison so we do keep our eyes open.

Don’t expect to be an expert by the end of this article. This is simply an intro to the link at the bottom – read this first and then hit the link.

Enter Microsoft, IBM and Google. I’ve spent some time testing each IaaS listed above. My tests were simply to create accounts and spin-up a CentOS 7 instance. Sadly I was turned off by the silliest thing with both Google and Microsoft. Microsoft’s Azure and Google Cloud interfaces (web interface, not CLI) are too animated and slow to respond. I often missed buttons and clicked something that slid into it’s path. Small, silly but annoying.

The bottom line is that the “instances” spun-up just fine and, most important to us, SELinux was on by default with CentOS 7. In all cases each instance was not waiting on the underling hardware and SSH keys were easily provisioned – nicer than AWS i might say.

Google and Microsoft have clear price indicators as you make selections regarding resources, etc. AWS isn’t so clear. AWS does have a price calculator which assumes you know the expected I/O, network traffic and DNS query requests per month. I’m sure the others have their little surprises too.

We’re more interested in the technical side of the IaaS offerings. We know they are so heavily in competition that prices will be very similar moving forward.

For an overview and comparison of each IaaS, check out “http://cloudcomparison.rightscale.com/“.