How to choose your cloud provider and which model to follow?

In recent years, services and cloud computing delivery models or in Portuguese cloud computing are being adopted by companies around the world for their numerous benefits — both for business and IT, to avoid maintenance and updating costs of internal infrastructure.

The various service models available from cloud service providers in combination offer an additional advantage to companies that plan to adopt a model that is most appropriate for their operations.

For this strategy to be successful, however, it is essential to understand what role each of these services plays, what the types of cloud are and how each cloud provider, among the main ones, operates. Understand in this article!

Demystifying the differences between cloud service models

Cloud services are becoming increasingly important in the business world. Almost every organization in the world uses at least one type of cloud service.

Understanding which models are offered, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each one, is the initial step in starting a migration strategy. Among the main ones, we have software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

Software as a service — SaaS

     SaaS is the most common type of cloud computing and one of the most used by companies. In this model, a software provider will host the application and related data using its own servers, databases, network and computing resources. This application will be accessible on any device with a network connection. SaaS applications are typically accessed through web browsers.

Software as a service is easy to use and manage, and is highly scalable. For this reason, they are a great way to manage and coordinate global teams of freelancers or employees.

Platform as a service — PaaS

It's not easy to define PaaS in one or two sentences; think of it as a tool for developing online apps and products. It could be middleware, database management or analytics. It allows developers to create custom applications online without the need to deal with service and data storage.

The big advantage of using PaaS is that developers can easily deploy large applications without the need to download or purchase related infrastructure. Instead, everything can be done online – servers, databases, operating systems and more. Examples of PaaS are Heroku, Google App Engine.

Infrastructure as a service — IaaS

IaaS allows companies to use the cloud service provider's IT infrastructure on a subscription basis. In this model, the provider typically has an on-premises data center that includes servers, hardware, rit's from, virtual machines, operating systems and storage.

With IaaS, companies can access these services and resources over a wide area network and use the provider's services to install the rest of the applications. For example, as a customer, you can use the cloud provider's services to perform many functions such as cost tracking, balancing network traffic, performance monitoring, disaster recovery management — and even resolving application issues.

     The truth is that each cloud computing model is suitable for different businesses. Each of them has its own pros and cons, and you can simply choose the one that best suits your needs. With IaaS, you gain more control over applications and processes, but you must keep in mind the higher costs and unexpected fees that may occur.

SaaS, on the other hand, is by far the most popular type of cloud computing service. You can use cloud-based applications without having to manage the infrastructure. PaaS is best for developers who don't want to spend more on the platforms needed to complete projects.

Understanding Cloud Types

Cloud deployment describes how a cloud platform is deployed, how it is hosted, and who has access to it. All cloud computing deployments operate on the same principle, virtualizing the computing power of servers into segmented, software-driven applications that provide processing and storage resources. In this context, we have 3 major deployment models.

Private Cloud

Private clouds typically reside behind a firewall and are used by a single organization. A fully on-premises cloud may be the preferred solution for companies with very strict regulatory requirements, although private clouds implemented through a colocation provider are gaining popularity. Authorized users can access, use, and store data in the private cloud from anywhere, just as they would in a public cloud. The difference is that no one else can access or use these computing resources.

Public cloud

Some examples of public cloud include those offered by Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (AZURE) or Google (GCP) — which we will talk about in the next topic. These companies provide services and infrastructure, which are shared by all customers. Public clouds typically have a large amount of space available, which translates into easy scalability.

A public cloud is generally recommended for software development and collaborative projects. Companies can design their applications to be portable, so that a project tested in the public cloud can be moved to the private cloud for production. Most cloud providers package their computing resources as part of a service.

Public cloud examples range from access to a fully virtualized infrastructure that provides little more than raw processing power and storage (infrastructure as a service, or IaaS) to specialized software programs that are easy to implement and use (software as a service, or SaaS ).

Hybrid Cloud

Simply put, hybrid clouds combine public clouds with private clouds. They are designed to allow the two platforms to interact seamlessly, with data and applications moving smoothly from one to the other. It's the perfect solution for a business or organization that needs a bit of both, often depending on industry and size.

There are two commonly used types of hybrid cloud architecture. In the first, we have a private cloud as primary, storing data and housing proprietary applications in a secure environment.

When service demands increase, however, private cloud infrastructure may not have the capacity to keep up. That's where the public cloud comes in, which can be used to complement the private cloud, offering greater agility and scalability without the company having to buy new servers or complement the existing infrastructure in the private cloud.

The second type of hybrid cloud model also runs most applications and hosts data in a private cloud environment, but outsources non-critical applications to a public cloud provider. This arrangement is common for organizations that need access to specialized development tools (like Adobe Creative Cloud), basic productivity software (like Microsoft Office 365), or CRM platforms (like Salesforce).

Multi-cloud architecture is often deployed here, incorporating multiple cloud service providers to meet a variety of unique organizational needs.

Knowing the main cloud providers

     Between greater savings, greater security and less downtime, there are several reasons why your company should migrate to the cloudm. According to the IDC, cloud infrastructure spending is expected to grow by 9.6%, at a five-year compound rate (CAGR), reaching $105.6 billion in 2024 and accounting for 62.8% of total IT infrastructure spending.

If your company is new to cloud services or is considering switching to another provider, you may be wondering which is the right choice. Let's now present the characteristics of the 3 main cloud providers on the market: Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google Cloud.

But first, we have a tip: when it comes to business, you need to look beyond the brand and do what's best for you and your customers. Here's a checklist that should help keep things in context as you read these comparisons:

  • Find a trusted provider: This goes beyond name recognition to include an emphasis on security and feedback from real customers;
  • assess stability: this means availability of regular releases, continuous performance, dispersed platforms and load balancing;
  • consider economies of scale: know the ratio between the cost of running an internal server and the available resources of a corporate cloud;
  • Look for a standardized service: Does the company offer cost-effective app packages and the features you need? Bundled services can save you money over purchasing IaaS, SaaS, and more prodigital pipelines à la carte;
  • Evaluate flexibility: The last thing you want is to enter into a contract with a provider that inhibits agility and growth.

How do AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud compare on these criteria and against each other? Let's try to explain it in a practical way.


AWS — Amazon Web Services — is the online commerce giant's cloud computing platform. The service is divided between regions, availability zones (AZ) and so-called points of presence. In total, AWS has 22 regions located around the world, 14 AZ and 114 points of presence.

Regions cover a geographic area, such as a state or country, and AZs are data centers within regions. Availability Zones are located as far away from each other as possible within their region to ensure there are no service outages if an AZ goes down due to a natural disaster or other type of widespread disaster.

Edge zones are caches that act similar to content delivery networks (CDN), caching web content closest to the user's location for faster delivery and response times.

This type of infrastructure allows data delivery to be deployed faster and on a global scale without impacting service availability or performance. AWS supports all operating systems and is generally ranked as the top IaaS platform for availability, reliable performance, and number of applications.

What kind of services will you find through AWS? So far, there are 18,000 distinct services and counting. They include:

  • machine learning and predictive analytics;
  • databases and storage solutions;
  • business productivity tools;
  • application integration.
  • developer, engagement, and management tools.

Microsoft Azure

Known as a solid and integrated platform for companies that already rely on Windows-based standardization, the Microsoft Azure overcame some obstacles to compete head-to-head with AWS. A surprising feature is its compatibility with Linux in terms of virtual guest operating systems and compatibility with Linux container platforms, another no less important point is linked to licensing values for products such as Windows Server and SQL Server reaching 5 times more affordable on Azure than on other cloud providers.

Azure's strength has always been as an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider. The platform also offers ready-to-run, integrated server applications that support a variety of languages, including .NET, Java, PHP, Node .js, and Python.

The platform offers the scale you need to bring your applications closer to users around the world, is available in 60 regions around the world and 140 countries, with services designed to increase productivity by deploying the latest technology. It's also one of the easiest enterprise clouds when it comes to setup and operation. With Azure, you'll enjoy services like:

  • Blockchain;
  • big data and predictive analysis;
  • Data Science;
  • game and application development;
  • scalable data storage;
  • blockchain technology;
  • DevOps;
  • IoT integration.

Google Cloud

As far as IaaS providers are concerned, the Google Cloud Platform is relatively new. It supports multiple generations of Linux as well as Windows server versions up to 2016. In 2018, it expanded to 21 regions that are divided into a minimum of three zones each. This gives it a smaller reach than the other two providers, but Google is trying to make up for the lack of reach in other ways.

On the one hand, GCP is an innovator in server deployment, with a exclusive cabling system which starts in Guam and connects to servers in Australia, the South Pacific, Asia, Japan and the continental US. All functionality can be operated via a new console that has been designed for ease of use and is simple to install and configure. Services include:

  • data management and storage;
  • application development;
  • business analytics and AI;
  • productivity and workload management tools.

As you can see, AWS, Microsoft, and Google are unique in their own way and offer a plethora of options for businesses to choose from based on their specific requirements. Understanding the concepts we present in this article, in addition to the functionalities of each cloud provider, is essential to adopting the right solution for your business. For even more accurate decision-making, consider having the support of a partner specialized in IT infrastructure.

Do you need support to choose the best solutions for your company's IT infrastructure? Contact us and learn about our consultancy service.


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