Amazon Web Services (AWS) ranks among the best in the cloud computing and platform service providers’ market. It is a service that is often mentioned with the likes of Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure.
And so, you’re probably wondering, “Why would I want to look for alternatives to AWS when I already work with one of the best solutions out there?”
Here is our list of the 10 Best AWS alternatives:
- Microsoft Azure – the ideal choice for businesses that already use the Microsoft working environment and want to make the move into the cloud.
- Google Cloud Platform – cloud computing services from the technology powerhouse backed by the same technology used by its popular search engine and email services.
- Alibaba Cloud – a cloud platform that is popular with e-commerce businesses; highly competitive prices and almost all features of AWS.
- Oracle Cloud Infrastructure – a cloud computing service that is the favorite among larger businesses; it comes with corporate-level solutions for resource and capital management.
- IBM Cloud – cloud services from the pioneer technology company that offers robust services combined with years of experience in the architecture design and deployment market.
- Kamatera – a cloud service provider that offers world-class hosting and deployment for a price that most businesses can afford.
- Linode – providers of Linux cloud hosting that is ideal for developing and deploying applications, services, websites, AI or machine learning workloads, and gaming services.
- Vultr – a cloud hosting platform for any operating system that can, in turn, be used for running web applications or their development on dedicated or bare metal servers.
- DigitalOcean – the cloud service provider for Linux lovers and developers seeking to deploy, and then scale, applications that run simultaneously on multiple connected devices.
- Cloudways – a Platform as a Service (PaaS) control panel to manage cloud architecture on leading platforms like GCP, EC2, and of course, AWS.
The reasons for the alternative cloud server services
So, why would anyone want to look for alternatives? Well, the reasons you would want to look elsewhere could be one, or all, of the following:
- Complicated – due to the various services provided, AWS can become a challenging maze to tackle, especially for beginners.
- Boutique services – while alternative cloud service providers might not offer all of the complex services available on AWS, they may deliver just the core services and performance-enhancing features that SMBs need for their processes.
- Amazon’s EC2 Limits – a downside with AWS is that it limits resources by region. So, where you’re located can determine just how many resources you’ll have access to.
- Pricing – apart from being on the higher side, AWS’ prices and billing system is confusing. Many users end up paying for features they have never used or needed.
- Support Costs – AWS has support packages: Developer, Business, and Enterprise support. But, here too, support costs can increase significantly depending on the monthly charges as the company can charge you using percentages of the overall bill.
- Better UI design and layout – there are many cloud platforms with more powerful dashboards that perform complicated tasks from one central point and without the need to run complex commands.
- Better support – as big as AWS has become, it can be said the support hasn’t been able to keep up with its users’ problems and their timely resolutions.
- Country-Specific – Amazon is an American tech company which means that all the advertised features or services may not be available in your specific location if you’re not based in the US.
There are of course many more reasons, as you will soon find out as we go into the details of each alternative cloud service provider.
The 10 Best AWS Alternatives
So, without further ado, here are the 10 alternatives:
Microsoft applications and operating systems are arguably the most commonly used software solutions in the office environment. People around the world are familiar with its GUI, features, and functions. This makes it easy for anyone to adopt their cloud equivalents that come under Microsoft Azure.
Over the years, collaborative tools like Office 365, Microsoft Team, and the Windows operating system as a whole – among other products – have proven that Microsoft is indeed a reliable and secure enterprise solutions provider. And this, in turn, has made many businesses confident that using Microsoft Azure would be the best option to take when making the move to the cloud.
Apart from the businesses themselves, .NET application developers and C# programmers can also make a fluent and seamless move into the cloud using this service. Meanwhile, administrators – of both network and databases – also find it easy to integrate and expand their infrastructures simply because they are already familiar with the configurations.
This improves the efficiency of the tech staff while the businesses themselves don’t need to cross over to unfamiliar platforms or productivity applications. Combined, these two factors alone increase the business’ overall performance while avoiding unnecessary migration costs.
Features that users can expect from Azure include Kubernetes, virtual machines (Linux and Windows), SQL, APIs, virtual desktops, app services, and lots more.
Then there is the fact that Microsoft customers get major discounts when they make the move to Azure. Add to this the fact that Azure for Windows and SQL Server cost about a fifth of what it does on AWS, and it becomes obvious why this cloud service is on this list.
Get started with a 12-month free trial – or work with numerous services, applications, and features for life – and see for yourself why Azure is a good alternative.
Google Cloud Platform, or GCP, is considered to be another one of the foremost AWS competitors. This is mainly because they offer a wider variety of cloud services than the Amazon cloud service platform.
But, then again – and this is the most-quoted advantage GCP has over AWS – it has been developed using the same technology that helps run Google’s search engine, browser, Gmail, and other services. This makes it easy to integrate with Android mobile operating systems; it is also why it is a fast and secure platform for mobile app developers.
Over time, GCP has managed to climb up to become one of the leaders in the cloud container deployment, orchestration, and management platform market. And yet, even though its rapidly evolving technology has continued to improve the performance of GCP (and container-related) services, Google’s container prices still remain lower than those of AWS or any of the other alternatives to it. This variance can be of up to 47 percent (after Sustained Use discounts are taken into consideration). This makes GCP worth the investment – simply because of its price tag alone.
But, there’s more.
Google is a company that takes security seriously. This means GCP too is part of that world-class security strategy to ensure the safety of data stored in its warehouses and databases. Furthermore, the company provides multi-cloud facilities for complex cloud computing and storage architectures as well as widely distributed cloud assets. In short, all architectures are welcome on this platform.
With its fully managed, serverless, and simplified services the GCP platform allows for the building, development, and deployment of functions or applications without the need to manage the underlying infrastructure. Google’s global reach and processing power make its cloud platform highly scalable too.
Easy-to-use machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) services allow for in-depth analysis of processes and workflows to improve the performances of models and applications.
Finally, GCP is fully compatible with many leading open-source software solutions and platforms like MongoDB, Elastic Stack, DataStax, and Redis Labs.
Start building applications, services, and websites with a GCP free trial.
Alibaba Cloud is also another one of the best alternatives to AWS. This is because it too has almost all of the features that AWS has to offer – a feat that is worth admiration considering Amazon has been in the cloud web services game for much longer.
Then again, Alibaba Cloud has some outstanding features that would, in fact, make it more preferable over AWS. For example, it is much easier to use and can be easily controlled from one central, informative, and powerful dashboard. The company also continues to invest heavily in research and development to make it even more competitive in the cloud server platform market.
Alibaba’s cloud computing unit protects web applications using reliable anti-DDoS technology. Alibaba Cloud’s advanced big-data backed technology offers the latest services which help boost web applications’ performances. It also facilitates safe storage, quicker access, and faster processing of cloud data.
And then, we have Alibaba Elastic Compute Service (ECS) – its leading Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – that caters to clients’ every demand with regards to architecture and network design. It is easily scalable thanks to its automatic ability to expand and cater to new assets and their resource requirements.
Larger clients can opt for Dedicated Host clusters for their sole use which allows them to configure their server and architecture as they see fit.
Among the global services offered, we find data storage in distributed relational databases that allow for big-data processing. Alibaba also has its own Content Delivery Network (CDN) for faster web performance.
Finally, just looking at the fact that Alibaba Cloud’s infrastructure is spread out across the globe in 22 regions – with 63 availability zones in each zone – proves that this is indeed a big fish in the cloud services providers’ pond.
You can try Alibaba Cloud with a free trial for 12 months including ECS.
Here we have another major player in the PaaS market. Oracle Corporation, one of the largest technology companies in the world, offers its clients the full IT architecture catalog with services like Software as a Service (SaaS), and Data as a Service (DaaS).
This means, signing up for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) makes available services like data management, application development, integration, business analytics, security, and systems – all of which have their own dedicated services.
On top of this, users can access their cloud applications for HCM, ERP, and SCM as well as industry applications for banking and insurance, communication, healthcare, and construction.
Oracle Cloud runs on its global network of managed data centers and offers servers, storage, network, applications, and services. It is compatible with open source applications and standards like HTML, SQL, Kubernetes, Kafka, and much more.
A combination of a well-designed platform that is easy to navigate and use, and a bouquet of features that are very useful, make Oracle a popular company that continues to see its year-on-year cloud subscriptions increase.
Many may argue here that AWS is by far cheaper than Oracle Cloud. But, that argument doesn’t hold up considering the fact that Oracle doesn’t have any hidden costs. Clients pay one fee and go on to use what they have subscribed for. Oracle also offers a price comparison list, showing confidence in their prices.
Our networking benefits from off-box virtualization, offering non-blocking network connectivity across every host with industry-leading quality of service. Unlike AWS, which locks in your data with extremely high pricing for network egress, our approach is to give customers every-day low pricing for network egress, making it easy and cost-effective for you to deliver data out to end-users or integrated systems, even for workloads with massive data transfer requirements. – Oracle.
In fact, new clients can even use the Cost Estimator to have an idea of how much and what they are paying for.
With that being said, this would be the ideal choice for larger companies that can afford a larger IT budget.
If you’re interested, you can try Oracle Cloud Infrastructure free for 30 days or simply use its Free Tier for life.
IBM is the oldest technology company out there – it has been around for over a century now. It should, therefore, not come as a surprise that it has managed to keep ahead of the cloud computing game.
Among the many aspects that make IBM Cloud stand out is the security and enhanced performance that comes with its Bare Metal Servers.
This is an environment where each client gets their own server – not virtual servers, but real servers with root access. Since there are no shared resources, and there isn’t even a hypervisor layer involved, nothing can unnecessarily drain processing power from running applications.
Apart from speeding up applications’ performances, the bare metal servers also boost input and output operations as well as stabilize the read-write and networking performances. It also means there is more security, as there is no dependency on (or collision with) other clients’ resources – an encouraging fact for security-conscious businesses who have doubts about moving to the cloud.
IBM Cloud makes it easy for businesses that want to work with both virtual and bare metal environments to switch workloads between the two or just migrate from one to the other.
The company acquired SoftLayer Technologies, Inc. in 2013 and, thus, incorporated the pioneering company to offer bare metal servers – before any of the larger cloud providers had even started doing so.
All in all, this is a reliable technology company that has both the technology and the experience to offer a first-class cloud platform service.
Try IBM Cloud Lite – a free tier for life – to get a feel of its cloud service.
Kamatera offers two major types of cloud services: Cloud Infrastructure and Managed Cloud services. The former deals with the likes of hosting, networking, and security while the latter allows for the full management of digital assets so clients can focus on their own mission-critical processes.
The company has data centers in over a dozen different locations – spread over four continents – across the world. This makes it easy for clients to remotely monitor their servers (which can be located closer to their users) using their advanced management consoles. They can also serve their own clients from the nearest servers.
It is easy to scale up (or down) when using Kamatera cloud services. Users can also switch to various flavors of Linux – they have more than 100 Linux distributions on offer – and can set up virtual machines for any operating system; all in a matter of minutes. Also, Kamatera offers APIs for better control and monitoring of the architecture once it has been set up.
Clients who sign up with this company can use Kamatera’s business solutions for startups, SaaS developers, and web or app developers to offer their services to their users.
Finally, Kamatera offers competent prices as well as personalized customer services which make this cloud service provider stand out. It also makes it an economical competitor to AWS.
You can try Kamatera for free for 30 days – just head to their website and click on the “Free Sign Up” button.
Linode is a cloud hosting company that provides virtual private servers. It offers Linux VMs as well as the tools required to develop, deploy, and scale modern applications quickly and easily.
Linode is the ideal platform for the staging and developing of applications, hosted services, websites, AI or machine learning workloads, gaming services, or CI/CD environments. It is also one of the best cloud hosting solutions because it delivers high-performance cloud computing capabilities and comes at a highly competitive price with no hidden costs.
Users who sign up soon realize that they are working with a platform that is easy to master, deploy, and maintain; it all sits on top of a simplified approach to cloud infrastructure. Using Linode makes it obvious that although AWS is a major player in the cloud computing game, not everyone needs, uses, or even understands a major part of the features they have to offer.
In other words, Linode clients don’t pay exorbitant prices for features they don’t use. And what they do pay for, they can easily work with and add more features using a pay-as-you-go billing system.
But, that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own basket of goodies to offer. Clients get to use bare metal servers, managed Kubernetes clusters, APIs, DDoS protection (free), developer tools, storage, backup, and much more.
There are cloud experts on standby to help clients with issues ranging from migration to the deployment and tuning of their sites and applications.
If things go well, they really won’t be needed as Linode makes it easy to do everything: they have a powerful dashboard for full management of cloud architecture, scaling up is done with a few clicks. APIs allow admins to programmatically control the whole deployment, and there is a fully-documented archive that anyone can go through in case things get a bit confusing.
If, after all this, you decide that you still don’t want to be bothered with the management of your new cloud infrastructure, Linode’s Managed Service takes it over for you so you can focus on your main business processes.
Sign up for a 60-day free trial of Linode here.
Vultr is a cloud hosting platform that lets its users create deployments for any operating system – Linux, Windows, or any custom ISO installation – that can in turn be used for web applications or their development. The company offers fully automated dedicated servers; clients can also opt for bare metal servers if they need full control of their servers.
The company has 17 data centers – with over 30 million cloud server instances running in them – that make it easy to scale up while also allaying any worries about outages or crashes. Each server runs 3+ GHz Intel CPUs and uses SSD storage for quick and reliable data transactions.
Vultr’s APIs make it easy to extract as much information as needed – using just a few lines of code – which also makes it easy to control and monitor the infrastructure as a whole.
If all this isn’t convincing enough, here is something that will help show Vultr is indeed a great alternative to AWS: they offer a clear-cut billing system that, unlike AWS, is uncomplicated. They have pre-defined, all-inclusive packages for clients to choose from.
Then again, the front end – the control panel – is a pretty straight-forward affair that is not only easily navigable but also a highly efficient tool that makes administrators’ lives easy. This is evident from Day 1 – when it all starts with a one-click Plesk deployment that takes over the whole installation of the new instance. It then goes to day-to-day activities like extracting detailed, real-time reports to help manage and keep track of the deployment’s health.
This is the choice for those seeking a no bells-and-whistles, high-powered, and easy to manage cloud server hosting service. If that is what you are looking for, go ahead and give Vultr a trial run.
DigitalOcean is the cloud service provider for developers seeking cloud servers that will help them deploy, and then scale, applications that are designed to run simultaneously on multiple connected devices.
They offer their services from 13 data centers spread across the world.
Its Linux-based VMs that, themselves, run on top of a virtualized hardware environment is called “Droplets.” Each Droplet is a self-sufficient server that serves as a standalone server or can be configured to become part of a chain of connected platforms, depending on requirements. This makes them ideal for scaling up (or down).
New instances are populated using a one-click app installer with no CLI input required to install apps like Node.js, Docker, or WordPress.
Then there is the whole collection of features that are available and include various Linux distributions: Fedora, CentOS, and Debian. These are coupled with a wide array of storage options in the back like block storage, and object storage, which can be coupled with numerous services and add-ons from its marketplace.
DigitalOcean’s packages are predefined and priced which means there are no hidden costs to surprise users – what you sign up for is what you get and pay for.
Other features available include security, storage, and monitoring on a professional level with a sturdy and reliable infrastructure to hold it all up.
If this is the cloud server service you think is for you, then have a go at it with DigitalOcean’s free trial.
With Cloudways we have a PaaS that serves as a single, easy-to-use control panel to manage cloud deployments on leading platforms like GCP, EC2, and of course, AWS.
Now, you might be thinking, “But, this isn’t an alternative to AWS,” and you would be right. This option, therefore, is for users who – after going through the nine choices above – still think they would rather stay with AWS.
Because this is a PaaS that makes your AWS experience a better one – you get to use their infrastructure but don’t have to deal with the complexities of navigating through their dashboards and control panels.
This way you get the better of two worlds – using the cloud service provider of your choice, while also managing and monitoring it via an easy-to-use control panel and dashboard that enhances the experience.
But, it’s not just the front end; Cloudways has an in-built caching system that performs the combined tasks of Varnish HTTP Cache, Memcached, and Nginx (among other services) to speed up performances. There is also a full-page cache feature for content management systems (CMS) like WordPress and Magento offered for free.
The company has data centers in over 25 locations to make it easier for clients to choose the ones nearest them. They also offer security features like dedicated firewalls, SSL, and security patches.
Apart from all this, Cloudways also has developer tools. In fact, tools offered include Git integration, staging areas, and team collaboration capabilities. These tools are also regularly added to by the company’s in-house development team, so you might want to keep an eye out for future developments.
Simply select your web service provider and start your three-day Cloudways free trial.
Are there any cloud hosting platforms that you think belong on this list? Let us know; leave a comment below.