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Since you're dealing in absolutes, let me return the favor; you're being a little silly.

Yes, Linode beats AWS when it comes to price. On the other hand, Linode's offer is incredibly basic and simplistic. AWS offers service after service that Linode simply doesn't and realistically cannot.

Sure, you can emulate a subset of these services (and a subset of their features) using open-source software but at what price ? That's the major flaw in your reasoning. Getting to the point where your installations are as stable and reliable as AWS', given a large stress on the system, will cost you a lot of money and time. Directly comparing the cost of hardware access is ignoring other costs and headaches that are not very easy to estimate.

There's a market for a service like Linode and there's a market for a service like AWS. You've simply never worked on a project/system that works better on AWS than on Linode. I know I couldn't run the systems that I currently operate on Linode without multiplying the workload that is needed to maintain them.

Linode and AWS are competitors but there's space in the market for both; they simply fill different niches. Establishing one as absolutely superior to the other is silly and closed-minded. A lot of people chose AWS; go and ask them why (feel free to reach out to me at nick at nasx dot io - I'll be more than happy to talk to you).

Do you even understand his point? He is just nice enough to disclose his current employer. He's not recommending Linode. Really, all he's doing is just asking you to do some research and it needn't be Linode, there are plenty of alternatives out there.

If we keep attacking the people for their honest disclosures, we're only discouraging them from expressing their conflict of interest in the future. Please. Don't.

I'm really not trying to compare Linode to AWS here. I just felt that it was necessary to mention that I work for Linode because there _is_ some overlap. I'm really also not trying to sell anyone on Linode in particular. I'm pointing out that from my own personal experience, AWS is grossly overpriced and worse than the alternatives for a large number of use-cases.

AWS is insanely overpriced. It's weird to me that everyone jumping on AWS and some of their customers never come close to attracting the internet traffic required to set up CloudFormation. I think if you're starting a webapp out of your own pocket and not millions of dollars of investors, it makes sense to save where you can.

Using locust.io, I've seen that my current site on two $10/month Linodes can scale up to approximately 300k people/day and increasing that substantially just means I press a button and upgrade my app/database servers.

If it came to a point where I was growing at a pace I didn't want to manage and money was flowing in, and I was out of ideas on software optimization, only then I would consider spending tens of thousands/month on AWS.

I'm not denying the great benefits AWS gives, I honestly would love to use it now and just be done with most of my devop headaches, but the costs are prohibitive.

What are some alternatives to AWS? Are there realistic alternatives?

The "alternatives" depend on your situation.

Picture a continuum between brain-dead simple websites and business-critical complex websites:

  simple:  static website, WordPress blog
  moderate:  small business CMS, etc
  complex:  Netflix, AirBNB
If you're running a simple WordPress blog, the AWS prices are absurdly overkill. For this use-case, there are a zillion alternatives. Linode, Digital Ocean, Rackspace bare metal, etc, etc.

On the other end of the spectrum, you want to run a high-availability website with failover across multiple regions like Netflix. You need the value-added "services" of a comprehensive cloud provider (the "I" and "S" in "IaaS" as in "Infrastructure Services"). For that scenario, there are currently 4 big competitors: AWS, MS Azure, Google Compute Cloud, and IBM SoftLayer. However, many observers see that Google and IBM are not keeping pace with AWS and Azure on features so at the moment, it's more of a 2 horse race than a 4.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of cost comparisons showing AWS to be overpriced are based on comparing Amazon's EC2 vs bare metal. The EC2 component is a small part of the complete AWS portfolio.[1] If you're doing more complicated websites, you have to include the costs of Linux admins + devops programmers to reinvent what AWS has out of the box. (The non-EC2 services.) Even if you use OpenStack as a baseline for a "homegrown AWS", you'll still need extensive staffing to configure and customize it for your needs. It may very well turn out that homegrown on Linode is cheaper but most articles on the web do not have quality cost analysis on the more complicated business scenarios. Anecdotes yes! But comprehensive unbiased spreadsheets with realistic cost comparisons?!? No.


Digitalocean is a great alternative for simple things.

I use it for dev / early projects and as things get complex or need more redundancy I make the production spend on AWS.


Much like I wouldn't trust a person's whose only comments on hn are AWS puff, why should I trust a person whose only posts are Google Cloud puff?

I've found Google Compute Engine decent, but with App Engine I ran into difficulties with vendor lock-in. I had to first modify my code to get the app run on my local computer. After that I never got it deployed because GAE requires me to bind their own TCP context for outbound connections. This was a shame because I would have wanted to have my app on GAE and database on Heroku.

Just saying that calling 90% of Google Cloud's products to be far better than AWS (or any equivalent provider for that matter) is bold.

App Engine has a lot of faults, but your use case sounds incredibly niche. You're using the multiregion availability of App Engine's HTTP servers but want to use Heroku's single AZ database across relatively flaky, slow internet instead of App Engine's multiregion available database on a managed internal SDN. I'm having a hard time imagining a scenario where that setup would make sense.

Google Cloud is not just App Engine now. Its pretty much the equivalent to aws in features. Let me also say I have PhD in Cloud and big data (graduated in 2013), worked for Amazon aws, worked for an rackspace for year and half, I was a core contributor to OpenStqck for the products OpenStack Poppy and OpenStack Zaqar. I hope you his puts se more weight behind my statements. If you are interested to know the details and why Google Cloud is better that aws for 90% of products, reach out to me.

They aren't even close to each other in featuers. All the various additional Services AWS supports go way beyond what Google has at the moment. Numerous Database offerings, Queueing, transcoder, ... Go way beyond what Google has in place.

And no the ability to run it yourself on Google is not the same.

Your statement is simply false.

Here's a material answer - https://cloud.google.com/docs/google-cloud-platform-for-aws-...

In short, Google has parity with AWS on many fronts, and exceeds AWS on many others. Only material AWS advantage at this point is full IAM. Biggest thing you gotta remember is AWS is stuck in "VM" world and only slightly deviates from that. Google's advantage is in its fully managed services, which AWS does poorly (don't tell me Redshift is "fully managed").

Google has Bigtable, which AWS has no competitor for. Google's Pubsub is vastly superior to SQS. Google doesn't need Firehose because Google's services scale to Firehose levels without needing a new product and a new price. Google has Zync transcoder service.

Google has BigQuery, which is vastly superior to Redshift in price, performance, scale, and manageability. Google has Dataflow, which AWS has no competitor for.

Even for VMs, Google offers better networking, faster disks, more reliability (live migration), better load balancer, etc.

And to put the cherry on top, Google's no-committment, no-contract price is only beat if you lock yourself into AWS's 3-year contract.

(disclaimer: work on BigQuery)

Cool story, bro.


Please take a look into Google Cloud. It's now feature equivalent with AWS (https://cloud.google.com/docs/google-cloud-platform-for-aws-...). Google Cloud is better than AWS on all fronts other than Relational Databases. Google Cloud has MySQL only. AWS has MySQL, PostreSQL, Oracle, MSSQl. Rest of the services Google beats AWS by a fair and wide margin. I have done a fair amount of benchmarking Google vs AWS in past 3 months and conclusions are shocking. With Google Cloud, you can save about 50% of your bill (I have taken into account of reserved instances), huge increase in companies agility (Speed in taking decisions like capacity planning, instance type, sizing, zones, cluster sizes ... due to simplified infrastructure and pricing & performance wise too, blazing fast disks, live vm migration), far better security (data encryption at rest and on wire by default for all products, ssh key management). I am presenting my findings at our meetup group (http://www.meetup.com/Cloud-Big-Data-and-Data-Science-Group-...) in a couple of months. If any of you want to talk, reach out to me at obulpathi at gmail.

You'll need a better source than a Google marketing page to support claims of "feature parity". An objective comparison also shouldn't start with "Please look into Google cloud".

That is why I am sharing my findings in detail at out local meetup. If interested to know more, just shoot an email to me at Obulpathi at gmail. Also see my another comment above.

Thanks; I hadn't seen that that page from Google and that's a pretty good idea to make that available.

You know what would be a cool idea: if Google developed a method of copying an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) to Google Cloud. That would give us an easy way to try out our same servers at Google without having to rebuild everything, as we do not use containers yet.

You're right, but I know of a few startup teams that chose Linode, Rackspace etc. at start to account for future 'scalability' concerns. Well the number of users never came and they spent a lot of time just configuring stuff. Of course I have also seen teams that couldn't build a decent business on AWS.

I think the net cost of an extra personnel (a server admin) in a startup team, is more than the cost of the server.

Huh? In general AWS is chosen for 'scalability' concerns given it's auto-scaling functionality, not Linode/Rackspace/etc.

If anything, I see a lot of people choose AWS for 'scalability' concerns when they never end up needing to scale.

Your 300k people/day metric conveys little information if we don't get an idea of the workload each user entails?

Aww and digital ocean customer here(as well internally hosted).

Main advantages I see is Security - aws has security zones, FW ETC FOR FREE Momentum - constant new features(apache spark, lambda, sqs)

Your post basically picks the one thing he voluntarily disclosed and ignores the rest of his perfectly reasonable statements in some manic attempt to defend the one true stack.

The only points you even remotely bring up are vague and wishy-washy and could easily be applied to any statement, even outside of programming.

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