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Ask HN: Alternatives to AWS?
170 points by bachback on Oct 2, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 207 comments
AWS has captured an enormous market. As a user I'm surprised there are only few serious contenders (cloud provider with an API and global footprint). Digitalocean has managed to captured the low end of the spectrum for people looking to run a few servers. Any serious alternatives to AWS today? Google App engine is still closely tied to there way of doing things.



Google cloud - I have recently been working on setting up our company's entire infrastructure on google cloud and we were up and running in no time (very happy currently).

- Great pricing

- Great API (command line, REST)

- Nearly perfect documentation

- Awesome support (I had requested to allow more static ip addresses to be reserved and they resolved my ticket in less than 4 hours)

- Very intuitive interface

They give you $300 free credits before setting up billing account for you to try the entire cloud for free. You can play around with google cloud with up to 8 VMs

They also have App engine and Container engine to manage your applications / containers at scale.

Other simple cloud features include - storage buckets, snapshots, VPNs etc.


  Nearly perfect documentation
I've Google Cloud's documentation pretty awful, at least when it comes to authentication - which you need to do to get started with almost anything.

AWS starts out simple (Paste your access key and secret key here) and you can adopt very complicated practices as your needs evolve; Google Cloud's design and documentation, on the other hand, seems to jump to very complicated from the start (scopes, service accounts, user accounts, projects, application default credentials, PKCS12, access tokens, refresh tokens...)

I haven't found the documentation very helpful at all - or perhaps the system is just too complicated for the documentation to ever be much good.


They have a in-app interactive tutorials which guides each step necessary to get you started which was pretty cool.

We currently use more of compute engine and the documentation for it was really clear for us. https://cloud.google.com/compute/docs/

May be needs more clarification in general I guess


> - Nearly perfect documentation > - Awesome support

Two things never said about google products


This thread will give you an idea of how far Google's support will go to make a customer succeed:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12606995

(work at GCP)


You meant to say "a customer that is pumping tons of money into Google succeed". Your average customer gets no such treatment.

Sorry, Google has some great stuff, and is great at a lot of things, but customer support is not one of them.


Perhaps the reputation you speak of transfers over from the B2C side, where Google makes services for billions and can't offer the human touch as easily.

Have you had bad experiences with Google Cloud platform support specifically?

I can only offer some customer voices:

- Quizlet calls out support as a major reason for choosing GCP over AWS (among other things) [0]

- "Paid Support is top notch" [1]

- Spotify calls out the human side specifically [2]

[0] https://quizlet.com/blog/whats-the-best-cloud-probably-gcp

[1] https://lugassy.net/why-we-moved-from-amazon-web-services-to...

[2] https://news.spotify.com/au/2016/02/23/announcing-spotify-in...


My experiences differ from that, as well as everyone I know. I know this is anecdotal, but I have never met anyone who has said good things about google support, including a google support rep. Maybe I'm just an outlier, but I also wouldn't use someone like the above example as a typical experience, as they are also an outlier.


Sorry to hear that. Again, are you specifically discussing Google Cloud support? It's a very different model.


> Have you had bad experiences with Google Cloud platform support specifically?

Yes, and cancelled our account as a result.


Sorry to hear that. Certainly not what we strive for.

May I ask you to send me your specific experience to my email? (username at google dotcom). I would be happy to share it with our support teams and get a postmortem going?

(I work at Google Cloud)


Thanks for the offer. I'm swamped and we moved off of GCE last spring, so I don't have the info readily available.

If we consider GCE in the future, I'll ping you before we do so we can ensure what happened to us then doesn't happen again.

Thanks!


"great pricing" it is not. None of the major cloud providers have great pricing with the exception of some niche cases.

Look at Hetzner. Look at the cheap VPS options. Google/AWS don't come even close.


Pricing of compute on GCE is extremely competitive. The per-minute billing (which Azure matched) really adds up for tons of workloads. Similarly, our custom shapes means you don't end up paying for twice as many cores (16 => 32) when you really want something in between.

Where I do agree is networking egress. The big three providers all have metered bandwidth rates that are way above the "all inclusive" fee you pay to Hetzner, OVH, DO, and others. The cheapest way to host an ftp server that serves 20 TB per month is certainly on one of these (today). None of these providers will let you serve 1 PB / month this way, but if you're in their sweet spot and they can make it work out on average, it's a good fit.

But if you're looking to just have a simple "VPS" in the cloud, our f1-micro is just over $4/month (the AWS t2 series is also super cheap). Again, you're right if you're talking about networking egress, but not everybody needs to serve multiple TB per month.

Disclosure: I work on Google Cloud, so I'm trying to take your money in exchange for services.


"Pricing of compute on GCE is extremely competitive. The per-minute billing (which Azure matched) really adds up for tons of workloads."

To the extent that a developer uses GCE for only part of a month? Or to the extent that a developer uses GCE for 100% of a month? I would think that GCE is not extremely competitive (relative to dedicated offerings) if used on a 24/7 basis.


I think Hetzner is more of a hosting provider than a cloud services provider. If you are looking for a single server VPS for hosting then sure Hetzner is great in terms of pricing

Google / AWS cloud is more for running applications at scale and dynamically creating VMs and load balancing across servers with storage, logging, snapshots etc as a service.


Yeah Hetzner is nice if you just need VMs and set up everything yourself. The big plus of GCP and AWS is the Platform. If you don't need hosted MySQL (because you want to set up that stuff yourself) or PubSub, Storage etc. go for Hetzner.


Hetzner is very much a budget host with mediocre support, etc. Most of their servers are built with desktop-grade hardware. You're comparing apples and oranges.


The only thing stopping me from using Google Cloud atm is hosted Postgres.


Would you be willing to talk to one of our Product Managers about what you need in a hosted Postgres to come over? ;).

Disclosure: I work on Google Cloud.


Hah, my requirements are very minimal right now. I would say that in the greater context that one of the important things for people using postgres would be plugin support for e.g. postgis and logical replication(which is not a builtin for postgres https://2ndquadrant.com/en/resources/pglogical/).

Never having to worry about vacuuming manually would be pretty sweet, and having some level of access to the host to install e.g. vividcortex would be nice.

Not having to worry about pgbouncer would also be nice (though that means postgres pooling on your web hosts, sort of separate from the hosted postgres bit).

Also, I suppose obvious warnings when I'm near IO or storage limits would be swell



I know how to run it myself, it's just easier to not. I prefer the set-and-forget solution for smaller projects.


My biggest complaint is different rates for network egress. https://cloud.google.com/storage/pricing egress for world and then there is China and Australia. It is unpredictable and you can't include it in your price models.


Google has all the exact same offerings as AWS.

The IaaS part is called GCE (Google Compute Engine): https://cloud.google.com/compute/pricing

Given all your comments in this thread. You seem to struggle quite a lot to understand the market and you didn't clarify what you want to achieve (how many servers do you have now? how many applications do you run? how many dev? how big is your company?)

So forgive me for thinking you are either a hobbyist or a newcomer, with rather simple needs. If that's the case, GCE and AWS are overkill. You should stick to Digital Ocean or Linode. It's wayyy simpler and cheaper.


This isn't entirely accurate as far as I'm aware. I lean very heavily on Lambda and Google's alternative - Cloud Functions - isn't even available to the public yet since it's invite only and still in alpha.


While true, that's certainly changing (hint, soon). You could also turn the comparison around: AWS has nothing like Dataflow or BigQuery (Redshift only sort of counts). Or even more amusingly, AWS doesn't have a hosted Kubernetes product ;).

So I think the parent comment applies, for many people Google Cloud has more than enough services to be considered like-for-like, is missing some you may care about deeply (Redis!), but may have others that AWS doesn't.

Disclosure: I work on Google Cloud.

PS: I'm assuming you're in the Cloud Functions Alpha, if not, feel free to send along your project number and we'll whitelist you.


Yeah, that was in no way meant to detract from the rest of the Google Cloud offering. I only bring it up because we were just recently looking to migrate some of our serverless tooling (API Gateway/Lambda/Dynamo) and I really wanted to have a crack at the Google stuff (Endpoints/Functions/Datastore), but couldn't since I couldn't get into the alpha.


I think you guys should really take a look at the scenarios people are using lambda for and show how those map to appengine, cloud functions, and even endpoints, because they all more than make up for lambda's functionality.


Is using Digital Ocean and administering your own box simpler than using the off the shelf DB/storage options provide db AWS?

Surely the AWS options save you doing all the DBA / Server admin / security work. Albeit for more money but time = money.


> Surely the AWS options save you doing all the DBA / Server admin / security work. Albeit for more money but time = money.

They do, but you need to invest enough to understand AWS's offerings, and how they fit together. Amazon's documentation is very extensive, I'll give it that - but it takes a while to build enough of a mental model to know how to fit everything together.

Generally, managing your own server is closer to the skillset people already have when starting out (unless your training was platform-specific), so starting off with a raw VPS may in fact be quicker, even if in the long term AWS/Google/etc. would save time for someone who's equally experienced in both.


I don't think AWS is really simpler unless you have lots of hosts to manage. Maybe if you have 3 hosts AWS might be simpler, for some workloads. Most workloads, probably more like 10, and only if you're scaling out, not maintaining 10 totally different fiddly low-traffic apps.


It would be interesting to see how well the AWS/Azure SaaS offerings for db and other storage work from DO/Linode at various locations...

I've thought about running an app or two on DO, but keeping the data in Azure Storage Tables, and possible Azure SQL... or similar AWS services.


You would pay a lot for the egress ($.08/GB or so) and it'd be painfully far away. MySQL ends up caching queries quite well for many web apps, so you quickly get into sub-ms territory for it to just return the cached answer. This all goes out the window, even if you're 5ms away (say DO in San Francisco to AWS in Northern California).

tl;dr: Don't do it.


My opinion on this is that you still learn and deploy on AWS or GCE. The learning curve might be steep at first but it'll save a lot of heartache when your organization scales or you want to set up a complex deployment that one of the smaller players don't necessarily support.


Classic premature optimisation. Those hours spent mastering the 10s of products you need to use to do it the 'right' way would be better spent on marketing, business logic, and 5 minutes installing apache + php on a Digital Ocean droplet which also is the dev environment.

If your company suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune & needs to migrate, you can paid someone who is an expert to help you migrate, because that's their business, and yours is presumably something else.


That is a false dichotomy. The reality should fall in between, learn enough to understand some of the design choices you make, but don't overcook it.


Learn enough to go live. Hire people who know the rest.

Learn enough to do the rest if you want to work for someone else doing the rest.


I don't think it's a false dichotomy: I can only do one thing at a time, and my time is limited.


You don't need to be a cloud expert to start with GCE or EC2 instead of a VPS provider. If you end up just going straight to GCE instead of a droplet that's not a big mental hurdle. Then as the parent said, if you suddenly need to scale up, bolt on other services (like say GCS or Cloud SQL) you're not starting with a migration.

You will spend more than $5/month on either AWS or GCP, but the example here seems focused on a business not a throwaway. So IMO, it is more like premature optimization to have a $5/month droplet instead of a $30/month set of GCE instances.

Disclosure: I work on Google Cloud.


Okay this is like your 6 or 7th post in this discussion advertising for Google. Can we stop wth the spam now?


Sigh. I didn't want to respond, but someone pointed out to me that you work at Amazon (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12181599). I think it's fair to say that in a thread asking about alternatives to AWS, I was both factual and disclosed my non-trivial source of potential bias (so my statements didn't constitute spam).

Again, I don't mean this to be an ad hominem response, but I take the disclosure "expectation" seriously, and it's frustrating to see folks (competitor or not) try to squelch discussion.

Disclosure: I work on Google Cloud.


> when your organization scales

Case in point: AWS/GCE are intended for organizations. If you're not operating an organization, they're overkill.

Do the Quick test: Is your budget less than $100/month? If yes, use Digital Ocean.


I'm not sure I agree! Yours isn't a bad test, but honestly for many people I route them to App Engine depending on their need ("you just want a simple Python web app with no traffic and no hassle? Yeah, you should use GAE").

Having to deal with any infrastructure at all, even for a few hours per year is certainly going to make a VPS a worse choice for some folks.

Disclosure: I work on Google Cloud.


Or he can use something like Heroku.


Which is just using AWS and is at least twice as expensive.


And allows to forget about lot of configuration, automation and scaling. Which also has lot of value.


Sure, from a usability point of view, I enjoyed Heroku a lot and it's certainly easier to use than Elastic Beanstalk. If it just wasn't that expensive. Amazon drops their prices around twice a year (AFAIR), but I cannot remember Heroku ever dropping their prices. They did change their pricing structure recently, but I wasn't able to tell if it actually got cheaper or not.


There is a lot of votes here for cloud providers. And while I think AWS is great, it is not great at everything.

What I've done recently is buying used servers and 10G/40g network switches from Ebay and rented a colo(colocation) rack, which can be had from $500-$1000 per month per rack. This often includes 100mbit++ internet, power, cooling and more (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colocation_centre)

This has been the most cost effective way for me to deploy for example Hadoop, Ceph, Elasticsearch, Huge Varnish cache solutions. While I understand this is not for everyone, it is absolutely something to consider if you have a strong devops team. I do all this myself as I've build my own automation tools over the years that simplify setup and monitoring.

On the other hand, I use AWS for GPU instances as I find it very cost effective because it is very easy to scale up and down by demand. And investing in this kind of hardware is expensive/risky. The power efficiency / performance is still following Moores law for each year for GPU's, and I expect new hardware that is better optimized for neural networks / machine learning is just around the corner.


If what you're after is 24x7 always on machines in a single DC, you're absolutely right: both GCE and EC2 are charging you for a premium you're not using (scale up and down, refresh your machines, handle power failures and maintenance, geographic diversity).

That said, I think your first two examples (Hadoop and Ceph) are competively priced on Google Cloud. With Dataproc, you can put all your HDFS data on GCS and then run your cluster on Preemptible VMs. Combined with the ability to spin up and down as you need it, that's actually hard to beat economically in a colo setup.

Disclosure: I work on Google Cloud.


> I think your first two examples (Hadoop and Ceph) are competively priced on Google Cloud.

I think this depends on:

- Whether Ceph is being used as block storage (RBD) or object storage (regular Rados, RGW)

- How much bandwidth is being egressed

I don't know much about block storage on the GCE but for object storage, it's not hard to beat GCS pricing by buying a few second hand SC846 and filling them with WD Red drives.

The biggest issue with Google's cloud services (and most others actually) for me though is that network egress is _horrendously_ expensive compared to the kind of deal you can get buying transit directly. Google's network is also one of the best of the planet but not everyone wants or needs to pay for that.

At the highest volume pricing, GCP egress costs $0.08/GB. Even with CDN interconnect pricing and free egress through CloudFlare, you're paying $0.04/GB. Contrast this to a budget colo like Joe's Datacenter (joesdatacenter.com) where you pay $75/mo for 100Mbps 95th percentile. That's $75/mo for 32.4TB of egress ($0.002/GB), which would cost $1280 on GCP. At the higher volumes, you can get 10Gbps from FDC Servers for $1k/mo. Saturating that port would get you 3.24PB of traffic in a month, costing $0.0003/GB (a hundredth of what you'd pay Google).

This means if you want to, for example, store your data on GCS and do your compute elsewhere (or vice versa), you're paying far more for premium bandwidth than you really need to.

It's a really annoying kind of lockin.


How does the cost of doing it yourself compare to AWS for what you need?


How often do you have hardware failures? How do you deal with that? You mention hadoop, so just rotate slaves?


Colo is certainly a cheap way to do things for a steady load, and you get great performance for the money, but who wants to get paged at 4am?

I know HN and StackOverflow do things this way but I don't even want to manage the OS these days. We used to host our servers on-site and it was a massive pain. At least with colo you don't need to personally worry about power or internet going down, but you still need to replace dead disks.


Curious as to why you think aws means you won't get paged at 4-am?

If you have a redundant setup, you won't get paged as everything can just fail-over.


If you set things up badly then you can certainly get paged when on AWS. If you set things up correctly (multiple AZs / regions and auto scaling etc.) then it's much less likely. There could of course be software issues but hardware is no longer your problem and you can let experts do it for you.

Yes, you could do this yourself but that would cost more and reduce the advantage. How many colo racks in how many data centres / countries do want to have to visit? Even with redundant hot spare fail-over you will need to fix the hardware at some point and will be running at risk until you do.

A hybrid approach can work, with colo for the base load and cloud for scaling spikes / redundancy.


> hardware is no longer your problem and you can let experts do it for you.

I've heard this before, but it's basically not true. You still have hardware problems, you're just paying to pretend they aren't there anymore. If you want to do that, it's OK, but we need to stop pretending that throwing money at a problem makes it go away.

> Yes, you could do this yourself but that would cost more and reduce the advantage.

Compared to AWS pricing? No thanks. I've yet to personally see a company save money by using AWS (ymmv of course).

> Even with redundant hot spare fail-over you will need to fix the hardware at some point and will be running at risk until you do.

Sure, but that's generally where you save your money. And if you do it right, it doesn't have to be at 4 am


At least with Google, you're paying for their transparent migration feature, which does make isolated hardware failures go away.


Most of these places have systems in place to make hardware issues unimpactful, which is why they make the big bucks. But you still have hard limits and issues that can and do arise because it's still reliant on hardware.


I did a cost analysis of Amazon GPUs vs. Softlayer GPUs and the latter gave me a better price/performance ratio.


But what you'll get in performance, you'll lose in sanity.

I know that everyone has their "Horror" stories about a provider that they'd avoid at all costs, but, Softlayer still has an IBM "Mindset." Provisioning servers? You ask them, then their sales team approves -- hardly automatic. Seemingly minor changes to their system will force a hypervisor restart, and dealing with their account reps for anything is a nightmare.

I'm not saying that Amazon is the end-all, be-all; I'm just saying that the grass isn't greener on the softlayer side of the fence.


Softlayer made my "do not do business with again" list after about 3 years of renting a server from them. I cancelled the server within what I believed (and still believe) to be the time required and they billed me an extra month, refusing to acknowledge the cancellation was timely submitted.

They sit right behind Oracle and Verisign on the "never again" list.


I work as a SysAdmin / DevOps and I tried many of the ones which were mentioned so far. Here is my summary. I'll skip AWS as everyone is familiar with it at this point.

Digitalocean - very friendly UI with lots of options to spin quickly virtual machines, in many different regions. Some options for backups, etc, but not much on top. They have an API that could allow you to setup orchestration though, which is pretty cool. For a small to medium shop, it should be fine.

OVH - similar story as DO, except they have a bigger network and also offer a wide range of dedicated servers. They seem to be more EU centric but also have a Canadian DC. Their 'child' services kimsurfi and soyoustart offer very affordable dedicated server options, targeted at people doing minor projects and gaming rigs. They also run runabove.com, which is their 'lab' project - here they used to offer power8 VMs, etc.

Hetzner - cheap dedicated servers in Europe. Recently added DDOS protection. They have a 'marketplace' where u can bid on dedicated servers and thus avoid initial setup costs.

Leaseweb - also pretty good, they have a range of products similar to OVH (dedicated servers, VPS, cloud, etc).

Haven't used GCE yet unfortunately, but I heard good things about it. Seems to be the only real direct contender to AWS at this point.


For just (at least these days) reliable metal I would second OVH. I have been running servers there for 15 years, starting with support in French only. They used to have issues but now they are, for me, best bang for my buck: storage, cpu etc for spidering setups, experimenting, non critical heavy experiments etc. I have many servers which went from that kind of status to full prod because of convenience and they have not let me down through several major version debian updates.


+1 for OVH as well. Super stable VM for a very good prixe.


price is amazing but the support can suck hard. I had one of my servers down for over 12 hours (even thought i noticed it instantly) because they claimed the issue is on my site. After 12 hours, many telephonates and so more they wrote a simple semi automated email that they found a broken cable and fixed it... Still pissed to this day, but yeah the price for the power is amazing.


Yep; that's why basically, don't use it for prod. Unless the service does not suffer from major down times. Which is more often than you think although ofcourse sit owners stress when there is downtime.


Azure looks like the only major one you missed. I've used both AWS and Azure a lot. The best one will obviously depend on your use case but if you avoid lock in it shouldn't matter too much. I may write more on this if people are interested.

AWS comparison: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/campaigns/azure-vs-aws/

They have more regions than AWS (30 vs 13):

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/regions/

https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure/

The naming is a bit funny though:

https://unop.uk/azure-eu-regions-naming-confusion/

Someone here thought this was due to using UN regions.


Unfortunately my experiences with Azure so far have been pretty awful.

We have a large amount of free Azure credit and yet our experiences at actually trying to use the platform have been met with frustration.

When we tried about six months back, there were two different administration webapps that both offered different subsets of functionality. The IaaS offering seemed to still be tied very much in to the PaaS offers.

After a few hours of frustration I managed to spin up 8 instances where only 6 had connectivity with each other. I gave up the other 2 instances for lost.

When I finally got Spark running on the remaining 6 instances, local disk IO turned out to be a joke.

I gave up at that point.

Anyone have more recent experiences?


I run quite a lot of apps on Azure but normally just stick to their PaaS offerings as I don't usually want to bother administering the server at the OS level. When I do IaaS level stuff and want to connect directly to instances I've used AWS. It's massively oversimplifying, but I think Azure is stronger for PaaS and AWS is better for IaaS if you want to do more yourself.

The dual admin web app thing is a massive pain but once everything is set up you don't have to go near it often. If you use CI then you'll normally just git push.

My blog (https://unop.uk/) is running on Azure and although I've had a few problems they seem to be node/ghost related. If you want to run WordPress then AWS is probably better as they support MySQL natively.

Shameless plug: I cover some of this in my book. For example, in the final chapter I highlight a couple of the advanced features such as Azure ML and HDInsight. https://www.packtpub.com/mapt/book/Application%20Development...


Azure is paying the penalty for being late to the game. They are making the exact same mistakes AWS made with the whole service fragmentation with the introduction of VPCs, except with azure its fragmentation of ARM vs Classic. fragmented UIs, fragmented documentation, fragmented CLIs (literally, the powershell and the xplatform cli have totally different sets of commands).

They are slowly making progress. Disk IO isn't horrible, you just have to over-provision premium storage when it really matters (just like you do in AWS with GP2 volumes). That said, their concept of storage accounts for housing volumes/disks is absolutely horrible. Luckily I hear mumblings of change there.


More regions than AWS, yet they still managed to have a multi-region outage last month due to some DNS issue.

Having multiple regions is worthless if one problem can take them all down at once.


I would love to read more about AWS vs Azure, how services compare, and strategies on how to avoid lock in.

Any recommendation?


I have previously built a auto-scaling/healing Mesos cluster on AWS for a retail company (scaling heavily during peak and sometimes during promotions) and doing the same on Azure for a much bigger retail organisation at the moment.

So this is my in the trenches comparison:

- AWS documentation is excellent, Azure docs are weird and inconsistent and for some bits nonexistent.

- Azure API's are inconsistent and weird, but once you figure out they work relatively well. But the lack of documentation compounds confusion.

- Azure has a lot of very weird limitations that don't make any sense:

-- Default Centos images are 30GB osDisk and you can't resize them, you have to create your own images if you do want to.

-- You can have SSD's in 128/512/1024GB sizes and you pay for them in full, Spinning disks are billed per actual usage.

-- You have to store your osDisk image in the same storage account as your machine you are running (so you have to pay for your image the full SSD monthly price)

-- You have a VMSS (=Auto Scaling Group) and have a Load Balancer in front of it, your microservice connections fail if the load balancer routes the connection back to the same VM ... you now have to have another VMSS just for load balancing/service discovery.

- Their services labelled Beta are really more like Alpha quality.

- On the plus side, their ARM templates are richer and nicer to use than CloudFormation, however the lack of documentation for them kills all the advantages.

- When you jump all the hoops and get past the issues, the things work relatively well.


Agree completely, two additions:

Azure's interface is years ahead of AWS. Most importantly: there's a single entry-point for everything. Just this month I was evaluating some stuff on AWS. I was certain that I had cleared everything that I was using up - I hadn't. Luckily it was merely a $17 lesson.

The nomenclature used is also quite understandable, unlike AWS which has branded everything down to the NIC.


It's kind of a moving target. When we first tested Azure it was awful and we went with AWS, but it's got a lot better recently.

The new UI is nice but I think a bit rushed. It was pushed before all the features were ported from the old one and there are still things that are easier to do from the old UI (firewall rules for example). The embedded VS Code is really nice though.

I think this rushing applies to all of Azure. It feels like a very MVP approach and AWS is more polished. Agree with you about Beta services, don't use Previews for anything serious.


OK, I'll write a blog post about this, but it effectively boils down to use something standard that you can run yourself or on another provider.

For example on AWS, using RDS (MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server) or ElastiCache (memcached, redis) is fairly low lock in. You can run all of these yourself or use another cloud. Azure offers a similar hosted redis service for instance.

However, something like Lambda or DynamoDB can't be run elsewhere.

Similarly, on Azure if you use their Machine Learning PaaS system then you are pretty locked in. Yet you could easily move a website to appharbor or elastic beanstalk. Or just run your own server (VPS, IaaS, EC2 etc.)



Disclaimer: I work for Microsoft so I won't get into comparisons with AWS. I wanted to point out a couple of facts that might be interesting to Hacker News readers:

* 35% of virtual machines in Azure run Linux * Microsoft announced that PowerShell, Service Fabric and SQL Server will be available for Linux * Redis Cache, Hadoop and other open source packages are available as Platform as a Service offerings in addition to you installing and managing on your own machines.


I think Google Cloud Platform looks solid. Their alternative to EC2 is Google Compute Engine.

If you want stuff taken care of for you, Google App Engine is great. I'll note that I haven't deployed anything to production, only played around with it for fun. The flexible environment is still in beta, so it doesn't provide any SLAs. For a large serious production project that's a big factor to consider. If it's a small app, I think the "magic" is worth it. But I've only hacked together toy node APIs for SPAs.

For data storage, Cloud Datastore looks great. If it seemed to fit my problem, I'd probably go with that. The big problem with that is vendor lock-in. It has an emulator for testing and development. If you had to migrate away from it, I think AppScale [0] has an open source alternative, but I'm unable to vouch for its quality. If I were creating a serious long-term project, a Postgres instance on RDS would probably be my other choice. Google has Cloud SQL, but my experience with MySQL hasn't been as pleasant as with Postgres. I don't know how they compare "at scale".

In my job we use AWS in production, and I've slowly learned my way around it. I'd say I'm still a total beginner with AWS. Although I've only used GCP "for fun", from my limited experience and my perspective as an application developer, it seems more easily approachable / accessible.

[0] https://github.com/AppScale/appscale


It shouldn't be too hard to build an interface that abstracts away datastore specific details.


The following are a few alternatives off the top of my head:

   * Google Compute Engine
   * Microsoft Azure
   * Joyent
   * IBM BlueMix
   * Linode (like DigitalOcean more VPS than cloud provider)


I think that Joyent does not get the coverage it deserves.

SmartOS looks very very cool.


Joyent is fantastic. SmartOS has every feature a Linux user wants in (and usually ends up hacking onto) a cloud server but it's built that way from the ground up.

Their support and engineering staff are friendly and responsive by email and IRC.

The instances have great performance and uptime.

I suppose globally they could use more data centers but Samsung's acquisition should help with that.

I've built multiple companies in Joyent and can't imagine going back to other clouds with less features.


Joyent's made some bad PR moves. I was a Textdrive customer and the way they treated the lifetime hosting folks put a very sour taste in my mouth.


I was a textdrive "lifetime" customer. I paid thousands and received nothing. Do not use Joyent.


I was also a "lifetime" customer and my memories of the terrible treatment, including one of the founders flaming people on the forums for making reasonable requests, mean I will never do business with Joyent again.


We (Erigones, https://www.erigones.com/en/) are making our own virtualization, orchestration and cloud suite, available for public use, based on SmartOS.

So far for commercial customers only (demo available) but we will release opensource community edition soon on Github.


UpCloud is worth of checking out: https://www.upcloud.com/ - It's a pure VPS vendor with full management API.


    * Aliyun
    * Lucera
    * Oracle


Google is not as general as AWS and therefore has serious vendor lockin. Azure only recently has decided to support docker and is not rooted in opensource.

The big downside of AWS: to difficult to use for many. It seems to me a new entrant which combines easy of use, embraces opensource, would have a good chance in the market.

+ Rackspace. But like many these don't come from the cloud market and still think in terms of servers mostly.


> Google is not as general as AWS and therefore has serious vendor lockin.

Presumably you are talking about Google App Engine, which is just a small part of GCP. Amazon's comparable offering is Elastic Beanstalk. The core building blocks on GCP and AWS are the same: raw virtual machines you can build anything upon yourself, GCE vs EC2. GCE has been around since 2012.


?? starting a AskHN then quickly responding to an answer by incorrectly discrediting it? Are you really asking a question?

Google has a lot of different things as part of it's offerings.

but very quickly:

Google App Engine = google handles as lot for you. not a vm

Google Compute Engine = vm's plus an easy to use interface


You are thinking of Google App Engine. You want Google Computer Engine: https://cloud.google.com/compute/

"Google Compute Engine delivers virtual machines running in Google's innovative data centers and worldwide fiber network."

Azure is the other major option.


To me, the alternatives to AWS depend on the workload. For Netflix the alternative is building a chain of massive data centers or negotiating with Microsoft or negotiating with Google. For a Ruby on Rails app, Heroku is one. For someone just monkeying around with Kubernetes, maybe a some Raspberry Pi.

The alternatives also are related to the specific business. For Home Depot, running on AWS means running in a competitor's data center.

The problem of finding and alternative to AWS really boils down to research, and that's a time commitment versus just whipping out the plastic. One might say, "Nobody ever got fired for using AWS."


Heroku is on AWS. If that's an alternative, then there are others that similarly run atop AWS, such as Cloud66.


A good point. I suppose that what 'an alternative to AWS' is varies too.

By which I mean that Heroku is an alternative to AWS from the standpoint of user interface and API's in the same way that Haskell is an alternative to C even though both can ultimately place values in x64 CPU registers and cause JMP's to locations in memory.


I have been using Hetzner, I have few servers there. Linux and Windows. They are very cheap if you look someone in Europe. I usually recommend Hetzner and if there will be scaling problems we can always move to expensive places like AWS and Azure.

I also have great experiences with Azure but not sure how it fits to startup world. I am only working on Azure on enterprise (.NET) customers and for them it is a nice service. Microsoft has Bizpark where you can get tons of Azure power for next to nothing. https://bizspark.microsoft.com//plus/

I have not worked on Google Cloud but as mentioned in comments I probably should look into that.


Good question! AWS is currently getting a mess for us.

We're facing an auto scaling spot instance bug (it's definitely one) and we're trying since 3 days to contact anybody from them to get our business back on to the road!

We're now forced to sign-up for a paid support plan. Nevertheless, they already breached the SLA of 12 hours, it's really frustrating...

First thought after 5 years of paying them a lot of money to migrate somewhere else (e.g. Google).

It's always ciritcal if you lose your customer contact by implementing strange support barriers to earn 3$ more.

A not anymore happy AWS customer


While I like GCE more than AWS, when it comes to support GCE is also paid-only.

GCE plans are much easier to understand though. TIL AWS support plan cost varies by how much you bill and higher the bill, higher the support cost!. That doesn't make any sense.


Yes, this is absolutely not transparent!


> we're trying since 3 days to contact anybody from them to get our business back on to the road!

Didn't they already tell you how to "architect applications for resilience"?

I was told that on more than one occasion. Essentially that one should be prepared if features don't work as advertised or unexpected things (including hardware issues) happen.

> First thought after 5 years of paying them a lot of money to migrate somewhere else (e.g. Google).

The thing that works in their favor is that some of the features tend to be a specific to the provider in question. The more one uses those features, chances are that they'd find it increasingly difficult to migrate elsewhere.


They're already too successful, if that customer support doesn't change we're migrating to other providers and diversify our hosting environment.

BTW – we always designed everything that there is no heavy lock-in on any provider, I would recommend that anybody else as well!


Just FYI, we recently lowered our prices on Preemptible VMs [0], so now is a great time to come over ;).

I haven't found anyone that loves bidding with Spot, and while I respect the ClusterK guys for the improvements they've brought to it, my hope is we convince them to move towards a fixed price as well. It's just simpler for customers.

Disclosure: I work on Google Cloud, and launched our Preemptible VMs product.

[0] https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/2016/08/Preemptible-VMs...


randhunt@amazon.com -- I'd love to know more. Happy to make amends and figure out a path forward. No response from support should never be the customer experience. Get in touch and I'll take care of it.


So you never paid for their support or had interaction with a account manager?

Sounds like you had blind trust on your "partner" instead of building connection and paying at least for business support.


Sure – like I've written above: we're paying now and don't receive any response either!


OVH specializes in dedicated servers (https://www.ovh.com/ca/en/dedicated-servers/) but they offer an API for ordering them and can deliver many of them within a couple of minutes. They have a number of "cloud"/managed offerings as well if you browse around their site. They have datacentres in France and Canada, and are currently bringing up new ones in the US, Australia, and Singapore that they hope to launch by the end of the year. I've been a customer for >3 years now and have been very pleased with their service and support.

OP mentioned a desire to work with bare metal/do IaaS their own way, and dedicated server providers are awesome for that. Conversations about infrastructure are often about "cloud vs. running our own datacentres!" and renting dedicated servers is an interesting middle ground - you get a ton of hardware and bandwidth for your dollar and maintaining the hardware isn't your problem. You give up per-hour billing but you could very well still save money - it's a serious alternative to VPS providers like DigitalOcean.


Had good experiences with OVH, their offerings are stable and their support is good. You can talk to an actual human even if you just have a single server.


Bear in mind for the first ~90 days you won't be able to get servers from an API call within "120 seconds" (marketing fluff) because they'll hold each order for manual approval. Recent and still very frustrating pains for me!


They also have their cheaper branch www.kimsufi.com, lower specs, still dedicated.

And you still wouldn't believe the speed difference of a low atom with a VPS, even if the VPS is running on a xeon. Goes double for tail latency.


Also the uptime on my kimsufi is 530 days, you're unlikely to get that with a VPS, or 'cloud instance'.


I wondered about that as I have tons of VPSes - the highest was in the 300s. My Hetzner server, though, 1389 days and counting!


We use Azure. In some aspects they're playing catch up but if you're a startup and can get into their bizspark program, there are a lot of benefits. They are also making a significant effort to open their platform to Linux, Docker and other cloud technologies beyond Windows.


>In some aspects they're playing catch up

And it some aspects, they are way ahead. Analytics is one of those examples.


I like their monitoring tools.


Google app engine with flexible environment is really cool.

Google-app-engine couple of years ago was claustrophobic with most of the things baked inside its environment. As a developer I felt restricted and there was the fear of locking in.

But with intro of flexible environment its really good for any web application (except ones with real-time communication as sockets arent supported yet). So for now way to work around this is - have a (GKE) kubernetes handle all real time traffic and REST traffic to app-engine.

I havent used AWS so so cant comment on it - but there is another reason its better to be on google compute engine - Google kind of leads in machine learning and AI - so when they decide to role out goodies on server side - its not a bad idea staying close to these.

edit: really food -> really good :)


AppScale makes a Google App Engine environment you can deploy on your own infrastructure.


Depends on what exactly a cloud provider is for you. If it's only about VMs with an API and global footprint there are several options:

- GCE

- SoftLayer (IBM IaaS)

- Azure

And additionally there are several other providers that are more comparable to DigitalOcean like Vultr, Linode, Scaleway, etc.


iwStack fits the bill too


true. I'm looking for something where I can potentially build the whole IaaS myself on baremetal at some point. Vultr looks great - thanks!


For fun, or for profit? Building IaaS to support your own company is hard enough; building it with the level of isolation and security required to be multitenant is harder still.


Google has far more than App Engine today; they basically compete with AWS directly service by service.


I would love a direct service to service comparison between the major cloud providers.

Anyone know of a guide like that?


Available service, SLA, and region comparison for AWS, Google, Azure and Softlayer at a fairly high level:

http://cloudcomparison.rightscale.com


I looked at that Rightscale link and I think it shows that comparing a very fast moving area like cloud services is very difficult and results in incomplete features matrix. For the unsophisticated buyer, this can lead to misleading comparisons.

For example, Rightscale has "Event-Driven Compute" (sometimes aka as "serverless computation") in the AWS column (AWS Lambda) but that entry is blank in Google Cloud column. However in February 2016, Google announced Google Cloud Functions which is the equivalent to AWS Lambda.

I'd expect a cloud comparison website to update the features matrix within 1 week of the AWS re:invent conferences, the Google I/O conferences, and any press releases.

As for the other comparison Cloudorado mentioned by another poster, that comparison matrix is missing database services like mapreduce, business intelligence analytics, etc.


Thanks for the feedback. We haven't included Google Cloud Functions yet in the Cloud Comparison tool because it's still in Alpha. We update the information in the Cloud Comparison site quarterly and allow each cloud provider the opportunity to review the material and send us any corrections.


That's is very helpful, although a little outdated (bookmarked nonetheless). AWS now has x1 instances with 128 vCPU's and 1952 GB of ram: https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/instance-types/x1/

On a totally different note, Softlayer has a 100% uptime guarantee! That is surreal if it's actually true.




Wow, thank you. Albeit, that only shows google's matchings to AWS, but AWS has like 60 services.

I would also like to be able to breakdown the services to see comparisons in things like SLA's and pricing but this is a good start.


Ah this old thing? :)

https://cloud.google.com/products/calculator/

Yes, tough to cover it all. I believe Azure has a similar "Azure to AWS" comparison. The GCP one is built by folks expertly familiar with AWS and tried to be as factual as possible.

I've previously collected a bunch of Google Cloud customer stories here (not Google PR - customers):

https://www.medium.com/google-cloud/i-think-google-cloud-is-...

Happy to answer any questions!

(obv. biased and work on Google Cloud)


You can run benchmarks using https://cloudharmony.com but it looks like there site is having issues right now.


There are a couple options, but it kind of depends on what you want.

There is Openstack, which is a collections of IaaS provider with connected with an API.

Digitial Ocean & Vultr which you already know about.

GCE mentioned else where here.

Linode, while not feature rich is the 2nd largest VPS provider.

Azure, which is Microsoft's IaaS. Which I've always had some reservations about, but have actually subcontracted management out separate companies to protect user info.

Scalaway is great low price option but there AZ's are mostly in Europe.

I'm personally using LunaNode, which doesn't offer nearly as many nine's in up time, but is great for the price (I have a 3 cpu, with 2G of ram, for ~$10 a month).

There are tonnes of IaaS platforms out there, very few have the full feature set of EC2, but again it depends on what you want.


Just signed up to Scalaway. Being in France is pretty neat as it's close to the UK so I understand their law. Currently running an AWS nano instance but I think I'm paying too much for it. Unfortunately it seems as though they are out of the C1 instances.

Thanks for the heads up!


On the lower end of their server types I can recommend their VC1 instances as an alterantive. In my experience they offer noticeably better performance with regards to both CPU and IO than the dedicated C1 boxes.


One easy alternative to AWS is just shovelling your cash directly onto a bonfire.

However, if you care about the actual server bit, Rackspace have their 'hybrid' cloud offers. There's a small but well-thought-of company in the UK called Bytemark who have a cloud offering but I doubt it qualifies as having a global footprint.


AWS is just meeting the needs of the startup community, like the monthly box subscription website who believes they have the same engineering problems as Netflix.


Netflix... which also runs on AWS. Or was that the joke? https://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/


We dumped Rackspace for AWS. I tried desperately to get them to do anything for us about their cloud as we had dedicated servers and needed to grow a bit. I was able to order a huge dedicated server at an OK price, but FFS it took eight weeks to be available for use.

I asked a ton of times about their cloud stuff and just got re-directed back to dedicated servers. I got tired of it, went to AWS, and haven't looked back. Using reserved instances and scaling groups we're paying about 10% less per month for 8x the number of servers, and slightly more cpu/memory/disk overall (we had some pretty beefy stuff at Rackspace).


Rackspace is, unfortunately, woefully behind the times when it comes to functionality. You're also looking at long term, very expensive, contracts for individual physical boxes if you're doing a hybrid approach. Their once-fanatical-support has also taken a major quality hit due to all the waves the company has had to ride out. Even as a one-time fan, I would be hard pressed to start a new project on RS.


I work at Rackspace, and our Public Cloud is run on Openstack, so it's hardly 'woefully behind the times when it comes to functionality'. We have one of the old, and largest deployments of OS there is, so there are some technical challenges and loads of new features coming.


I worked for Bytemark. If you want to automate from the start (even slightly) they're a pitifully bad choice, I am sad to say.


I have used Google Compute Engine, and we're quite happy. The I/O especially is quite good.


There's a little company called Microsoft. Word on the street is they are averaging one new data centre a week now. Although a bit behind AWS they are exceptional at copying market leaders and are getting some good traction with folks like Adobe. </end sarcasm>

Seriously, worth a look if you need a solid alternative to AWS.


You meant </sarcasm>


Too true :)


Digital Ocean is the most popular. But as others have mentioned, there is also Vultr. Vultr has locations in Sydney which was a big plus for me.

I personally can vouch for Vultr. Been running a freebsd system with them for over a year now.

When clients ask about AWS, I throw in Digital Ocean or Vultr so they can save a ton of money. Most of the the time, they go with AWS as it is the most popular but tends to be an overkill for most of the projects I'm dealing with.


Google Cloud is not an alternative, but a much better option. If you have pains with AWS or want a better version of Cloud (ease of use, performance, scalability), give Google Cloud a try.


If you want to focus on the code and not the servers, give a try to https://zeit.co/now

Disclosure: co-founder and CEO


MDG is expanding to the whole node.js ecosystem. You should become established before Galaxy enters your market !!!


Looks interesting. Can you explain why someone would use this over the alternatives?


Google Cloud Platform and Azure. I have a lot of experience with GCP (mostly Compute Engine) and really really like it.


When you say "AWS" what do you mean? there are tons of services under the AWS umbrella; to which specific ones are you looking for alternatives?

If it's just "VPS" then there are plenty of providers, some even offer a compatibility with the AWS API (IIRC even Rackspace does that these days).

If you are looking for an AWS specific service/platform e.g. Elasticsearch then you need to be specific.

Overall AWS has a pretty extensive platform which is hard to beat, it's "META API" which governs security, users, deployments etc. is also one of it's key advantages.


Personally I am partial to heterogeneous deployments across commodity vendors like Digital Ocean, Vultr, Linode, OVH, etc. You do have to think a little bit more about security and devops but you get a lot of power and robustness for a lot less money.

We do use S3 for backups and big storage. That has no equal.


Every time I do the math the bandwidth egress costs of AWS and GCE become rather large and non-trivial. How do you make it work for your workloads?


We don't use AWS or GCE. The other providers don't charge anywhere close to as much for bandwidth... to the point that deploying across multiple providers and using the Internet as our backplane network is no issue.

One trick I like is to split infrastructure across 2-3 different providers at at least three different nearby data centers. Example: Chicago (Vultr), Toronto (DO), Montreal (OVH). Latency is low enough for most replication purposes and if one experiences a massive failure the other two will be fine. 3/3 failure probably requires alien invasion or global thermonuclear war.


Google Cloud Storage (GCS) is in my (biased) opinion better than S3 in most ways.

GCS's default buckets just work within all the US. For no extra $$, you get something you can read and write to at massive throughput in us-west1 (Oregon), us-central1 (Iowa) and us-east1 (South Carolina). This has totally changed how people use our compute offering compared to say EC2 plus S3.

Similarly, we introduced Nearline which S3 sort of copied with Infrequent Access. Except S3-IA rounds all files up to 128 KB. Nearline is simple $.01/GB/month plus $.01/GB retrieved.

All of this with the team maintaining their own JSON API and compatibility with the S3 API (which I use from my NAS box at home).

tl;dr: GCS easily goes head to head with S3 (and often comes out on top).

Disclosure: I work on Google Cloud (and use GCS myself).


This is exactly what I do and I have had 100% uptime for the last two years.


But that's not Enterprise(tm)!

Seriously... I feel like the Big Cloud vendors are making a ton of money convincing a lot of people that you're not doing it right if you're not using their stuff.


Anyone tried Alibaba's cloud: https://intl.aliyun.com/ ?


I've learned to really appreciate what Joyent brings to the table, as far as philosophy, but I haven't had the chance to really test it out for myself.


In my opinion, Google Compute Engine is a great alternative to AWS, better in most aspects. For something simpler, if you're looking for an alternative to Digital Ocean and are in Europe, excoscale.ch is interesting.


If you are located in North America, I would suggest looking at Storm On Demand [1] (the unmanaged offering of LiquidWeb).

They offer more bare services than AWS but they provide:

- Virtual Machines with many configurations available (on shared host or dedicated host)

- Private Cloud

- Private LAN with close to sub-millisecond latency

- Automated backup, snapshots

- API

- Load Balancer

- CDN (backed by Akamai)

- Block Storage (but I found it too slow for our needs)

- Different levels of managed hosting

LiquidWeb has even more options, but you usually need to pay for managed hosting (they throw in tons of free bandwidth though).

Support is really good: of course you sometimes end up speaking with someone who is clueless or overworked, but it is extremely rare and most support people are knowledgeable, helpful, and quick. We migrated a legacy VM with old cpanel and drupal sites and even though Drupal is not in their main expertise, they optimized the heck out of the configs and the sites are running twice as fast as before on weaker hardware.

Uptime is excellent: as opposed to Google or Amazon, they do everything in their power to keep the physical host and the VMs up and connected. In other words, they have a single host SLA (Amazon and Google's SLA only applies for multi-AZ outages if I remember correctly). They also built their own datacenters and are not collocating or renting someone else's datacenter.

Performance of their SSD VMs is better than Linode's and DO's VMs in our internal benchmarks.

If you need more than a few VMs, contacting Sales is a really good idea because they can make you some interesting offers.

The main downside for us is that they are located in central US so latency is not ideal for our eastern Canada customer base.

FWIW, we moved all our VMs from Linode to Storm because we lost confidence in Linode (DDOS, security, lack of transparency) even though the ratio performance/cost/reliability (in Newark, before the DDOS incident) was impossible to beat.

[1] https://www.stormondemand.com/


Profitbricks, Rackspace, hosting it yourself on an Openstack cluster, etc. There are really a glut of 'cloud providers' out there, you just have to do the footwork of defining your needs and then finding one that meets most of them. Alternatively you could hire a consultant (hi!) to assist you, if you'd prefer to stay focused on the business side of things.


Depends on your exact needs and such but I really like Heroku, it doesn't have as much as AWS or GCE but it has some nice benefits like good monitoring/stats, very cool pipelines system and super easy scaling



If you're looking for low end, lowendbox.com is a great resource. In particular I've had pretty good luck with both HostUS(https://hostus.us/) and Joe's Datacenter in Kansas City (http://joesdatacenter.com/). OVH and Hetzner are also big players in this sphere, if you're looking for a VPS/dedi in particular.


HostUS has been great for me. But Joe's stores account passwords in plain text. Don't use em.


It depends what your app stack requirement is.

Google appengine is PAAS based, has competitive features and low priced than AWS EBS comparative. Google compute service is IAAS based and EC2 comparative.

I found, transition from AWS to GAE is usually not that easy and quick at least for a simple rails app deployment using Postgres.

Appengine has still less developers community which is why learning curve is high and you need to dig and troubleshoot more than AWS which is abundant with tutorials, gems, plugins etc.


DC/OS from Mesosphere is a an alternative to AWS that you should consider looking into. (Ref: https://mesosphere.com/product/) That will reduce your reliance on Amazon to just hardware, that's what are you paying for. In addition, you can use Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, your datacenter alongside as a single homogenous cluster.


I gathered a lot of bookmarks for major IaaS clouds comparison on twitter:

https://twitter.com/nivertech/status/679058892052168705

https://twitter.com/nivertech/status/782892922580664320


Maybe not what you wanted but hetzner?

Crazy cheap. Support is garbage.


thanks, but I don't think hetzner is cloud based. most hosters still speak about servers as physical machines as in 2005.


Because servers are physical machines. Virtual machines, instances, etc are not servers per se. Servers traditionally == physical node.

Source: 15 years in ops


With 2005-style physical machines you know at least that you can rely on performance. Storage is local and CPUs are used by no-one but you.

If you know that you have a rather steady load, dedicated servers can be far cheaper than any "cloud" offer.


Slightly OT but rumors are Hetzner is working on a cloud offer: http://www.hetzner-cloud.de/ [german].

Although I doubt that they can compete with AWS, Azure, GCE & Co.


Check out NephoScale. I'm a happy customer for years. They have cloud and dedicated machines, so you're not forced to choose. Their machines have high performance hardware, which saves you enormous amounts of time not having to deal with unreliable networks, weak virtualized CPUs, low IOPS disks...


On a related note, is there a SaaS platform for access to cheap (~ $.001 +/- $.002 per Gb) disk space?


You could tie your cheap or free Openshift/Heroku to multiple free BackBlaze B2 storage accounts.

Depending on how 'grey' you're willing to behave you can get away with doing a lot on a virtually free infrastructure.


Could you please elaborate? What is involved in doing this?


I'm not sure you're looking for an AWS alternative if you think DigitalOcean is one.

Right now only Azure (behind) and Google Cloud (way behind) are alternatives to AWS.

If what you need is just VMs and a CRUD API, then yes, DO is a very good alternative (I run most of my servers with them).


What about GCE makes you feel they are further behind AWS than Azure? Azure has more regions, but my experience is that GCE is quickly catching up in features and services in comparison to AWS.


That's the impression I get from following these series of comparisons (unfinished! I guess there's a chance my opinion might change at the end of it): https://blogs.endjin.com/2016/07/aws-vs-azure-vs-google-clou...

I also e.g. have the impression that the most comprehensive/complete/ready to use container solution seems to be GKE, so on some specific areas there would be different "winners". In overall terms I got the feeling Google has a simpler offering than AWS and Azure.


If you're looking for something new, you should try Live Vertical Resize at skyAtlas. http://www.skyatlas.com/why-skyatlas/


Azure, Google Cloud, Rackspace.


Somebody recently informed me of Profit Server: https://profitserver.ru/en/

The benefits are that the service is extremely cheap.


Joyent, Google, and MS are the alternatives that usually come up. I haven't used any of them myself, and I've heard good and bad things about all of them.

That probably wasn't very helpful.


What are you trying to achieve? There are a plethora of choices and services out there, but without knowing what you want to do, all we can do is give you a list of company names.


Exoscale sits in the middle between AWS and Digital Ocean. It has a much narrower catalog than that of AWS but essential services needed to drive cloud application.


pretty much any trendy smaller cloud provider comes with a API today. Think digital ocean or my favorite exoscale. Most of them are by far cheaper than the big 3.


https://minio.io - Open source alternative to AWS-S3, written in go.


The word "Alternative" may create little bit over-expectation on this product.


You should check out Hyper.sh! Very simple Docker hosting cloud with per second pricing and great documentation and support.


My employer operates 18 data centers in 7 countries around the world. We offer a competitive array of services and features, dynamic networking configuration, numerous ecosystem partners, API access to all of this, and high-quality support. https://www.ctl.io/


I'm not sure why you've been downvoted, so I gave you my upvote because your comment is relevant.

I've clicked on the link and your employer is CenturyLink, which is not a bunch of friends with a rack in a garage.


Google Cloud, Azure, IBM Softlayer, RackSpace, Digital Ocean, Linode.


Azure with Ressource Manager instead of Classic.


Seriously...haven't looked at Azure?


Oracle


I am using a few dedicated servers and Rancher (container platform). This way it is magnitudes cheaper than AWS and probably as easy to use. You can also avoid "cloud lock-in" when you start like this.


Another vote for Rancher here, though I have to confess I've only just started to use it seriously. Very slick and flexible. Look into running Deis on top of it.


Do they have any sort of pricing page? It seems to be buried down in their site somewhere, I can't find anything.


As far as I know Rancher is free and open source


If you'd like to try something simple, use us: https://datamantle.com just a simple VPS provider.


We just announced our bare metal cloud service at Oracle.

It's still new but pretty cool team and underlying tech.


I did a quick search of the site and couldn't find any information on pricing.

Is it one of those things where if you have to ask, it's too expensive for you?




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