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Google and IBM still trying desperately to move cloud market share needle (techcrunch.com)
166 points by deanmoriarty 37 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 247 comments



The reason for IBM's failure is pretty obvious. Their old school bare-metal servers at Softlayer are a good value, but the need for bare metal is decreasing with IO improvements like SR-IOV and real hardware level virtualization (ex HVM on AWS). I've also heard IBM is running that division into the ground.

Their cloud offering sucks. Last time I was curious, I couldn't even figure out how much my server would cost. They're too used to old school contracts when I can easily setup a server with many providers in 5 min with $5 for a month. IBM has never been a commodity business, but nearly everything they sell is becoming a commodity.

GCP's problem, as far as I can tell, is too much "cute" shitty documentation. And their hatred for maintaining services on a reasonable timescale. Everyone I know, even outside of tech, has lost a Google service they loved over the years to neglect. See Golang package management for a notorious example in the devsphere. You can't maintain dependencies on old package versions. Wtf?

It seems to be common knowledge that Google's infrastructure is technically the most solid of any cloud provider. That's just not enough when you need something easy to setup that you can build then forget about for a decade. That's just the reality of how software projects are done for non-technical businesses


I've built applications on AWS, IBM Cloud (Bluemix at the time), Azure, and GCP. If a client has no preference over platform, I usually go with GCP. I find it the simplest, cheapest, and most reliable for the type of stack we use.

I've never had a client question GCP on the basis of Google's pattern of removing services. I think people can logically separate Google's consumer-facing offerings from their paid cloud services, the same way people logically separate AWS from the Amazon store. I've never noticed a GCP service removed in the nearly 10 years I've used them. In fact, the pattern I see with GCP is that they're slower to add services , but the ones they do release are very well thought out and solid. AWS, on the other hand, seems to add tons of services, some of which are incomplete or never get traction.

I would happily use either AWS or GCP. IBM Cloud and Azure I'm far less inclined to use, although I can understand Microsoft shops wanting to use Azure. IBM Cloud is pointless.


Sure muggles don't care about Google dropping services.

My experience is that Google services are often an order of magnitude harder to use than competitors.

For example I did a shootout between the visual recognition APIs from IBM, Amazon, clarif.ai, Google and some others.

I had the other ones up and running in under ten minutes each.

Google made me go through a sign-up and authentication process that looked like

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWEvp217Tzw

and then installing their Python SDK trashed my Python installation and forced me to reinstall anaconda.

I think Google is used to hiring people with 130+ IQs and wasting their cognitive capacity and they would love to make you waste your cognitive capacity too.


> My experience is that Google services are often an order of magnitude harder to use than competitors.

Huh, I think most people feel the exact opposite, especially with the comparison between AWS and GCP. GCP has lots of services that are really easy to get set up and running easily by a small Dev shop (Firebase is pretty fantastic in my opinion), while with AWS unless you have some DevOps/networking experts it's a lot harder to do things correctly and securely.

If anything, I think the biggest issue with GCP is they still don't have the "DNA" to do enterprise support at the level large companies expect, while AWS does.


> I think the biggest issue with GCP is they still don't have the "DNA" to do enterprise support at the level large companies expect, while AWS does.

You nailed it. Coming from 8-years of AWS and working on GCP for the last 4, enterprise support is the BIGGEST differentiator IMO between AWS and GCP. GCP's services are usually technical advanced sooner (encryption architecture, various of compliances certification, etc.) and more developer friendlier, their support is absolutely the worst in the industry, opaque, slow and hard to reach, just like the support from any other Google consumer facing products. Google has never been a consumer friendly technology company, probably never will. This is in dire contrast with Amazon, which Bezos claim it always has been a customer focused business.


Well I wouldn't say their consumer facing products are bad. We've spend $70mil a year with them for google ads and I would say their support for Ads are fantastic.


Google's quality of support tends to correlate strongly with how much money you pay them. They treat their large advertisers very well, but for that very same product, support under $1mil/year is pretty bad, and that's actually still quite a bit of spend.


True. AWS enterprise support varies based not on how much money you spent on the account but rather how much money you opt-in on the support tier - the top tier support contract is expensive but AWS really treats you like a partner with prompt updates on the issue resolution, sometimes live support over the phone to tell you how to debug and identify issues.

What about Google support? Nada. They don't even have a direct phone number to reach (requests are sent via email). There are issues that they completely dropped the ball on and provide no updates whatsoever or reluctant to look into or to put a closure on. Day and night difference. (We weren't a $1MM account in terms of total annual GCP spending just yet, we very well could be in the next years I hope.)


yeah completely agree.


That's not a consumer product, that's their core business. Also you need to spend over 1M/month to get any real support.


My experience, and the experience of everyone I've talked to, is that Google support is amazing if you pay for it, and nearly non-existent if you don't.


You may check this Single API to a bunch of visual recognition services, in case you still need it: https://inten.to/api-platform/ai/image/tagging


I think GCP for plain infra stuff is complicated, but so is AWS. They’re about the same to me, but AWS seems to have vastly more features.


Anecdotal evidences are great. It is not an accident that GCP and Azure storage service has a S3 API and not the other way around.

https://cloud.google.com/storage/docs/interoperability

https://www.microsoft.com/developerblog/2016/05/22/access-az...


S3 API compatibility is there because creators of open source "data engineering" tools have in the early days rushed to develop their tools around the S3 API. I can make the case that the need for a properly abstracted storage layer should have been obvious, but in that early gold rush no one would have listened to such reason. Nowadays vendors are stuck shipping S3 compatibility layers in order to avoid locking out tools that cannot work without S3.

If you think I'm wrong, imagine for a moment what life would be like if every RDBMS client in existence got written in terms of Oracle's wire protocol, back when Oracle's RDBMS offering dominated its respective market. Thankfully that parallel universe is somebody else's problem right now, but it could have happened.


Not at all. It is there because AWS's S3 became the defacto solution for storage and because they were first AND also because of popularity and how well it works.

Your Oracle example is flawed for many reasons. SQL standard pre-dates Oracle and I am not even sure what you mean by every RDBMS client got written in Oracle's wire protocol. Ingres also predates Oracle. Are you implying that S3 API is there because they were the first? Nothing else?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingres_(database)#Early_histor...

SQL standard:

Developer ISO/IEC First appeared 1974; 45 years ago

Oracle first release: Oracle v2 2.3 1979

And also, it is allowed and trivial to implement S3 APIs because it is well documented and available for anybody. You are also implying that S3 API is not a "properly abstracted storage layer"?


Save the Wikipedia links: surely you remember the time when database selection boiled down to "Oracle or bust". I'm not implying that S3 was first & dominant early on: I'm stating it as a flat fact.

Yes, many RDBMS offerings have preceded Oracle, but none gained such wide adoption early on. Oracle has always had a strong sales team, so they've been able to grow their business rapidly. Good for them. SQL standardization has nothing to do with it either, because SQL is the user-facing language, not a wire protocol. What travels over the wire between an Oracle client and the server has about as much to do with SQL as the S3 API has to do with XML.

In your rush to defend AWS you seem to be falling into the same trap of immaturity as the people who have assumed that S3 will always remain the one true storage layer. It is not your fault, just a sign of the times. You're part of the generally apparent downward trend in level-headed, long-term thinking among the software cadre. For your next project, I recommend that you keep in mind that proper abstractions and clearly defined interfaces are crucial for maintainability of software over the long term. Good luck!


>It is not an accident that GCP and Azure storage service has a S3 API and not the other way around.

both look like third party projects rather than something by Google/msft. saying that "gcp/azure has a s3 API" would be like saying "Linux has a win32 API" because there's WINE.


S3Proxy is third-party, but Google's GCS S3 compatiblity is very much native. It was a selling point when they first launched it that you could just take boto and change the endpoint, add a header, and have it work.


Completely anecdotally speaking - at a few enterprises, convincing customers to make use of GCP has been an uphill battle. I notice deep misgivings regarding the support timescales, and even for supported products, poor support in general (ymmv+++).

GCP do have a clause in their SLA/T&C where they promise a 1 year notice in the case of any services they plan to deprecate, but that hasn't helped assuage fears - they want longer timescales and better support.

> That's just not enough when you need something easy to setup that you can build then forget about for a decade. That's just the reality of how software projects are done for non-technical businesses

Thank you for phrasing this, a few years ago I would not have believed it, and after some experience this resonates quite well.


Thanks, I used to do consulting so I've seen this firsthand. Many of our non-technical clients demanded Azure even when it wasn't ideal (this was years ago, before they cloned most of AWS).

Why? Microsoft is known for long term support, at reasonable prices. Any business that's survived more than a decade loves them for it.

We had clients running Windows 95 in VM's if that gives you an idea of how far some companies will go with "if it ain't broke don't fix it". It wasn't an usual request for IT help keeping cousin Bob's old VBA macros going another decade. Maybe 20% of our revenue was for crazy shit like that. And for good reason, many times we gave them a quote to rebuild the system (we did about 50/50 IT/Software) and it was indeed more expensive than hacking something up to keep it limping along.

1 year support is a joke. That's not even enough time for a company that builds software to migrate.


Fellow consultant here that has seen a lot of similar issues. I am currently tasked with rewriting a Delphi application that supports business in the hundreds of millions of dollars annually. It was written by a guy in his garage in Alabama. He sold the source code to the former parent company of my client. We now have a vm of the image of the guys laptop and the heavily customized Delphi environment required to build this application should a change be required. Apparently he built a bunch of delphi ide plugins to configure the environment, and should you try to build it with the latest Delphi IDE, you are SOL.


> Windows 95 in a VM

Puh-lease! I log into a VMS server every day to access an application that saw it's last update in 1995. Which wasn't even deployed until 2001. It will be replaced this year with a Win95 era application, complete with acres of giant grey buttons, served over a Citrix link from VMs running Server 2008. Bleeding edge, boys, bleeding edge.


Statistically a new software project - especially if done by a team with no common history of past successes - is risky.

So, if business values stability over risk, I understand very well if they select very very very very long term support option rather than to create the product from scratch.


> 1 year support is a joke. That's not even enough time for a company that builds software to migrate.

It's not enough to finish writing the requirements. One of our customers won't touch anything unless 15 years of support is guaranteed. And that's what they get.


Yes yes, there is a WinXP PC in our department with screen covered with a white paper with large font size text "This PC is under remote operation by Structure department, Do Not Shut it down."

Obviously there is a highly domain specific application for our Civil & Structural works last updated 10+ years ago. No one familiar/willing to upgrade it's internal licensing systems to work on newer Windows. So here we go. Whoever needs to work on it, take Remote Desktop. Simple.


For some of this stuff (Autocad, I'm looking at you...) it used to be the case that you could shell out a one-time $$$$ and get a license for v5.0 that would work for all eternity. The companies even gave you minor upgrades to support new OSes.

But since these guys have now switched to a subscription licensing model, they no longer do that, so there are scattered XP boxen around running ancient versions of various expensive software that just keeps working.


"Reasonable prices" is only fair compared to, for example, Oracle's gouging. It's not that MS has actually reasonable support pricing, just that ELA maintenance has become a cornerstone of most CIO's IT budget so there's no real incentive to do anything differently. I think the more important factor here is that MS sysadmins are a dime a dozen and the ramp from supporting an on-prem data center to "Azure Cloud" is a lot lower than learning something brand new.


'1 year notice in the case of any services they plan to deprecate' - that is barely enough for a SMB and it is not possible or acceptable for any enterprise customer! Imagine how long it takes to investigate on new solutions, rewriting stuff, testing it, releasing, etc... 1 year is a joke which I might accept as a startup with a single node.js app but would not as a CTO of any company.


As far as I know, AWS has never abandoned a service. They deprecate services and occasionally make services unavailable for new accounts.


SimpleDB is probably a good example. You can find 5 year old threads discussing whether Amazon is going to kill it. But it appears to still be there.


The business value they’ve gained by earning the trust to not kill services is far higher than their cost to keep some old things in maintenance mode, I assume


SimpleDB is still used by Amazon's own services, it's not going anywhere.


Technically Amazon and not AWS but they deprecated then removed two separate payment APIs one after the other (SimplePay and another).

It’s the reason we haven’t adopted the latest replacement. Why bother?

Edit: thanks, it was indeed FPS.


> another

I was in a team that worked on "another" :-). Some of the best memories of my professional life were formed during that period! At launch that was indeed as part of AWS. However it then came under Amazon Payments entity due to legal reasons. Felt sad to see it retired though[1]

[1] https://forums.aws.amazon.com/ann.jspa?annID=3045


I think payment APIs have all kinds of social and legal problems associated with them that go beyond the technical.


Support is the main reason I wouldn't use GCP. Production is down and the only response I get is an automated email? No thanks.


Honestly that was my experience with Amazon.

GCP comparably has been pretty good to me I n terms of support. But that’s probably because I actually have a support contract with them. (And, I didn’t with Amazon)

I think most people who complain are not /actually/ buying support.

The expectation being that support is baked into the service price. But this isn’t the case with any of the cloud providers as far as I understand.


I paid for GCP support. It was laughable. I’d send a question like: I’m using feature A to do XYZ. The documentation <here> does not include corner case XYZ. Please advise.

They would reply. Please see documentation (same link I just sent). After the second or third try I just stopped bothering.


Microsoft, Oracle, Red Hat, and now even Canonical offer at least 10 years of support for their core products. That should be the bar for anyone who wants to enter the "enterprise" market. What's the point of using a software stack that comes with 10 years of support if the platform you're running it on won't be there in 10 years?


> 1 year notice

makes me laugh that they think 1 year notice is enough. should be at least 5 for my business to properly consider it.


Yeah one year is a step in right direction, but in the enterprises that I’ve worked at, getting capex for maintenance activity like that is usually an 18-24 month process.

If everything on a platform is an emergency, that vendor won’t be around in those businesses.


"cute shitty documentation" - reading the GCP docs has been nothing but a pleasure for me. I genuinely hate most documentation (I am looking at you Microsoft), but GCP is up there in quality, almost standing next to MDN.

Could you give me an example of something you had trouble looking up? I am genuinely curious.

As far as experience - the Cloud hasn't lived up to the promise for me. We often use Azure function apps and debugging them is a pain. Sometimes the function doesn't load at all when you change one thing, etc.

AWS was a bit of a better experience, and I think almost everyone knows what "S3" is. That is to say that AWS immediately springs to mind when you need to store BLOBs.

I have also read about people having a lot of problems with GCPs BigQuery - infrequent, but random downtimes with support not being able to figure out the issue.

Edit: As someone else said below - I do agree that all Google's services have a clear use, whereas AWS and Azure tend to have a lot that you just kind of ignore.


GCP's documentation has an aesthetic quality but is lacking practicality.

Take for example a fundamental usecase: working with a blob storage service through a client library.

Googling "gcp cloud storage java example" and "s3 java example" returns these as top results:

https://cloud.google.com/java/getting-started/using-cloud-st...

https://docs.aws.amazon.com/sdk-for-java/v1/developer-guide/...

The AWS doc is clear and gives me exactly what I want: Java code snippets for doing common actions with buckets.

The GCP doc is about a sample bookshelf application? And it starts off by creating a bucket through a terminal command followed by a couple of massive code snippets specific to the example app?

Changing the search terms a bit reveals this:

https://cloud.google.com/storage/docs/creating-buckets#stora...

That's a bit better, but seeing options for the various arguments requires me to copy and paste a non-clickable link from the code snippet, which brings me to another attractive but minimally helpful page.

Another example: renaming a bucket. I find the link easily enough..

https://cloud.google.com/storage/docs/moving-buckets#storage...

But only the first code snippet has code samples of any kind. The remaining steps only have instructions for the console and terminal (and the JSON API if you want to curl against that..)

To me, GCP's documentation just doesn't surface information in a way that's conducive to getting work done quickly.


I agree with this 100%. GCP documentation is not useful when attempting to solve specific problems. It’s good for gaining a general idea of how things work. But how specifically does one bind an ssl cert and key to a load balancer? How specifically should one create a service account to read a secret encrypted with kms? GCP documentation is pretty, it reads well. It’s utterly useless for the intended purpose which is helping people use the google cloud platform.


It really comes down to having code I can copy-paste. Google's documentation tends to be minimalist, like a research paper. One small example for everything, just enough to cover every feature.

AWS is closer to "copy paste this big blob and modify it a bit". A lot less work for people trying to implement. I'm not planning to read all the documentation, I just want something that works. Google almost forces you to in many cases


It’s more that copy paste. It’s a philosophy of what the documentation is for.

If I’m looking at a doc I’m here because I want to do a specific task. The documentation should be task centric like the instructions for a university homework assignment. Imagine you want 30 people to practice a novel task in one evening. You taught them theory in class. Now you want them to try it out. Give them step by step instructions they can use to apply general knowledge to this specific case.

When I’m reading about load balancers and certs I don’t need a textbook. I need examples of specific commands. Instructions on using your tool to do my specific task.


That's true. Ideally it would be both - very clear explanations WITH code snippets, which are important to avoid missing "that one little thing" for half an hour when writing code from scratch.


Once you need more and more advanced use-cases, I think we all eventually discover that Documentation is damn hard, and no one does it perfectly.

In Google's case, I see a few major issues constantly with their documentation.

All of their documentation is focused around "use-cases", so to speak. Finding complete API documentation is a pain in the butt for many of their services; instead, they present sections like "Here's how to do X" "Here's how to do Y". More often than not, these pages are structured like help wizards, beginning with a "pull this example repository", which is the laziest possible way to check a "write documentation" checkbox.

Barring pulling those example repositories, they often put code snippets in-line with the documentation. As far as I can tell (at least for Go), these code snippets are auto-generated from comment directives in the source code which enclose blocks to paste into the documentation. What this means is that its ALWAYS missing crucial things, like import paths. So, its basically useless; you need to look at the example code to do anything.

Overall, I'd take AWS's documentation any day, though it does have some very bad areas (specifically once you start treading out of the SDK and into service libraries, like aws-xray-sdk). No one is perfect, but AWS is the gold standard of any cloud service provider documentation I've used IMO.


Your Golang mention reads as a total non-sequitur. I'm not even sure what it means. I think you are mad that they didn't provide a way to pin dependencies built-in to the language from the get-go? But few if any languages provide that. In every case I can think of, package management is done by an external tool. The only exception is... oh right, Golang now builds it in, including the ability to pin old versions. Sure it took a while, but what does that have to do with anything else you say here?

If anything Golang is a counter-argument to your thesis about why GCP isn't taking off. You're right that Google has done abysmally with its commitment to keeping services running for the long haul. But Go itself has been remarkably stable and compatible over the years since its introduction. Far moreso than Python, Rust, or JS in the same time period.


It's an example of how they treat "old" code, services or otherwise. Fixup your code to use new version or you can't build. Replace "build" with "deploy" and you have the policy of GCP. Now it's been a few years and they may have fixed this, but Go was the only language I've ever used that didn't let you pin dependency versions


It's a fair criticism of the older versions of Go - it did not have good dependency management out of the box. Probably due to the famous Google monorepo and how they did not need to tackle that issue head on themselves. However the past few years Go has really addressed this problem, first through the dep project (which has your standard .lock file for pinning dependencies similar to Node) and now go modules (included in the latest Go versions). Now you get dependency management out of the box. Your point is valid but does not reflect the modern state of Go.


You may want to use this small script: "Like 'go get' but with pinned package versions. A tiny shell script".

https://github.com/joewalnes/go-getter


Let us not forget the Google Maps price bump still fresh in everyone’s mind. That was a kind way of reminding customers that Google isn’t serious about cloud.

Amazon costs go down routinely. Google costs go up or the services go away.


Microsoft’s bias towards windows stunted it’s growth severely. It seems googles bias towards its ad-revenue based models is something similar.

Specifically, googles inability to adopt a customer-service oriented mindset and customer-privacy will be its end. Is search really it’s core strength anymore? I’d think it’s more it’s ability to reindex in a day and filter out spam.

Fundamentally, as long as google offers free services funded by converting its user data into anonymous normal distributions to be sold, I don’t think google will ever be able to overcome its stigma as a non privacy focused company. I don’t care how many privacy menu settings or SPA control panels it offers. It’s like asking if fb is ever going to be trustworthy.. haha

When a new company scales out a better search algorithm updates as fast as google... on top of aws infrastructure.. that would be interesting

I wonder what is amazons weakness that will be its undoing

It’s been ten years.. still waiting for google to give me a reliable customer service phone number on the quality of amazons.. heck I’m still waiting for google to offer a user service where I know it won’t just die or change 180 arbitrarily. I think it’s a little too late by now. Does the general public even trust in google being a secure, reliable company? Doesn’t seem that way imho


Specifically, googles inability to adopt a customer-service oriented mindset and customer-privacy will be its end. Is search really it’s core strength anymore? I’d think it’s more it’s ability to reindex in a day and filter out spam.

I thought the core business was vacuuming up personal data for ad-targeting resale purposes?

I would love for them to actually a nicer tech company that offers services like GCP and leaves the rest of us alone. Cynically, one wonders how the idea made it past a whiteboard in a meeting, where probably someone was very interested in how they could do some ML on the data coming in and out. Not saying they do (or even could) do this, only that this seems the core business model.


Interesting. Its hard to see them giving up their biggest source of revenue, but thats a good point: GCP could possibly be their next killer-app allowing them to rely less on the personal data vacuuming they're infamous for.


"Microsoft's bias towards Windows?"

Microsoft was one of the first major developers for the Mac when it came out originally.

Microsoft is happy for you to run Linux in the Azure cloud. Microsoft added Linux emulation to Windows. Microsoft gave up on Windows Phone (if only because Verizon and AT&T refused to approve new Windows Phones on their networks.)


You’re missing 1996-2013 in Microsoft history.

A story that Microsoft honchos loved to tell was that some VIP dared to meet with Steve Ballmer and showed him something on his iPhone. I think the moral of the story is that Microsoft had changed at the time because Ballmer was insulted, but didn’t toss a chair at the guy.

The not invented here syndrome at that company is/was amazing. Microsoft wasn’t as bad as IBM, but they were on that path!


Microsoft does all of that now, but ~6-8 years ago when the initial cloud pushes were happening they most certainly weren't.


Playing half a decade to a decade of catchup built on a war chest of windows and office b2b sales does not instill much confidence ...


Finally, I posit that the app ecosystem, specifically that in iOS, is the killer weapon apple holds against google. Apple literally has infinite source of free developers who can crank out apps rivaling the quality of googles free offerings... all for less than ten dollars an app. iCloudsync has mostly killed google docs and google drives cloud sync advantage across the board. Apples app ecosystem literally is infinitely horizontally scalable, while googles app ecosystem can’t even offer competent customer service for five core apps.. hmmmm I wonder who will win. Ironically parts of iCloud sync are probably using a aws for sure and maybe even google cloud as backbone.


I once ran some services on GAE right before they hit us with a 4000% price increase and killed our startup right when it was beginning to gain traction. I will never get trapped into a mission critical Google offering again. That and their application graveyard automatically put Google near the bottom of every one of my list of competing alternatives.


We're building new services on GCP and we like it, but even still for each element we develop a formal plan for moving it somewhere else because everyone here feels like severe and arbitrary changes or even termination is always a lurking possibility.


How are SoftLayer bare metal servers good value? Seriously, have you even checked how old the hardware is and what they charge for it? It's a complete ripoff.


IBM/Softlayer value differential for dedicated servers disappeared years ago. Cloud VMs are now faster, cheaper, and more reliable (because of abstracted components and live migration), and they all have dedicated nodes if you need isolation.

IBM Cloud is a slowly sinking ship with the only brightspot being Watson, but nobody seems to be able to describe that clearly so there's that.


Yet going by the article, Google's response is more sales people and better training of their sales people. Good luck with that.


Building a larger and better sales org is exactly what Google should have been doing starting 5 years ago.


> That's just not enough when you need something easy to setup that you can build then forget about for a decade.

I’ve been thinking about building a 10yr hosting plan for my own want. I thought designing static and then hosting on RasPi behind CDN would be great, just stock enough spares and keep Internet service live... 3G or better sufficient.


I find it much easier to use Google Cloud Platform compared to AWS. That's why I use it over AWS.


Where do you find documentation?


> See Golang package management for a notorious example in the devsphere. You can't maintain dependencies on old package versions. Wtf?

This doesn't necessarily detract from your point, but this hasn't been true since the release of module support in go 1.11 last year.


Google has two big problems - developer relations and compliances.

Here's a very simple example - has anyone filed a ticket in Google cloud ? Well you cant, unless you are on an expensive tier of support. Even when you have one, it is super hard to file a ticket. They generally ask you to go to Google groups.

AWS and Azure ticket support is beyond awesome. Anything from issues with servers to billing. AWS has live chat support for 29$ per month. In India, the only way to get postpaid billing is through a local Google partner : Google will not do it. On AWS and Azure, it's a simple process after you hit a certain spend .

AWS Artifact is a brilliant self service tool for compliance. And I can't stress this enough - they do this country by country. They will issue digitally signed (for you) compliance documents for free. In fact, in India they went above and beyond and did specific compliance (using a big-4 consultancy) because of some regulatory changes that I highlighted.

I really like the product that Google has - but they are running a cloud service like a b2c service. When it should be run like a b2b service. Their entire sales org is broken.


As pointed out later in this thread you can now buy a support plan that allows you to file tickets directly from Google [1].

Unfortunately it starts at $100 per user per month and that tier won't get you a number to call, just a ticketing system, and in my experience response times are in a minimum of hours. For actual production systems you're going to want the $250 per user per month option that gives you a number to call.

> I really like the product that Google has - but they are running a cloud service like a b2c service. When it should be run like a b2b service.

I couldn't agree more with you about this. A lot of people love to knock Azure and AWS but their support, in my experience, is in a completely different league to GCP.

[1] https://cloud.google.com/support/#support-options


AWS also won't hesitate to help on bare "free tier" accounts if the issue is billing related, which is awesome. I accidentally ran up $400 by setting up the managed private Certificate Authority and forgetting about it, and AWS billing was quick to give me a $400 credit since the private CA went virtually unused.


Agreed. Slack is also awesome in this respect. You file a ticket and a human answers it quickly and it doesn’t matter if you are the IT department asking the question or just a regular user in the enterprise. They even offer live chat. I have no idea how to file a bug / feature suggestion with google. Big missed opportunity.


We need a version of Godwin's law for slack.


New VC market opportunity question: will they name a Godwin’s like law after you.


You can go to https://cloud.google.com/support/docs/issue-trackers and open a ticket at the respective product public issue tracker without a paid support plan.


These are issue trackers. I'm not reporting a bug in Google. I want support on "how to do X" or "I purchased this reserved instance by accident, can I get a refund".


Fair enough. For questions, Stack Overflow is what they usually point to. Sometimes GCP staff logs on and answers, otherwise the community.

For the refund scenario, I found this: https://cloud.google.com/billing/docs/how-to/resolve-issues

You can also vent in their feedback widget within Console. To my surprise the product managers actually read it, and sometimes respond back for more information.

There's also a UserVoice forum to voice out feature requests for each product: https://googlecloudplatform.uservoice.com/forums/299943-goog...


I also recently found out there is slack channel ! But look, this is not what people want. We are looking for a plain, vanilla, ticketing system that someone can respond to. GCloud does have it at the Gold level support.

So in my mind, GCloud is more figure-it-yourself-dont-call-us . AWS is more dependable. They have scaled their sales/devrel/support ops so that a small startup can access it.

Google only does this for the Snapchats of the world.


> We are looking for a plain, vanilla, ticketing system that someone can respond to.

You definitely don't have to be Snapchat-sized to get access to the support console where you open tickets. The base plan is $100/m, which is admittedly more expensive than Amazon's $29/m but should give exactly what you're looking for.

Disclaimer: I work for Google Cloud.

[0] https://cloud.google.com/support/#support-options


ahh - it has actually gone down. About 6 months back, it was 150-200$ per month and before that it was always a percentage of spend. I just saw that the old gold/silver/platinum have gone away and replaced with role-based support options.

Thanks for highlighting that!


Isn't it $100/month/user? How are users calculated?


Well, you have a point. I would wish for that too :) For now, I like to think that GCP products work well enough as advertised without much support interference, and so far I haven't been let down too badly.

Perhaps a contentious point that I feel is true is that AWS tech is less-dependable, hence they need more support to compensate.


I work at a business with a business support plan - 10% of your monthly spend.

I have had a 100% success rate. For example I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to configure a cross account CodePipeline work flow, the support guy did what he could while we were on chat, but eventually, he just asked me to export my pipeline definition, spent the next day researching, called me back and walked me through it with a screen share.

You basically can’t do it via the console.


> AWS tech is less-dependable

How so?


Yeah gcp model is not user friendly at all. I hope they’re working on improving it there’s no way to win if they keep on how they’re going . I personally like support via slack. Scaleft had it and it was amazing. I only joined the gcp slack yesterday so I don’t know if there are answers as well as questions.


If I work for a Fortune 500 company I’m not going to be okay with sometimes getting a response on a good day.


Nothing there matters unless you work at Google. They are a general dumping ground of feature requests and bug reports with many being several years old.


> Neither company is satisfied with that, of course. Google so much so that it moved on from Diane Greene at the end of last year, bringing in Oracle veteran Thomas Kurian to lead the division out of the doldrums.

> (...)

> Bloomberg reports that he announced a plan to increase the number of salespeople and train them to understand specific verticals, ripping a page straight from the playbook of his former employer, Oracle.

I'm not an Enterprise IT expert, but looking from the outside, it doesn't seem like AWS and Azure got to where they are today by following that playbook...

My personal take on it is that AWS was first-to-market with a 21st Century-ready cloud offering (i.e. you could pretty much hear developers shouting "Yes, THIS is what I'm talking about. Finally!") and Azure got to where it is by responding quickly and aggressively, with an additional pull for certain customers due to the synergy with MS / Windows, as well as being the next best choice for those directly competing with or not willing to sign up to Amazon.

If that's true, then unless Google / IBM can really differentiate themselves, they will always lag far behind. I don't know what other plans they have in store, but opening up Watson to other platforms or hiring an Oracle sales guy are not quite what I'd call differentiators.


Azure was pretty late but their main fairly simple task was to cloud-enable the massive .net/MS-SQL army. Initial attempts weren't great (Azure tables, branding changes) but they iterated fast and knocked it out the park.

Google is replicating Amazon now (after failing with app engine), but without the mindshare. Amazing because they are the cloud story - many cheap computers rather than huge ones. App Engine hurt them so much they have a hell of a job to recover and now have to compete using someone else's playbook.

Right now, nobody gets fired for using Amazon.


> Azure was pretty late but their main fairly simple task was to cloud-enable the massive .net/MS-SQL army.

I'd be interested to know about the number of:

* Linux based deployments on Azure * Windows/.Net based deployments on other providers

Basically I'm assuming that all the .NET crowd is hosted at Azure and the rest are being hosted on Amazon/Google/RedHat/Heroku.

If that assumption is true (even with 4-5% of room for error) the ~20% would be .NET's share on the backend.

Am I missing something obvious?


Azure is bought in the boardroom, not by the engineers and ops staff that will use it on a day to day basis.

When you have a $xx million Azure minimum commit that your C-level has already written a check for, you yell at your account team until they add Linux support and try to make due with what you have.

I've heard internal numbers that Linux VMs outnumber Windows 2-to-1, but that they see long term value in doing a "lift and shift" of existing apps, then down the road sell them consulting services to migrate to .net.


Microsoft does not need to shift a single Azure Linux customer to the MS stack to make money on Azure. This was a major mindset breakthrough at MS that Nadella is not responsible for, but has leaned into. MS is not a Windows company anymore, they are back to being a software company. And Linux is fine software.

AWS delivers most of Amazon’s profit despite Amazon having no proprietary software story to speak of. Well, MS can do that too.

EDIT to add that MS does not even sell consulting services, their partners do. I’m sure the “lift and shift” story makes sense to long-standing MS shops, and MS may have even included that in their Azure pitch to them. But ultimately one of the best things about Azure from MS’s perspective is that they don’t need consulting partners to make money from it. They can reach directly into the product and ops teams at major enterprises and sell them raw capability with a spend that auto-scales.


Actually Azure has a huge hook at the engineering level in that Visual Studio Enterprise subscriptions come with $150 a month in Azure credit. It's very hard to avoid using when you just need to slap a quick demo online and need a server or DB and your in-house IT is away, it's all right there in the IDE... and then you're in hook, line, and sinker. So while there are C-suite level mega-sales, Azure has plenty of grassroots appeal.


That's actually a great point, Visual Studio becomes a distribution point for Azure client software and SDK's, meaning you potentially don't have to do any extra configuration the way AWS and GCP require.


> I've heard internal numbers that Linux VMs outnumber Windows 2-to-1, but that they see long term value in doing a "lift and shift" of existing apps, then down the road sell them consulting services to migrate to .net.

Presumably they're making a profit on selling the linux VM's. I think MS have more or less accepted that windows has been outcompeted in the server OS market over the long term. It's hard to compete wih free...


Makes me wonder if instead we might see an MS branded Linux distro (think redhat) or C# native on Linux.


They already have both. Azure sphere and .Net core.


Microsoft said in September 2018 "about half Azure VMs are Linux." [1]

Of course, that leaves it open what they mean with "VM" here. Are they including all the VMs running in Azure, including those powering Microsoft PaaS offerings (like App Service and Azure SQL) or just customer deployed VMs.

[1] https://www.zdnet.com/article/linux-now-dominates-azure/


All the .NET projects I have done on the cloud have been deployed on Amazon EC2 instances.


Unless your business is in direct competition with other parts of Amazon's service.

It's not that businesses actually fear that Amazon will look at the data they have in AWS, but AWS props up other Amazon businesses, and who wants to help prop up their competitor?


Seeing that AWS’s largest customer is Netflix and that AWS has Prime Video, that’s not necessarily a showstopper. The tech industry is all about competitors who partner.


This isn't true in Retail. As far as I know, most of the top national retail brands in the US all use Azure or GCP as a policy over AWS.


Right. My only complaint on AWS is how confusing it is. Gcloud is much simpler, IMO.


AWS is easier to set up than to plan your own data center. The difference is that people who opt for AWS think they no longer need ops, and don't even have knowledge of networking. You still should have at least one network engineer to plan VPC and subnet layout.

As for GCP, I think it seems easier, because by default it uses public IPs for each instance. That doesn't necessarily mean that one you set up an instance and it runs, you did it correctly.

One nice thing though is that Google uses SDN for their internal networking and that made some things easier. Particularly seamless communication with other regions.


Azure is horribly complex too. There is an involuntary comical course on pluralsight [1] trying to explain all the different types of services and the small subtleties between services that do about the same thing, but not exactly the same. It’s hard not to leave even more confused.

[1] https://app.pluralsight.com/library/courses/microsoft-azure-...


I've looked into a few AWS service over the last week and coming from Azure I am very confused. It's not at all clear how AWS service are grouped together or why certain resources where created at all.

The resource group concept in Azure is, in my opinion, much easier to use and understand that VPCs in AWS.


> App Engine hurt them so much they have a hell of a job to recover and now have to compete using someone else's playbook.

why did this hurt them? I thought appengine was great when i used it (granted, i never paid them for it - the free tier was way too generous).


Three things. First, GAE has drastically, massively improved as a product since it was first introduced in 2008(!). But a lot of people don't know that, and the original reputation remains.

Second, App Engine was the original Google Cloud product, it came out years before Compute Engine and never took off like they expected but for awhile it was all they had to offer.

Thirdly, in 2011 Google changed the billing model. Datastore requests were no longer free and CPU billing was switched from CPU time to wall time [1]. The old billing model did not account for how some developers were actually using GAE and it was not sustainable, so Google had to make a correction and some apps saw a massive cost increase. This further tarnished the GAE reputation.

[1] https://github.com/stickfigure/blog/wiki/The-Unofficial-Goog...


It gave a lot of developers for a long time an impression that Google only really cares about (maybe) Java and Python and other languages are SOL?

It gave a lot of developers for a long time an impression that Google both very much wanted proprietary lock-in (App Engine APIs were extremely distinct to other libraries commonly used for those tasks in those languages), but didn't have the dedication to support a lot of backward/forward compatibility and were happy to change those proprietary APIs seemingly on a whim?


It delayed them making the product customers wanted?


AWS employs enormous number of "sales engineer". They are so aggressive that there is a joke that anyone with some name recognition in Korean dev community is going to AWS. I think Google trying Oracle approach is the right one. Their product is not bad, their sales is.

Modern cloud devrel seems very similar to big pharmas marketing to doctors.


excellent analogy


Google needs sales-people on the ground, plain and simple. I live in a reasonably big European market when it comes to IT services and the Google cloud people are absent, and for that reason everybody goes either with Azure (because MS has got the most people trying to make the sale) or AWS (because it's still seen as technically ahead of the field).

Now, as an aside, rumor has it that even MS's Azure numbers are a little inflated, a big part of their cloud sales is just Office 365, but I think MS does some marketing and accounting gimmicks on the side by "attaching" Azure to these Office 365 sales.


My anecdata is that Microsoft used salespeople to talk to executives and give them a deal on Azure so good they couldn't pass it up.


This is accurate. If you have a substantial Windows Server / SQL etc. spend via an Enterprise Agreement then MSFT will essentially give away their cloud services to you. I’ve seen crazy 90+ percent discounts on Azure and Office 365.

Still doesn’t change the fact that Azure isn’t a great platform to use, though.


I have an affinity for AWS because I worked there and liked the pace. But, agree with your last statement. At least 3 collegues (came from Azure to AWS) told me very highly about Azure when it comes to console and workflow.


Migrate your Exchange serve(s) to google suite or Azure, which one do you think is an easier sell?

Repeat for Random windows server to Azure and again for Office Live.

Ohh, you can ru Linux too and do most things people are doing with AWS.

It’s a pretty easy sell to me (and worked pretty well on the F100 company I work for).


Microsoft is pretty clear that they want people to move workloads to PaaS and SaaS - with IaaS (VMs) really only for "legacy" applications.

The migration from on-premise WSAD and Exchange to Azure AD and Office 365 is pretty painless - and once you've done that why wouldn't you use the rest of Microsoft's cloud based platform. That's the big advantage Microsoft has for most enterprise customers.


This is occurring at my company. That said I'm not too sad as Azure seems like a competent provider.


I'm not terribly happy at the VM startup latency, unreliability of actions (you have to double check if it really happened), and how things don't clean up nicely afterwards. Things may have changed, it's been a few months.


Yes, this (at the top level) was how they signed up fortune 1.


I think aws also did a great job keeping competition "under fire". They release so many new services, so quickly (and in amazingly alphaish-at-best quality), that they are always perceived to offer the most complete cloud infrastructure.


I was playing with gcloud, particularly with deployment manager and have feeling that there are still many bugs in gcloud. DM seems like it has a good design and could be more powerful (especially ability to use templating and injecting Python code), but still feels buggy, error messages are very cryptic, and not feature full around updating (there is some rollback and preview functionality, but it is essentially useless).

Nowhere close to what Cloud Formation is, even though from design it is less powerful.

I was a bit skeptical why terraform is popular, doesn't feels like it brings anything new to CF, but could make a lot of sense to use instead of DM.


Even being a differentiator doesn't seem to help. Joyent's Triton infrastructure is extremely impressive and container-centric, yet hasn't made a major dent into AWS.


Joyent's failure was chasing the latest agile, devops, micro kernel, etc. hotness that was taking off in the valley.

They completely ignored the fact that the big companies with huge budgets are full of people who don't give a shit about SmartOS resource grids and just want easy and similar enough to what they already know/run.

People tried to label Amazon Lightsail as a "DigitalOcean killer", it was really a way to lower the bar of intimidation for the IT guys at paper mills and car seat factories.


I am not surprised for IBM but Google could do a heck of a better job if they treated their customers a bit better. They suddenly make changes to their policies and don't care a bit while discontinuing services who don't update their products. I had two very bad experience with Google. The first was when Firebase was still a niche and we built our product on top of it. Then they made an update where certain features were deprecated in the tier that we were in. One fine day the product stopped working.

The second was a more recent one where our app was discontinued from their playstore because they updated their SMS policies. All their communication were landing to my Bulk folder. Even HN has some horror stories about their 'couldn't care less' attitude.


Early Firebase PM here: which feature was this? I don't remember us making decisions where things abruptly stopped working, but please let me know what happened and I'll take a look.


Thanks for getting back. How can I reach you? I can send you the details. We were not even in the free tier. But for some reason after having our credit card information for close to 6 months, it was disabled since some more information was suddenly asked. I agree that some of it might be legal. But for heaven's sake don't automate the hell out everything


Let me guess: "the tier that we were in" was the free tier?


And it may well be that "the tier that we were in" was the free tier.

But my question would be why did Google enter a paying field with a free option, knowing full well it would kill off all those paying players, to only then kill their free option knowing all competition is now gone?

Google should not be offering up any service, free or otherwise that has a use by date that is only known to Google.


May be so, but Google made sure that "the tier they were in" stays "nothing by Google, ever" for that particular company.


I don't understand why Google doesn't woo silicon valley startups more aggressively. Gcloud is actually a pretty solid service, far more usable at varying levels of technical expertise. A lot of nice integrated tools for high end users (EC2/kub8/cloud console/etc) that gives AWS a good run for their money, and (gcloud web browser, web console, gcutils) for devs not that familiar with cloud tools that are significantly easier to use than AWS.

It's a boon for startups that are being quick and scrappy and haven't brought on a cloud specialist but need to use the cloud to run things regularly.

But where are the 1 year's worth of free credits ads? Or the regular meetups to hand out cloud credits and give a tech talk and promote some startup? I'm not even talking about basic customer service and support, something Google is notoriously skimpy on (although probably mandatory to build developer relations). This stuff is key. If they captured a unicorn or so, and churned out the occasional semi-corn technical founder who advocates for a gcloud stack out of SV when they move to their next gig, they will have grow their market so much better.

It's mindboggling to me that with their resources and being based in MTV, and being the single largest corporate alma mater of SV technical founders, more startups here aren't being marketed to use gcloud.


Google has lost much of the trust developers placed in them, first of all by terminating products some of us loved [1] and also by terminating user accounts in an automated fashion with no way to appeal.

Imagine your business depending on Google Play Store, then getting your account banned due to some association with another account that supposedly broke their ToS, with no way to contact support, to appeal the decision or to even find out what the hell happened [2].

I mean, imagine that your spouse buys a Nexus phone, sells it [3] and your account gets banned via association, along with your right to publish apps or content on Play or to access your email archive.

And if you think this can't happen with a GSuite account, since that's supposedly the gold standard for their support, how about getting your entire company of 100-150 people banned [4]?

So the answer for me at least is that I have a trust issue with Google. No thanks, AWS has been around for longer, I haven't heard so many horror stories from them and if I'm feeling adventurous one day, I might try Microsoft's Azure, since they have actual support and without the history of shutting down products over night.

[1] https://killedbygoogle.com/

[2] https://android.jlelse.eu/google-just-terminated-our-start-u...

[3] https://www.dansdeals.com/shopping-deals/google/dont-mess-wi...

[4] https://www.reddit.com/r/tifu/comments/8kvias/tifu_by_gettin...


FWIW, [4] appears to be at least unverifiable, since OP never posted again, and when support tried to reach out or find something that matched the listed details, they never heard back and couldn't find something that fit? [1]

(Not trying to claim that there's not a problem, just that the particular story seems to have a number of things that are suspect without further details.)

(I work for elgooG, not on anything Cloud or otherwise related to this, this is just my own $0.02, etc.)

[1] - https://www.reddit.com/r/google/comments/8l231x/google_banne...


The fact that it was a single, unconfirmed post and yet people still believe it may say more about the trust issue than whether it really happened or not.


+1 Most people I've talked to have zero trust in Google not changing the services without warning, killing it, or banning accounts with zero chance of getting hold of a human.

Cloud is not a core product, the chance of it being killed is higher than its market share I'm certain.


Just want to +1 to being automatically banned by google and therefore not choosing GCP, because this is exactly what happened to me.


The difference between Microsoft and Google is when Microsoft autokilled my account, it was only three days of chasing support people to fix it. Neither is good, but there’s degrees to the awfulness.

That’s a big difference when it comes to actually doing business.


This is a big issue for Google. I know many people with a deep distrust of anything Google and personally I’m avoiding them whereever I can. Google doesn’t understand that support isn’t something that can be offloaded to a forum. Not in B2B and especially not in the enterprise world. The only way to get solid support for a product is to spend 1M/year on Adwords.


A similar thing happened to me. I had some domains with tons of backlinks hosted on app engine. Without any notice, my app engine version got deprecated and my sites went offline. I hadn’t setup any monitoring as I trusted google. I visited one of my sites manually and saw it was down. It turns out both of my sites had been down for two months. I logged into the google app engine ui to see an error message for both apps that I was running “a deprecated app engine version”. Most of the backlinks to the sites had been removed as broken links. Thousands of customer reviews of software I had published were erased by that. I dig google but this was an enormous failure on their part.


The people in #4 thought a recovery account was harmless. They were wrong. Google's automated systems are merciless, impersonal, and ruthless. They showcase how much faith you should put in their support for even paid services.


What are the guarantees that I am not ending up with the same situation like those companies who's dev account got terminated without the possibility of appeal? AWS and Azure build into relationships with cloud architects and companies doing cloud migrations. I see GCP as a liability at this stage based on the stories that I read here on HN. Is GCP any different than the App Store? Do I have a chance to appeal if they detect something wrong in our infra? Will they terminate my account permanently and will I be banned forever? These are the questions that I need answer for before I even think about using GCP.

https://android.jlelse.eu/google-just-terminated-our-start-u...

https://www.reddit.com/r/FlutterDev/comments/8w9shu/help_goo...


Disclosure: I work on Google Cloud.

Nearly all VCs and Accelerators are on our list of partners at cloud.google.com/startups where that up to $100k in credits offer lives. You would not believe how contentious it was in the early days of GCP to fund this...

Unicorns take a while to grow, but I still think Snap was one of the most fascinating stories, as they were entirely on App Engine and Datastore well into their unicorn days. Is Niantic interesting? Shopify? Presumably Spotify stopped being a unicorn startup and is now just a successful company.

To your other point, lots of ex-Googlers choose GCP, which I mostly put down to "I don't worry the way others do". If you've been at Google, you already know and trust a lot of the underlying systems and people. Adopting BigTable, Spanner or Dataflow doesn't sound scary to you, or make you worried that you won't be able to hire people that "know GCP" the way that "everyone knows AWS". Similarly, you "know" that Google isn't going to shut it down. Others don't necessarily feel that way, and frankly we just don't even get considered.

I personally think that's an interesting signal for a startup: if they do a technical evaluation and choose GCP, rather than sticking with AWS as the default. The ex-Googlers choosing it because they still have friends at Google isn't a particularly great business plan for us, but they do provide great feedback! (Particularly people who say "Umm, I used to work on < X >, can't you just enable that for the public version? I've got money").


I’m ex google. I still have friends on the cloud team. I’ve built on aws and gcp.

If you asked me aws or gcp I’d say aws. Having seen the sausage factory from the inside I cannot say I have a greater trust in G than in Amazon. The biggest thing for me is GCP documentation is garbage. If you don’t know everything already you’re going to have to figure some things out. AWS documentation is adequate. GCP DOCUMENTATION IS NOT.


To be clear, I didn't suggest all ex-Google people go with GCP. I just said that the ones that do are basically saying "Eh, I'll be fine".


Maybe they trust GCP because they know if their account get auto banned by stupid google AI they will be able to talk to a human (ex coworker) to fix the issue... Unlike the rest of us who don't have a friend inside google. Google fix your fucking ban process and non existant appeal process, give few days to answer instead of deleting all the infra of your paying customers!!!!! Stop raising your prices and killing services with super short notice And maybe in a decade or two we will trust you again for anything serious


They purposely turned away many of those startups with changes in pricing like they did for the Maps/Geolocation API [1].

I'm sure there is an example, but I don't know of one when AWS has ever raised prices on a service.

[1] http://geoawesomeness.com/developers-up-in-arms-over-google-...


Startups don't make the money. All of those boring old companies do and they don't need fancy fancy they need: - easy to understand for an avg it guy - slow change - good price - trust


Capturing startups seems like a gamble, compared to Microsofts strategy of just forklifting customer that already known and trust them into Azure.

And at this point IBM is basically starting from scratch. You have to be an enormous company, with existing IBM contracts to even consider them a cloud provider. They also made a mistake with Watson and focusing too much on that one product. Right now it's hard to see that IBM cloud offering doesn't necessarily involve Watson.


It's actually the opposite: If you are building an infrastructure company, you are far better off chasing startups than large enterprise companies. Microsoft just has an overwhelming advantage for them in the cloud: The fact that they are already using their services outside the cloud.

I don't know if you've ever tried to sell something, but selling to startups is relatively easy: They are starting from almost zero, so making changes and trying new things is cheap. When selling to enterprise can be a one or two year process, you can get a startup to sign up in an hour.. and that's if they don't just discover your product and sign up without sales!

But the real kicker here is that if your product bills more to larger companies for good reasons (like, say, you bill by the server, or by the transactions they process), then their growth is your growth, without needing more sales. Fortune 500 companies that aren't cloud providers themselves aren't going to grow fast at all. And while some startups fail, the ones that don't make up for that loss: You get a lot of baseline growth without having to grow your sales team. And if you do catch a future unicorn or two, you will then get to understand large company needs from an existing company, instead of having to waddle through complicated sales processes.

Amazon didn't start selling their cloud offering to Fortune 500 companies either: Those came around many years later, and in practice rely on hiring people that are familiar with the technology. Unless you have some sales gimmick that works really well with large companies (and nowadays, neither Google or IBM have one), getting startups, and a wide array of individuals that get practice on their offerings for free on their spare time, is the best way to go, and it's not even close.


It would be super interesting to see the startup vs mid range vs enterprise client breakdown of each cloud providers. As we are entering the very end of the evonomic cycle I’d expect those to behave very differently in a recession.


> ...and churned out the occasional semi-corn founder who advocates for a gcloud stack...

I got the impression that’s the deal with Pivotal. Some ex-Googlers recreated Borg as BOSH (Borg++). Since then they push GCP as their premier public cloud integration despite most customers being in AWS. Their docs on AWS integration blow chunks, and they took their sweet time delivering a (broken) version of PKS for AWS.


I work for Pivotal.

Our internal development environments mostly run on GCP, after migrating from AWS. We chose it because (a) it performs much better and (b) Google would give us the time of day, unlike Amazon. As it happens BOSH made that process manageable for most individual teams because of its design.

We do however spend significant amounts with Azure and AWS, to test our various systems on this platforms.

PKS came to GCP first because the opensource feedstock, CFCR (née Kubo) was co-developed by Pivotal and Google and was first developed on GCP.

As for chunk projection, I can put you in touch with relevant teams for feedback -- jchester@pivotal.io.


Anecdotally, I spoke with both gcp and aws reps in previous startup (not in US), and both told me the "take free 500K in credits" party is over. YMMV


Disclosure: I work on Google Cloud.

I don't think we ever offered $500k, but have consistently done $100k for up to a year. There were definitely lots of startups that would chase credits across us, AWS and Azure (who at least at one point would do $300k).

While I think it's great to ride free credits while you can, it's probably a mistake if your company is changing infrastructure each year in search of free dollars. And even worse if you do so at a huge hit to your productivity and ultimate product success.


Agree completely, and the 500K number was indeed from azure. So have consistently done $100k means this program still exists?


Yep! I mentioned it in a separate comment but the URL is cloud.google.com/startups (and has been since we started it).

The easiest mechanism is via a firm who has funded you, and they just "nominate" your company via a simple portal.


They did this when I first moved to the valley in 2013. Found them sponsoring hackathons and giving away GCP at 10k-50k free first year for just participating, prizes for winning hackathon was, I believe, actual cash plus 50k+ more GCP. But not sure if they kept up the sponsorships.


I wish Google has a CloudFront equivalent cache system. Their CDN can only be bucket supported or in front of an load balancer. But sometimes I want to just have an arbitrary back end which I can do on CloudFront.

I ended up using CloudFront in front of Google services just last month to hit a performance need.


Disclosure: I work on Google Cloud.

The main challenge with "remote origins" is ensuring that it's legitimate to do so (so that we don't allow folks to use our network as a weapon), and that most of our load balancing / GFE-based systems have historically only known how to point at Borg jobs (this is why it took so long to add the GCS bucket support!).

We hear you.


Desperate? I'm not sure.

The total addressable market here is every non-local computational need.

That's trillions of dollars. For a market that is emerging right now, which already shows massive path dependency. So there's one time to win a slice. It can't be done later.

If I was Google's position, I wouldn't be running a profit. I'd be throwing every spare copper into Cloud to grab market share. I'd be giving away credits on street corners. Driving out at least IBM and Oracle by just drowning the market with data centre capacity. Buying my way into existing relationships. Finding folks in consumer-facing divisions who've trashed the brand ("how long until this service is canceled, ha ha ha") and pulling them up sharply. Doing whatever can be done.

I don't think Google really gets, at the highest levels, that this is the first business they have that can truly diversify them out of advertising. They seem to see it as a nice extra source of cash, rather than an existential imperative.

But then, Google hasn't got the DNA to be afraid of existential threats. It's just not something they've dealt with since they switched on the cash pumps. Meanwhile, everyone else in this fight gets it.


Yes, it's been posited right here on HN years ago that GCP could dwarf their existing ad business and that gets clearer by the day. However the vision and momentum just doesn't match the opportunity.

It's especially strange that Amazon is now getting in the advertising business and is very quickly (in less than 2 years) posing a serious threat to some of Google's ad products.


What this articles doesn't mention that much is that IBM and Google are both betting on catching the wave of containerization by following a somewhat similar strategy.

They're both focusing on a container-native, Kubernetes oriented and opinionated cloud. They're both heavily investing in Kubernetes development, AI integrated technologies and the results are visible in the quality of their container offering. Despite their reputation for obtuseness and lack of support, as an enterprise customer, we've had fantastic support, quick turnaround on issues and the actions taken on many of our feature requests.

As a developer, I've found GCP to be somewhat behind in features BUT man their documentation is good, and easy to use. Despite this article, I would bet big on Google Cloud. They may be late to the cloud, but they have some of the best people. Maybe its due to Google Research? But I don't see them going anywhere soon and in fact, I do see them as the next iteration of AI-heavy, big data optimized and container native cloud (sorry, couldn't resist using all of the buzzwords).


> They may be late to the cloud, but they have some of the best people.

There's been plenty of projects filled with very smart people that have failed.


I think my comment mentioned a lot of reasons why they might succeed and not just because they're staffed with smart people. Cherry-picking a statement like this really adds no value to the discussion.


Google has always seemed actively hostile when it comes to support, since they don't like to leave any power in the hands of a human when an algorithm could do it more efficiently. Is cloud any different?


You can go to https://cloud.google.com/support/docs/issue-trackers and open a ticket at the respective product issue tracker.

To get more hand-holding support, it's the same as AWS, i.e. you pay for it: https://cloud.google.com/support/


It would be interesting to hear some contrasting reports from people who have actually needed support.


Hostile answer further discredits google support


How is this answer hostile?


Who even would use Google Cloud seriously? They have a shitty history of maintaining products after depreciation. No, 1 year is not enough. Once I've invested in your platform, minimum of 5-7 years guarantee is mandatory.

Too many horror stories to even think about moving there.

This is coming from an org which spends 10M/Yr on Azure/AWS.


Cloud is where Google's reputation for killing products is really going to haunt it. Every time HN commenters complain about Google axing a service, there are lots of "you're making too big a deal about this, no one is leaving Google because they ditched Reader" responses, and for its consumer products that may be true.

But decisions about which cloud provider to use are made by C-suite executives, and they absolutely do look warily at Google, especially in comparison with Amazon (which makes basically all its profit from AWS) and Microsoft (which is obsessed with back-compat and keeping old products working as long as possible). Basic risk management and the huge cost of abruptly switching clouds will be the albatross around GCE's neck.


At startups and even medium sized tech companies, these decisions are often driven by engineering/ops teams and not by executives. I was on a team trying to decide between staying with AWS and moving to GCP about a year ago, at a company that spends well over $1M/year on infrastructure. The fact that Google has a track record of abandoning products with active users and has repeatedly shown they do not know how to deal with customers was absolutely part of the reason we decided to stay with AWS. I respect the engineering at Google immensely, and I would be willing to reconsider in a few years, but they need to prove their commitment first. They literally just killed another product today (Android Things)!


Looks like GCP needs to sorely address this (mis)perception, and ensure their commitments to GCP is separate from the consumer business.

But really, GCP is not the same as the consumer-facing products. GCP already has a lot of clout, and literally nothing I know in GCP has been deprecated/chopped just like that. GCP already has a huge following in its own right and it's very unlikely for GCP stuff to be axed, given how careful they are with implementing new features (I have interacted with numerous engineers, and often feature requests are taken with a lot of valid pushback to prevent feature creep).


I don't think you can fully separate business and customers. Google Maps? Google suddenly vastly increased prices.

This is something all cloud providers suffer from. What assurance do I get that pricing and quality of service remains stable? Amazon has the same problem. If I look into my billing console, I see an increase of used computing resources. From inactive projects. They still managed to use significant CPU-time. I would not be able to claim otherwise. As long as the costs remain low, this is not a problem. But you have to believe your cloud provider...


I wonder how you get all this info about the backends behind cloud services. Nearly everything is a huge blackbox from my perspective. Personally, I deploy solutions to AWS too, mostly beanstalk with defined environments, cognito for user authentication, typical latte macchiato cloud user.

Still using my own server for anything in development or for personal stuff or file storage (have you looked at prices? It is basically free now). I mainly use cloud services because people want it fast and cheap but still need an option to scale the solution.

I am content with the services Amazon delivers, but I heavily expect some kind of bubble burst in the future. Development of infrastructure and management interfaces probably isn't cheap either.

So does Google have a better backend than Amazon or Microsoft? I couldn't tell. Only that Microsoft tends to be slower than the competitors, Google tends to ban random users and some of their own services, and just with that Amazon comes out on top. But the fear that a service is deprecated at one point is a permanent undercurrent.


Anecdata, I was completing a proof of concept for deploying one of my companies apps to GCP and AWS comparing them and evaluating what platform to use. About 3 days before finishing my work and demonstrating how both went to my colleagues my GCP account linked to my company email address was blocked and then deleted with no warning otherthan a single email saying I had violated some T&C.

I tried very hard to contact anyone about my issue and naturally got nothing

We went with AWS

Two years later I've left the company now valued in the billions and spending several hundred thousand dollars a month on AWS


I don't know why you were down voted, this is 100% correct. Google's own reputation is Google Cloud's biggest enemy. Microsoft is really in the sweet spot, Amazon is eating the world and no one wants to pay their direct competitors money every month.


I would also add that Google is competing with customers in a similar fashion to Amazon/AWS. One example is travel: Google is actually an OTA and actively works to take a cut of each trip. If you’re doing anything that could potentially be given away free (well, free with ad revenue), you should be thinking long and hard about paying Google to outcompete you.


But decisions about which cloud provider to use are made by C-suite executives, and they absolutely do look warily at Google

You sound quite certain of that, so can you share your sources?


Google is betting on serverless, with products that are very developer friendly.

Firebase and the Firestore NoSQL database just out of beta are awesome products, and they are backed by Google Cloud. The ability to build a serverless application out with nearly no server code, with authentication, file upload and hosting built-in is awesome.

Plus we can have Node processes for any server code that we might absolutely need, like for signing Stripe payments.


If all you're doing is building web apps then that sounds pretty good.

Pretty certain any large enterprise cloud workload that gcp/azure/AWS is interested in is a lot more than that. Data warehousing, Kafka stuff, identity management, document storage etc


Its incredibly hard to catch up. The following is a list of new major AWS functionality delivered just in the month of January:

https://blog.clusterdyne.com/posts/new_aws_features_jan2019....

Two new services introduced and one in GA, plus multiple solid innovations like the Elastic Inference Predictors API. And this doesn't include roll-outs of existing services in new regions.


The amount of movement to Azure is staggering from AWS (if only from job postings and recruiters I speak to). There are a lot of businesses that do not want to fund their competitor (rightfully so), even if Azure is half baked (it is, but one desperately hopes it gets better if one is forced to use it).

Also, Office 365, Exchange, AD, Sharepoint/OneDrive, Flow, and other platform lock-ins are not to be discounted.


is there any cloud thats "fully baked" in comparison to AWS?


No cloud provider is fully baked, that included AWS. Every single one of them has their own set of drawbacks.


I think it’s less of a cloud to cloud comparison, and more of a feature to feature comparison. Even AWS is half baked depending on the service (although the core services are rock solid, like S3, EC2, Cloudfront, and parts of RDS). Azure’s console has all sorts of intermittency/consistency issues, and they recently lost customer data due to how encrypted database data was inadvertently discarded due to a DNS failure scenario.


A friend of mine at an old company who relied heavily on IBM (and paid for it) told me the story about how they were going to "get into the cloud stuff". They talked to their IBM consultant guy at a meeting about what they wanted to do and he told them what they were thinking of doing and he responded "well that will take a few weeks, they have to set it up".

Now it was possible their IBM contact was thinking of some sort of older managed hosting but he said they were talking about "cloud" for the entire meeting ... at that point it seemed IBM just thought of managed hosting as "cloud".


There doesn't seem to be much information in the article. No actual numbers just:

> the market keeps expanding, but these two major companies never seem to get a much bigger piece of the pie

In my circles people only talk about AWS and Google Cloud. I know there is going to be a massive segment of the market that just defaults into Azure because Microsoft .... but it seems to me that beyond that the race is pretty much over. IBM, Oracle all the others are not going to succeed beyond niche applications.


In my circles a lot of non-Microsoft people talk about Azure.


Yeah, same here. Microsoft seems to really change people's minds these days. Many of my friends disliked them, but now see them as a great option compared to AWS lock in. I think Azure has a strong offering, but that Portal UI, oh my...


Yeah the portal UI sucks. Anyone seriously using Azure is probably using az-cli, ARM templates, terraform etc.


anecdata; I have never met a dev or a shop that uses Azure. Maybe the SF bay area is so heavily AWS/GCP that's all I hear about, but I have had the same experience as you


The Bay Area is a bubble. A huge bubble, but still a bubble.


One thing Google doesn't get is how big a deal it was to reject the DoD. Vast swaths of corporate America do business with the DoD. And a lot of people in DoD took the Prohect Maven backlash a bit personally. The general tenor of the conversations I have about GCp with these folks isn't "No, just flat no". It's "NO! Oh, hellll no!" The fact that they refuse to bump their FedRamp cert to cover DoD req'ts doesn't help.

I seriously doubt a company with any significant fraction of income tied to DoD is going to ever allow it to appear that they might have ever even considered GCP.


It seems very unlikely to me that google is not aware of this


Ginni Rometty was on Bloomberg the other day saying that Hybrid Clouds are a trillion dollar business and that IBM intends to be #1 in the market.

https://finance.yahoo.com/video/ibm-ceo-ginni-rometty-hybrid...

I'm more than a little skeptical on their ability to execute on this, given that they've let a lot of their top-talent go.


Oracle's cloud efforts are just a footnote even when compared to the "IBM Cloud". If Google thinks hiring somebody from Oracle is going to solve their problems, they are delusional.

They'd be better off picking somebody at random from one of the flyover states then sticking to the monoculture.


Am I the only one that thinks IBM's acquisition of Softlayer did more to help Amazon than it did to help IBM? (or, more specifically, their mishandling of the acquisition)

Cloud isn't the big market, traditional hosting is. But cloud continues to grow. I thought the idea behind the Softlayer acquisition was going to be to try to funnel the much larger group of people who aren't ALL IN on cloud into some hybrid/cloud option.


As a customer of Softlayer, I haven't noticed very much from the acquisition. Support has gotten a bit worse, but our account has also gotten smaller, so I'm not sure if we were getting special treatment before. I still think the old portal was faster, and login via IBMid is dumb, but the servers still work, the network still pretty much works, and it feels like their networking monitoring got somewhat better. Their pricing got kind of weird though. And they expanded their locations significantly.

We're leaving Softlayer, but to an acquirer's infrastructure, not to Amazon.


I didn't mean to imply that it got worse for existing customers. But I feel like by killing the Softlayer brand (softlayer.com is just a landing page where everything redirect to IBM cloud) and making "cloud" the focus, they're missing out on new business (including winning back people to baremetal who are tired of AWS' poor price/performance).

Maybe they still are and I'm just not paying enough attention, but Softlayer was essentially the _top_ choice for dedicated hosting for the large number of customers that wanted something more reliable than OVH without having to go to Rackspace.

I feel like they just walked about from that. Or, more to my point, that they're neglecting driving business to it to a point where it's actually helping AWS grow.


"cloud isn't the big market" sorry lost me there


Not a native speaker, but it seems to me that they are not saying that cloud is not a big market, but that the cloud is not THE big market, since THE big market is something else (bare metal?).


That's exactly what I was saying. Thank you. I think I'd agree that it's the fastest growing market. And maybe the one with the highest profit margins though.


I’m all in on AWS, but $6.68 billion in revenue is not huge in the grand scheme of things and if AWS has two thirds of the market, that’s still only about $10 billion.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/10/25/aws-q3-results.html


I'm not sure if you're up for not being dismissive, but I'd honestly like to be corrected if I'm wrong.

When I think of this I first think of Digital Realty Trust (DLR), Global Switch, China Telecom, AT&T, Equinix, NTT, Tata Communication, China Unicom, Telefonica, ....

True, a lot of their customers must be cloud vendors. At one point, I'm pretty sure AWS was a customer of Equinix in some parts of the world (and they might still be). But still, who's bigger? AWS or the folks who consider AWS another (although no doubt important) client?

No one is giving out detailed data, but DLR has 200+ data centers and 30+ million sqft of space. And while it is probably the biggest, they're just one of many. And I think they and their customers are mostly into more traditional hosting.

Then you have more direct to consumer companies that run their own data centers. OVH, Hetzner, Softlayer, PhoenixNap, HE, Rackspace, ... Worldwide? Hundreds of these. Maybe thousands.

Gartner once wrote that AWS was 10x larger than the next 14 cloud providers combined (2015). I don't know how true that was (or still is). But if "the cloud" is essentially "AWS", then it's probably safe to assume that most of DLR or OVH's or XYZ should be counted as "traditional" and not "cloud".

If it's mostly just AWS + 14 other _much_ smaller companies vs thousands of companies worlwide, some of which are bigger than AWS, many of which are in the same ballpark, is the cloud even 1% of hosting market?

(I worked at a large bank, we had our own datacenters (not buildings, not cages, but floors). I don't know if we actually owned everything though. If we did, this would probably add up to be quite a lot. If we didn't, then this capacity is already included in the above providers).

Now, if you're talking about where the money is at, I have no preconceptions. You might be right. There's no doubt cloud margins are higher.


Until cloud egress bandwidth costs come down, it will stay that way.



Great point. I think way to reconcile may be around this data point from the original article:

> For instance, we know that AWS is the market leader with around 32 percent of market share. We know Microsoft is far back in second place with around 14 percent, the only other company in double digits. We also know that IBM and Google are wallowing in third or fourth place, depending on whose numbers you look at, stuck in single digits.

Best-case scenario, IBM / Google have 9% each, so with this still leaves 36% of the market in the hand of smaller players that both these companies can steal market share from


This is one of the main reasons I am so highly confused why Netflix is so melded with AWS. When Netflix more or less made itself 100% AWS a year or two back, I was genuinely baffled.


> Netflix is so melded with AWS.

But it isn't.

Netflix core service (video streaming) runs entirely on hardware they produce that runs in their own datacenters and embedded in ISPs. Billing, account management, video transcoding, etc. happen in AWS, but all that stuff can go down and customers don't get that upset.


Video transcoding is particularly suited to the cloud. This sort if unpredictable load - new titles will pop up at odd intervals - is ideal for striking the balance between speed to market (you don't want to delay releasing new titles) and cost (having extra capacity for transcoding on the off chance you need it is expensive).

Spool up hundreds of servers when they need to get a new title out, and buy them at cheapish rates is pretty much what the cloud was built for.


You haven’t seen Netflix’s AWS ReInvent talks.....


I think by going the "enterprise playbook" route, with an Oracle guy no less, Google are ignoring the long tail at their own peril.

With the cloud market still relatively new, a lot of the adoption decisions, especially in small and mid-sized companies, are not made at C-level, but driven (directly and indirectly) bottom up from the technical teams.

And a major driver there is familiarity with the platform. And familiarity is driven by how easy it is to quickly set something up and play around with to see if it fits your needs. Even appeal for developers' private projects could tip the scales here.

And while Google isn't so bad on the technical end of this, they certainly are when it comes to signing up and to pricing. So, ultimately, AWS has a kind of bottom-up push that G can't match and certainly won't by playing the enterprise playbook.

Add to that their track record with killing services, and their generally less than approachable support, and it's no wonder they're single-digit.


Lots of commenters here failing to recognize how much competition within consumer vertical plays here.

For years AWS was the cloud, and the only viable option.

At the same time that traditionally non-technical (or at least not tech-first) companies are coming around to the idea of moving to the cloud, there are alternatives for the first time ever.

Amazon is now a major player in ecommerce, perishable/grocery and digital media content (both delivery and production). Companies in those verticals are hesitant to move to AWS, some are already outright refusing. This is where the opportunity for competitors lies.

Edit: was mentioned, about 13 hours before I did https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19149933


The "S" In GCP stands for support.

As a former App Engine user, steer clear of Google cloud.

(And I am aware that Amazon also has what to improve in support.)


From a user point of view I much prefer AWS than Google Cloud (and I got used to the AWS names). Also as AWS is what basically everyone used, all the tooling is built mainly around it and sometimes support Google Cloud but it's not very well tested / supported. All that steams basically from being the leader by a vast margin.


Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is much simpler from a developer standpoint. AWS might have 20 tools to solve 20 problems, GCP has 5 tools to solve 20 problems (that's my observation).

The tools provided by GCP itself will help you get the job done. AWS never really clicked for me, terrible UI/UX, too many steps to get things done. GCP is the opposite when it comes to ease of doing most things. When I started using GCP, I had a "wow" and "aha" moment: this is how a cloud should be.

Give GCP a shot ;)


I played with both, and I think in terms of what's easier is probably which one you used first, although I must admit that they are constantly adding new services, so perhaps for people that are starting now might get confusing to know which are the core services and which are just extra. They should simplify their console to list just core stuff, and put the other stuff on separate page.

They have their own strengths and weaknesses. What jumped out to me is when I tried Google is I believe that Google has superior network infrastructure that lets them do some things that are hard to do in AWS, especially seamless integration of networking between regions, internal IPs also don't seem to be tied to individual zones etc.

On the other hand, some services are just awful. I tried Deployment Manager, and while looks like it is a nice design that makes it more powerful than Cloud Formation, it is still buggy. Seeing that I'm now not surprised that terraform is so popular. I don't think it is that much better compared to CF, but if you use DM you must be a masochist.


I'm not sure if hiring an Oracle person will change much here. GCP lacks with features and is so focused on Kubernetes alone. Biggest issue with Google is support and lack of diverse options. I have never used IBM, so can't comment on their experience - but IBM always had good sales and consulting teams.

Maybe both should team up?


Alternative interpretation: Google's Cloud is ridiculously large, but they occupy 99% of it with their own product.


Hey google. You want people to use your cloud? Fix your documentation. It’s abysmal. For example: 1) How do you use let’s encrypt with google kubernetes engine? 2) How do you securely store secrets? Pretend you don’t know and try to follow the documentation to figure it out. You can’t because the documentation isn’t geared towards solving specific problems. I have no idea what it IS geared towards, but it’s not that. You will never win if people can’t figure out how to do the things they need to do. Aws is arguably more expensive and in some ways less capable. But they will win simply because normal people can figure out how to do stuff.


I have never been a fan of IBM but if you like open stack for dev ops then their BlueBiz service is nice, with a very generous free tier.

I have always favored GCP over AWS but Amazon does win in the customer support offered.

It will be interesting to see if Google invests in non-automated human teams for sales and support.


BueBiz? Do you mean Blue Mix?


Yes, thanks


They both suffer from opposite ends of Customer perception. Google’s Customer perception problem is that it’s too hard to use. (Fear of the unknown) IBM’s is that people resent their history of broken promises and hype. (Fear of the known)


> They both suffer from opposite ends of Customer perception. Google’s Customer perception problem is that it’s too hard to use. (Fear of the unknown) IBM’s is that people resent their history of broken promises and hype. (Fear of the known)

Google has its share of broken promises around sudden product discontinuation, and account closures without recourse.


Fair enough. And that spoons businesses. I think the larger perception on them is that the technology generally works, it’s the handholding that’s missing.


IBM's Softlayer offers various Cloud options as well. I don't know how do they fare against other major Clouds however. I don't know about Google Cloud services, but AWS use a very unethical business model which lacks transparency. Most of their clients aren't warned that they will end up paying a high data transfer fees on "Data Transfer Out".

Our experience with Azure is a bit better, but they are still more expensive than any average cloud. Our company uses cloud infrastructure service with a smaller cloud - https://www.hostcolor.com/cloud/public-cloud.html - and they are pretty good and inexpensive, compared to the major clouds, in terms of technology (VMware Cloud computing) and in terms of cloud storage.


Wait. AWS only has 32% market share? That is way less than I would have guessed.


32% of `cloud` marketshare. Cloud includes things like Salesforce's SaaS, Oracle DB in the cloud, Office 365, gSuite, ...etc.

I'm sure if you look at Compute, Storage, and Networking cloud spend, AWS has a much higher marketshare.


Okay yeah, that makes sense.


IBM needs mainframes collocated with cloud data centers if it wants to stay relevant. CA is legit in the CAP model, but you need sane latency to other systems.


what about Oracle/Alibaba clouds?


Oracle is not even in contention. Not only do they lack the expertise, they have a terrible reputation and offer nothing unique. Alibaba is a different story. China is a huge market that western companies typically stuggle in, and many of the large businesses there do not have the infrastructure debt of older US companies. Alibaba has massive infrastructure, strong technical expertise and their cloud offering has been expanding rapidly, I would definitely watch out for them.


Alibaba can definitely take a huge chunk of the Chinese market - but internationally? They're Chinese. General opinion in Western politics is to distrust Chinese-controlled stuff, as evidenced by the handling of the Huawei case.


Alibaba is well positioned to capture a large share of the small but growing African market.


Fun fact: Aliyun (Alibaba cloud) has more revenue than GCP


So I just took a look at their offering and was shocked to see just how many services they offer. Way more than I had anticipated for a provider I don't really hear too much about.


Love the Aliyun portal UI. By far the simplest and most accessible cloud portal UI when compared to AWS, Azure or GCP.

Digital Ocean UI also awesome if you consider them a player in the field.


why they are not capable enough to move for that?


Google is the only (major) cloud provider to suffer global service outages (AWS and Azure have only ever had region-wide outages). They have done so more than once, and they have no notable blog posts that ever explain how they will mitigate it in the future. That's enough from my perspective to never recommend them to any customer that ever needs region redundancy.

From my experience of being a cloud middle man the only industries left that haven't already migrated to the cloud are the ones that have burdensome regulatory and compliance burdens. From that perspective MSFT is winning. They try the hardest to get all the qualifications, certs, and partners that make Medicine, Finance, and Auto feel safe. Are they the best cloud? Probably not, but they are poised to take what's left of those who haven't ventured into the cloud yet.


What global outage do you mean ? I havent seen one for 1y of using it meanwhile office 365 just scored a global outage recently




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