Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services or “AWS” for short, was the Infrastructure-as-a-Service platform that launched the cloud computing revolution, and continues to lead in the breadth of services available for developers and IT professionals. AWS has been recognized as a “Leader” in the top-right corner of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for ability to execute and completeness of vision for 8 consecutive years, as of 2018.
AWS became its own business within Amazon when the e-commerce company recognized that the systems architecture that supports its own world-scale operations could be sold to other businesses. The idea of on-demand, pay-as-you-go infrastructure with the ability to scale up-or-out infinitely was popularized by Amazon starting in 2006, when AWS became generally available. The rest of the cloud industry tends to follow and iterate upon AWS’ APIs, SDKs, and service models.
Beyond infrastructure, Amazon is also an innovator in services higher up in the stack such as managed databases, big data analytics, message queuing, machine vision, media transcoding, and desktop-as-a-service.
Cycle.io is a managed containers-as-a-service platform for deploying and managing applications within your own private cloud. Any application shipped as a Docker container is ideal for hosting on Cycle, taking the pain out of managing an orchestrator on your own. Cycle is a member of the Linux Foundation, and has adopted the standards of the Open Container Initiative (OCI). Petrichor Inc, the parent company of Cycle, is a VC-backed venture that has received several rounds of seed funding since 2016.
Cycle sets itself apart from other container environments by running on dedicated bare-metal servers for maximal performance and security. The complexities of maintaining your container hosts are abstracted away by CycleOS, a software-defined fabric and control plane that handles scheduling, DNS, image storage, and much more. Cycle even has its own YAML format for declarative deployments dubbed cycle.yml, making it a snap to migrate Docker Compose and Stack deployments to the platform.
CycleOS is available today on the Cycle Platform, with a choice of upstream infrastructure providers including Packet.net (more to be added soon). In the near future, CycleOS will be available for deployment on-premise as an optimized distribution for container cluster hosts.
Autoize is a Cycle Partner specializing in deployment and configuration of open source applications on the platform.
DigitalOcean is a cloud provider based in New York with simple pricing on compute, storage, and networking services. It is home to the $5 droplet, where you can spin up a fully working Linux VPS for a month, at less than the price of a latte. Since DigitalOcean’s inception, they have doubled the memory available on their most inexpensive tier from 512MB to 1GB.
DigitalOcean’s first and most loyal audience is developers, who appreciate the simplicity of an uncluttered dashboard with the essentials: virtual machines, object/block storage, and load balancers. There are also one-click installs for popular open-source applications, and currently DigitalOcean is beta testing a Kubernetes-as-a-Service offering for containerized workloads.
DigitalOcean has recently made many improvements to their platform, shifting them from an option for VPS web hosting to a complete infrastructure-as-a-service solution. The addition of features such as cloud firewalls, project & instance tagging, monitoring and alerting brings the most commonly used features of an IaaS platform to DigitalOcean.
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Google Cloud Platform
Google Cloud Platform is one of the three hyperscale cloud providers to be named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service. Not to be confused with Google’s services such as Gmail, Docs, or Drive, or the G Suite of apps for businesses, Google Cloud consists of IaaS and PaaS services for developing and deploying custom, self-hosted applications.
Although Google Cloud incorporates the technology & expertise that Google uses itself to provide services to billions of end users around the world, it is an enterprise-focused platform with its own Terms of Service that precludes Google from data mining workloads running on Google Cloud to “improve” its own products and services (e.g. ad targeting). GCP operates with some degree of separation from Google, the search & advertising company, meaning you can leverage Google’s worldwide end-to-end network without sacrificing privacy and security.
As the lead contributor to Kubernetes, Google Cloud is a particularly compelling option for deploying container & serverless apps using services such as GKS (Google Kubernetes Service) and Cloud Functions. GCP also has the foundational services one would expect from an IaaS platform, including VM instances, persistent disks, object storage, VPC networks, and load balancers. In July 2020, Google debuted Confidential VMs based on the Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) feature of 2nd generation AMD EPYC CPUs, with J.P. Morgan Chase as a highlighted customer.
For new customers, Google Cloud provides a $300 trial credit for 12 months (for new customers) and an Always Free VM f1-micro instance with 1 vCPU, 0.6GB RAM, and 30GB HDD in a US region.
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is a second-generation cloud providing IaaS and PaaS offerings to enterprises in the public cloud and Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer. The reasons why Oracle considers its cloud to be more advanced than its predecessors include security boundaries enforced by hardware, and its Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse (ADW) and Autonomous Transaction Processing (ATP) managed database services. As a relatively late entrant to the cloud wars, OCI is winning logos including Zoom, Cisco, 8×8, and National Grid from its competitors with superior cloud economics. Private connectivity with FastConnect is a flat charge per port, and public connectivity is over 80% less expensive than AWS — making Oracle’s cloud a perfect fit for bandwidth-hungry applications in a post-social distancing world.
New customers can benefit from a $300 free trial and an Always Free offer with 2 AMD EPYC 7551 compute VMs each, 2 block volumes totaling 100 GB, 2 Autonomous Databases (ADW or ATP), 1 Load Balancer, and 10 TB/month outbound data transfer per OCI tenancy.
The E3.Standard VM shape, available for upgraded OCI accounts, is suitable for general purpose applications with a ratio of 1 OCPU:8 GB RAM at $0.03/hour ($22.5/month) per OCPU. Read why Oracle Cloud infrastructure provides favorable cost/performance characteristics for open source applications, and why Gartner Analyst Lydia Leong wrote favorably about OCI as “an alternative to the big hyperscalers.”