Wednesday, April 17, 2024

10 Top Cloud Service Providers & Companies for 2024

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Cloud computing companies provide enterprises with the flexibile, scalable, and resilient infrastructure they need for streamlined operations and optimal performance. Cloud service providers can help enterprises of all sizes overcome the limitations of traditional physical infrastructure while filling in gaps and avoiding costly downtime.

In a rapidly evolving cloud computing environment marked by a surge in innovative applications, tools, and services, selecting the right cloud service provider can be a complex task. We evaluated the top cloud computing companies to see how they compared—here are our picks for top cloud service providers for 2024.

Amazon Web Services (AWS): Best for Public Cloud
Microsoft Azure: Best for Developer Solutions
Salesforce: Best for CRM Solutions
VMWare: Best for Multi-Cloud Services
Alibaba Cloud: Best for Elastic Computing
Oracle: Best for Data Management
Rackspace: Best for Cloud Optimization
Digital Ocean: Best for Web Applications
ServiceNow: Best for Enterprise Automation
NetApp: Best for Data Intelligence

Top Cloud Service Providers Comparison at a Glance

The chart below shows how the top 10 cloud service providers compare on services, data storage, scalability, security and compliance, and pricing. Read on for more details about each provider.

Compute Services Data Storage Scalability Security and Compliance Pricing
Amazon Web Services (AWS) High Performance compute infrastructure with 750+ instances Object storage without upfront investments Highly scalable solutions 143 security standards and compliance certifications

AWS free Tier for selected services

Pay-as-you-go structure

Microsoft Azure IaaS, PaaS, FaaS and Serverless computing Block and object storage Autoscale features 100+ compliance certifications specific to global regions

Azure Free services options

Pay-as-you-go pricing structure

Salesforce Pre-built connectors for data integrations File storage, big object storage Open and extensible data platform APEC Certification, CCCS Assessment, EU Cloud Code of Conduct Starter, Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited Plans
VMWare Edge compute stack with flexible infrastructure Cloud Flex Storage with elastic capacity Customized capacity to meet unexpected spikes in demand Internationally recognized ISO standards Customized quotes with on-demand or hourly pricing structure
Alibaba Cloud Elastic compute sService Object storage service, cloud storage gateway, NoSQL database Autoscaling and auto provisioning features 250+ threat detection models

Basic Plan, Developer Plan, Business Plan, and Enterprise Plan

Flexible billing policies

Oracle Fast and flexible computing capacity Oracle StorageTek tape libraries and unified storage systems Horizontal and vertical scaling capacity Granular encryption and snapshot replication Customized pricing plans
Rackspace Cloud servers and cloud images for computing Dedicated data storage servers with always-on support Rackspace Auto-scale for user-defined needs Comprehensive compliance and security certifications Customized pricing plans
DigitalOcean Intuitive APIs, IaaS usability, PaaS solutions Spaces object and block storage Automated scaling for dynamic allocation of resources Globally recognized information security controls Monthly caps and flat pricing model
ServiceNow IaaS and SaaS solutions CMDB workspace for detailed monitoring Instance scalability Stringent industry certifications Custom quotes and scalable packages
NetApp Automated cloud infrastructure Enterprise-grade data and file services Agile and dynamic scaling Intelligent governance and compliance Customized pricing plans

Amazon Web Services icon.

Amazon Web Services

Best for Public Cloud 

Overall rating: 4.8/5

Pricing: 5/5
Integrations: 4.5 /5
Features Set: 5/5
Return on Investment: 5/5
Service and Support: 5/5

Cloud Services Offered: Cloud compute service, elastic compute cloud, public cloud space

Amazon Web Services is a leading cloud service provider that offers over 200 fully-feature services for enterprises of all scales and sizes. It has unmatched experience and expertise in the cloud landscape and millions of active customers globally.

Pricing

  • AWS Free Tier has over 100 products and services (free trials, 12 months free, or always free)
  • Pay-as-you-go approach for the majority of its cloud services
  • Use the AWS Pricing Calculator for detailed pricing structure

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
User-friendly interface Frequent downtime due to heavy traffic
Easy migration process Issues in automatic storage scaling

Features

  • Enhanced cloud security with deep visibility and automation
  • Consistent innovation, adopting the latest technologies
  • Robust and versatile platform with an extensive global cloud infrastructure

Microsoft icon.

Microsoft Azure

Best for Developer Solutions 

Overall rating: 4.1/5

Pricing: 4/5
Integrations: 4.5/5
Features Set: 5/5
Return on Investment: 4/5
Service and Support: 3/5

Cloud Services Offered: Public cloud space, secure cloud storage, open cloud platform

Microsoft Azure has a diverse portfolio of products and services suitable for developing and managing simple web apps and complex cloud applications. It delivers intelligent solutions across multiple clouds supporting different technical frameworks. Although AWS has an extensive range of products and services, Microsoft Azure is more cost-effective and offers the most comprehensive compliance coverage.

Pricing

  • Pay-as-you-go pricing structure
  • Flexible plans can be canceled anytime
  • Check the pricing calculator for customized plans

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Highly configurable and easy-to-use solutions Complex pricing models
Powerful DevOps tools Better technical support required

Features

  • More than 200 products and cloud services
  • More than 90 compliance offerings with multilayered security
  • Open-source technology support for improved usability and developer productivity

Salesforce icon.

Salesforce

Best for CRM Solutions

Overall rating: 4.2/5

Pricing: 3/5
Integrations: 4.5/5
Features Set: 5/5
Return on Investment: 4.5/5
Service and Support: 4/5

Cloud Services Offered: Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud

Salesforce is highly preferred for its CRM solutions and cloud-based software. Gartner has recognized Salesforce as a leader in multichannel marketing hubs in the 2023 Magic Quadrant. Salesforce caters best to businesses that want to streamline their sales functions—the complete business ecosystem helps personalize customer journeys across every touchpoint. Although Amazon and Azure are vast platforms, Salesforce excels in providing high-end customization options.

Pricing

  • Free trial options
  • Four pricing plans: Starter, Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited
  • Instead of individual solutions, users can also buy the Sales Suite for $600 per user, per month

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Powerful reporting features Expensive
Easy integration across multiple platforms Frequent technical glitches

Features

  • Detailed sales analytics with contextual data and relevant insights
  • Consolidated view of pipeline metrics
  • Purpose-built AI for faster revenue growth

VMware icon.

VMWare

Best for Multi-Cloud Services 

Overall rating: 3.8/5

Pricing: 3/5
Integrations: 5/5
Features Set: 3/5
Return on Investment: 4/5
Service and Support: 4/5

Cloud Services Offered: Multi-cloud services, cross-cloud services

VMWare offers cloud infrastructure and platform services for multi-cloud businesses and provides a consistent environment for accelerating modern app operations and modernizing data centers. VMWare offers a wide array of virtualization features, including a robust data center that eases cloud migration and accelerates networking. Broadcom acquired VMWare in November 2023.

Pricing

  • On-demand or hourly pricing based on product/service
  • One- and three-year subscription plans
  • Hands-on learning and free trials
  • Contact the sales team for detailed pricing structures

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Easy integration with major hyperscale cloud solutions Steep learning curve
All-in-one package for cloud infrastructure solutions Needs better documentation and training materials

Features

  • Network and security virtualization with better detection and response capabilities
  • Cloud-smart approach with cross-cloud services
  • Anywhere Workspace for better workforce connectivity and collaboration

Alibaba Cloud icon.

Alibaba Cloud

Best for Elastic Computing 

Overall rating: 4.2/5

Pricing: 5/5
Integrations: 3/5
Features Set: 4/5
Return on Investment: 4/5
Service and Support: 5/5

Cloud Services Offered: Elastic Compute Service, CloudBox, Compute Nest, public cloud solutions

Alibaba Cloud offers a suite of services designed specifically to help businesses with secure cloud computing and data processing. Its intelligence-driven cloud solutions can accelerate digital innovations and business growth significantly. The company has exhibited exceptional growth in the last few years and offers different strategic mechanisms for data backups. When compared to VMWare, Alibaba Cloud offers better pricing plans.

Pricing

  • Flexible billing options include Pay-as-you-Go, subscription, and multiple resource packages
  • Basic, Developer, Business, and Enterprise plans
  • Flexible billing policies and extended grace periods

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Robust security measures Needs more advanced features
Seamless user experience Better support system required

Features

  • Intelligence-drive easy-to-use cloud services
  • Numerous cross-industry solutions and an extensive product portfolio
  • Stable and reliable data centers and elastic infrastructure

Oracle icon.

Oracle

Best for Data Management 

Overall rating: 4.2/5

Pricing: 4/5
Integrations: 5/5
Features Set: 4/5
Return on Investment: 5/5
Service and Support: 3/5

Cloud Services Offered: Cloud infrastructure, SaaS applications, on-premises cloud solutions

Oracle Cloud offers complete cloud services, including multi-cloud, private, public, and hybrid cloud solutions. It also supports open-source frameworks and tools for developing cloud-native applications. While many cloud companies—including AWS, Microsoft Azure, and VMware—offer different pricing plans across different regions, Oracle Cloud Solutions has a consistent pricing structure.

Pricing

  • Competitive pricing consistent in every region
  • Free Tier offers free services and cloud credit options
  • Oracle’s Cloud Cost Estimator offers more details

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
User-friendly virtualization environment Additional functionalities can be included
Highly scalable and efficient Better documentation and support

Features

  • High-performance interconnection between multiple clouds
  • Enterprise-grade cloud platform for developing rich applications
  • Best security practices like strict access controls, network isolation, and encryption

Rackspace icon.

Rackspace

Best for Cloud Optimization 

Overall rating: 3.2/5

Pricing: 3/5
Integrations: 3/5
Features Set: 4/5
Return on Investment: 3/5
Service and Support: 3/5

Cloud Services Offered: Cloud infrastructure solutions, custom cloud services

Rackspace offers effective multi-cloud strategies with expertise across different industry verticals, supporting end-to-end cloud transformation along with powerful application management services. Although Rackspace works toward optimizing cost and performance, it has complex pricing structures compared to VMWare and Salesforce and customer service and support scores are low.

Pricing

  • Customized pricing plans vary with business requirements
  • Contact Rackspace for details

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Process-oriented approach Frequent outages and slowdowns
Continual IT innovation Poor customer service

Features

  • Multi-tenant cloud environments
  • Single dedicated server with customizable database options
  • Unique delivery model with Rackspace DElastic Engineering

DigitalOcean icon.

DigitalOcean

Best for Web Applications

Overall rating: 3/5

Pricing: 3/5
Integrations: 3/5
Features Set: 3/5
Return on Investment: 3/5
Service and Support: 3/5

Cloud Services Offered: Developer cloud solutions

DigitalOcean is primarily preferred for its cloud hosting services. Its robust infrastructure speeds up application development and cloud computing. DigitalOcean has business-ready cloud solutions for virtual machines, Kubernetes, database management, object storage, and more. However, it lacks a strong global presence compared to Oracle, VMWare, or Salesforce.

Pricing

  • Simple, predictable model with monthly caps and flat pricing
  • Different pricing structures for different products
  • Free trials available
  • Contact the sales team for details

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Fully managed solutions Steep learning curve and unclear documentation
Simple and intuitive user experience Limited customer support

Features

  • Better visibility with continuous application monitoring
  • Scalable storage with enterprise-grade SSDs
  • Better analysis with forward logs

ServiceNow icon.

ServiceNow

Best for Enterprise Automation

Overall rating: 3.6/5

Pricing: 4/5
Integrations: 3.5/5
Features Set: 3.5/5
Return on Investment: 3/5
Service and Support: 4/5

Cloud Services Offered: Cloud management, hybrid cloud services, Cloud computing

ServiceNow helps businesses with workflow automation across a single platform, eliminating organizational silos and creating simpler employee and customer experiences. ServiceNow has a robust feature set that helps businesses accelerate digital transformation, but integration is more challenging than with AWS or Azure.

Pricing

  • Custom quotes and scalable packages tailored to specific business requirements
  • Contact the company for details

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Seamless integration across different platforms Complex customizations
Unified view of operations and processes Difficult to set up

Features

  • Intelligent experiences automated with AI and advanced analytics
  • End-to-end digital workflow creation using a no-code environment
  • Configurable workspace with targeted and purpose-built tools

NetApp icon.

NetApp

Best for Data Intelligence

Overall rating: 4/5

Pricing: 4/5
Integrations: 4/5
Features Set: 4/5
Return on Investment: 4/5
Service and Support: 4/5

Cloud Services Offered: Hybrid cloud solutions, simplified cloud management

NetApp offers a wide range of cloud services for optimizing business infrastructure and leading storage options for enterprise data needs. NetApp helps businesses tackling multi-cloud complexities with highly available cloud applications. Compared to other cloud companies like ServiceNow and DigitalOcean, NetApp is preferred for its scalable storage services.

Pricing

  • Free trials and test drives for various products and services
  • Contact the sales team for customized pricing plans

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Highly scalable infrastructure Complex setup process
Innovative hybrid storage space Better pricing range

Features

  • Automated threat monitoring
  • Unified cloud management experience across different cloud environments
  • Managed file storage with optimized enterprise workloads

Key Features of Cloud Service Providers

Cloud computing companies provide a wide range of products and services, but generally they can all be categorized as one of three types of major cloud service offerings:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)—This model offers rental IT infrastructure via remote access, catering to businesses that need robust, scalable solutions without the capital expenditure of physical hardware.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)—Ideal for developers, PaaS provides a framework for building, testing, and deploying applications in the cloud, enhancing innovation and speed.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)—SaaS delivers a range of software applications on a subscription basis, from CRM tools to productivity suites, offering accessibility and cost-effectiveness.

Each model presents unique advantages and limitations—SaaS is well-regarded for its ease of use, but may lack customization options, while PaaS offers greater control for development but requires technical expertise. IaaS provides the most flexibility, but requires comprehensive management of IT resources. When evaluating cloud service providers, there are a number of criteria to consider.

Compute Services

Compute capabilities are the backbone of cloud services and determine how effectively a business can operate, innovate, and scale in the cloud. Assess the provider’s virtualization and automation features, and consider the suitability of different cloud deployment models (private, public, hybrid) for your business needs. The trend towards multi-cloud strategies also warrants attention for enhanced flexibility and risk mitigation.

Data Storage

Efficient and secure data storage is essential for modern enterprises with vast, growing data estates. Evaluate the provider’s storage solutions, focusing on capacity, scalability, backup, disaster recovery, and file-sharing functionalities.

Scalability

Cloud providers must offer scalable solutions that adapt to your business’s evolving demands. For example, automated scaling features will allow for seamless adjustment of resources in response to changing needs.

Security

With increasing cyber threats, robust security protocols are non-negotiable. Make sure to examine the provider’s security measures, compliance standards, and data management policies, and ensure they align with your company’s risk profile and regulatory requirements.

Reliability and Performance

Assess the provider’s track record for uptime and performance. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are critical documents that outline service expectations, deliverables, and performance metrics. Ensure these SLAs match your enterprise’s requirements and offer recourse during service disruptions.

How to Choose the Best Cloud Service Provider for Your Business

Selecting a cloud service provider involves more than just comparing prices and features—it’s about finding a partner that aligns with your business’s specific needs and goals. Here are the key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Understand your business needs—Clearly define what you need from a cloud service and consider the areas you want to improve and the outcomes you want.
  • Compatibility with existing systems—Ensure the cloud service can integrate smoothly with your current infrastructure and support technical and operational objectives without compromising security.
  • Evaluate technology and framework—Look at the provider’s technology to see if it matches your business’s digital strategy, especially in computing, storage, and networking capabilities.
  • Reliability and support—Consider the provider’s reputation for reliability and customer support; a provider with a history of efficiency, responsiveness, and positive user feedback is likely a good choice.
  • Consider user feedback and reputation—Research the provider’s market reputation. Reviews and testimonials from other users can give you insights into their service quality and customer satisfaction.

How We Evaluated Cloud Service Providers

To evaluate cloud computing companies, we scored each provider against key criteria that matter the most for businesses and ranked them against the aggregated scores.

Pricing | 20 percent

We scored providers on their pricing structures and whether they offered free tiers—those offering competitive rates with transparent billing received higher scores, reflecting their appeal to cost-conscious businesses.

Ease of Integration | 20 percent

We rated providers on how easily their services can be integrated into existing systems. Providers with user-friendly integration processes, minimal downtime, and clear guidelines scored higher.

Features | 20 percent

We also focused on the breadth and depth of the features offered by providers. Those offering a wide range of useful, innovative features that cater to diverse business needs received higher scores.

Return on Investment | 20 percent

Our focus was on tangible benefits. Providers with a track record of boosting business efficiency and growth, as evidenced by customer success stories, ranked higher.

Service and Support | 20 percent

This score reflects the provider’s commitment to customer service. We looked at how quickly and effectively they respond to and resolve issues, with higher scores for those demonstrating exceptional support.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is cloud computing?

Cloud companies deliver remote computing services so businesses don’t need to maintain physical data centers, servers, and networks. Instead, they can access the cloud environment and other technology services as needed. Different cloud computing models—IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and serverless computing, for example—help accomplish different business goals.

Why should businesses choose cloud service providers?

The complete cloud infrastructure demands heavy investments and maintenance if developed from scratch. It is relatively more straightforward to migrate into the cloud with the help of cloud service providers without additional IT-related capital expenditure. Cloud service providers can bring flexibility and scalability, efficient collaboration, effective data storage, and better resource management to enterprises.

What are public, private, and hybrid clouds?

Public cloud resources are delivered by third-party cloud service providers, and offer nearly unlimited scalability. Private cloud solutions are specific to an organization—they are solely dedicated to a business and maintained on a private network, offering higher levels of control and privacy. Hybrid cloud solutions are a combination offering greater operational flexibility to easily cater to fluctuating computing and processing demands and handle overflow.

Bottom Line: Picking the Right Cloud Service Provider

Selecting a cloud service provider is more than a technical upgrade; it’s a strategic business move. The key lies in choosing a provider that aligns with your specific needs and future goals. Ground your decision in a thorough analysis of tangible benefits like cost savings and efficiency gains and intangible ones such as provider reliability and potential for long-term partnership. Also consider your future business needs and how a cloud provider can help meet them in partnership with you. Since a cloud service provider engagement is a long-term commitment, evaluate all crucial aspects carefully and zero in on the best suitable option.

While this buyer’s guide provides a high-level look at the best cloud service providers for a wide range of enterprise needs, many technology purchase decisions come down to pricing. Read our Cloud Computing Cost Comparison and Pricing Guide to learn more about how providers charge for their products and services and what you can expect to pay.

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