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Top 10 best Azure alternatives 2024

Looking beyond the familiar names like AWS and GCP, we find other players in the cloud market that may better fit specific business needs. Smaller providers such as DigitalOcean cater more specifically to developers, startups, and SMBs with greater simplicity and ease of use compared to complex hyperscalers. Specialized regional providers can better serve customers concentrated in certain geographies. The best Azure alternative depends on evaluating your technical needs, business priorities, and workflows.

Hyperscalers

Large cloud platforms including AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure provide vast international infrastructure, cutting-edge technologies, and a range of services, often making them a default consideration for enterprises looking for extensive and flexible cloud solutions. However, their massive size and intricacy can be daunting for smaller organizations, and their pricing models may lack transparency, requiring careful evaluation of their offerings based on specific business needs and capabilities.

1. Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS provides a wide variety of cloud services including computing, storage, database solutions and more. It operates a worldwide network of data centers to meet the diverse geographical needs of its customers. However, AWS is often critiqued for its convoluted pricing structure, which can be opaque and tricky for some users to understand. While AWS delivers various support services, its Basic plan does not include access to support associates beyond billing/account issues. AWS support response time can also be slow, presenting issues for customers.

2. Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

GCP provides a broad suite of cloud services. That includes areas like AI, machine learning, and multi-cloud interoperability. It offers advanced AI solutions and supports efficient machine learning workloads with its NVIDIA GPU offerings. However, GCP’s array of products is often seen as perplexing to navigate, potentially hindering less technical users. Cost is also a consideration. GCP’s pricing, especially for high bandwidth usage, can rapidly escalate costs for organizations with complex data transfer needs.

3. IBM Cloud

IBM Cloud provides a range of cloud computing services including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions, particularly for enterprise-level needs. The platform integrates with IBM’s hardware and software ecosystem. While it delivers advanced capabilities like AI, machine learning, blockchain, IoT, and data analytics through Watson, its complexity may challenge smaller organizations with less resources. Additionally, IBM Cloud has limited free support options. While its combination of public, private, and hybrid cloud models suits various business and compliance prerequisites, it may not be ideal for businesses wanting simpler or more affordable solutions.

4. Alibaba Cloud

Alibaba Cloud has a major presence in the Asia Pacific region, especially in China. The platform provides a range of cloud services including computing, database management, and AI abilities, tailored to meet the needs of its primary market. Its extensive suite of services makes it a suitable choice for customers operating in these areas. While Alibaba Cloud has plans to expand globally, its core strengths and infrastructure remain most effective for enterprises based in or targeting the Asian market.

Alternative providers

There’s a growing cohort of cloud service providers that are alternatives to the well-known cloud platforms we explored above. These providers deliver unique advantages such as personalized customer service, more transparent pricing, and tailored solutions that can be especially beneficial for SMBs.

5. DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean stands out as a cloud infrastructure provider, delivering a range of straightforward, competitively priced services accompanied by robust support. This makes it a notable alternative to Microsoft Azure for SMBs and developers. The service excels with its more extensive product range than other alternative providers, including a broader selection of Managed Databases and a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. One of DigitalOcean’s key advantages over Azure is its superior support system, which includes various tiers of customer service and a dedicated 24/7 support team. This combination of features and support makes DigitalOcean an appealing choice for companies seeking out a comprehensive and user-friendly cloud service platform.

6. Linode

Known for its simple pricing and solid performance, Linode is a favored choice among developers looking for cloud hosting. However, Linode was acquired by Akamai, a larger content delivery network provider, in 2022, leaving customers uncertain about the future of Linode’s pricing and services. Linode risks stagnating under its new ownership, with this uncertainty casting doubt on Linode’s future roadmap.

7. Vultr

Vultr is a cloud service provider delivering various computing and storage solutions. While they provide a knowledge base for customer assistance, their support is not 24/7, and they lack paid support options for urgent queries, unlike some larger providers. Regarding managed database services, Vultr’s offerings are somewhat limited, missing options like MongoDB and Kafka available from rivals like DigitalOcean. Some users have raised concerns about Vultr’s reliability and occasional downtime, which could impact those relying on it for production applications. This is reflected in its lower TrustPilot rating versus DigitalOcean and other alternatives.

8. OVHcloud

OVHcloud, based in France, specializes in delivering dedicated servers and private cloud solutions at budget-friendly rates. The service is primarily focused on the European market, tailoring its infrastructure and offerings to regional needs and preferences. While OVHcloud’s portfolio incorporates a variety of cloud services, its focus is more on meeting the demands of enterprise businesses rather than small and medium-sized organizations or individual developers. This positioning distinguishes OVHcloud in the cloud service market, especially for large enterprises seeking affordable, dedicated hosting solutions within Europe.

9. Scaleway

Scaleway is a Europe-based cloud provider, offering a variety of hosting services including database, storage, and compute offerings. Scaleway also provides bare metal services catering to specific hosting needs. Scaleway operates with data centers in Europe, positioning it as a regional rather than global provider. This localization can impact its suitability for businesses aiming to serve a worldwide customer base, as it may not provide the global reach of some competitors.

10. Hetzner

Hetzner delivers cost-effective computing solutions for customers. While their pricing is competitive, their product range is narrower versus some rivals, concentrating primarily on compute offerings. Notably, Hetzner does not provide managed databases, Kubernetes, or Platform as a Service options, which may restrict its usefulness for certain users. The company’s data centers are located in Europe and North America, supplying geographic coverage in these regions but lacking a broader global presence. Hetzner is a feasible option for those prioritizing affordability in cloud compute resources, mainly within the specified regions.

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