From the emerging startup to well-established organizations, the world’s businesses build on the cloud.
Cloud hosting is one of technology’s great boom trends, changing – or disrupting – almost every industry. There’s a reason more startups build on cloud hosting platforms than setting computing infrastructure inside the organization: cloud hosting solutions help succeed, from inception to IPO. Rather than owning their own computing infrastructure or data centers, companies can rent access to anything from applications to storage from a cloud service provider. Instead, they pay for what they use when they use it. For small businesses, mainly, those savings are essential.
Simply put, cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of computing services — including servers, storage, database, networking, software, a broad set of application services, and other IT resources over the Internet (“the cloud”). A cloud services provider owns and maintains the network-connected hardware required for these application services, while you provision and use what you need via a web application.
It works with pay-as-you-go pricing, so you pay only for what you use. It helps to lower operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.
Whether you are using it to run simple applications or to support business-critical operations, a cloud services platform provides rapid access to flexible and low cost IT resources.
What Are the Benefits of Cloud Technology?
- Reduced cost of buying hardware and software, setting up and running on-site datacenters, which means companies can achieve more with less.
- Enhanced flexibility & mobility allows employers to manage their business as and when required. Cloud can access data and related files from any location and from any device at any time.
- Improved data security. In the cloud, the data is protected in various ways such as anti-virus, encryption methods, and many more like compliance with HIPAA, PCI, and other regulations.
- Effective collaboration via Google Drive, Salesforce, Basecamp, Hive, etc which helps to track and oversee workflow and results.
- Greater integration opportunities with numerous cloud-based providers.
- Scalability. Cloud-based services have the flexibility to scale up or to scale down. It can accommodate all sudden and increased requirements of the organization.
Top Free Cloud Hosting Solutions for Startups
Cloud service providers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have specifically designed cloud programs with free-of-cost services to help startups and small enterprises get started in the cloud. They have partnered with the biggest startup incubators and accelerators to support the startup ecosystem.
AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are pioneers in IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, cloud-based data, and other key emerging enterprise technologies. Each has its strengths and weaknesses that make them ideal for different use cases. Due to the competition between them, the DevOps teams received very sophisticated, easy-to-integrate, fast, and hi-end solutions. As the quality remains almost equal, the difference between leading cloud computing providers lies mostly in price and the number of options you get.
1. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Amazon Web Service – is one of the most attractive and preferred cloud platforms among free cloud hosting solutions for startups.
Currently, Amazon has a portfolio package designed for startups who participate in accelerators, incubators, seed/VC funds. AWS Activate program offers a slew of benefits, such as promotional credits ranging between $1,000 and $15,000, access to the resources needed to quickly get started on AWS – technical training programs, free business level support, events, and much more.
2. Microsoft Azure
Free Azure Startup account offers 12 months of free services, $200 credit for any service for 30 days, and 25 always free services. Microsoft works with select accelerators, incubators, VCs, and other startup-enabling organizations to offer these exclusive benefits. Thus, eligible startups can benefit from receiving up to $120k of free Azure cloud for two years. Not bad, right? Startups enjoy using Microsoft Azure as it allows them to deploy thousands of instances in minutes. Features such as health monitoring, load-balancing, auto-scaling, and an operating system put Azure among the best cloud platforms for startups.
3. Google Cloud
Google cloud offers free services for Startups that are focused on growth potential, so it’s less applicable for small businesses. Early-stage companies can take advantage of cloud credits and scaled support, by applying directly for Google cloud program directly, or through their venture partners, investors, incubators, or accelerators. From there, a startup can qualify for Google Start, Spark, or Surge programs, depending on their needs and opportunities. Qualified startups can benefit from receiving up to $100,000 in credit for one year. Credit can be applied to all Google cloud platform and firebase products.
AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud
The competition for leadership in public cloud computing is a fierce three-way race: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google. Each of the leading vendors has particular strengths and weaknesses that make them a good choice for certain projects. Gartner said that its “clients typically choose Google cloud as a secondary provider and as a strategic alternative to AWS by customers whose businesses compete with Amazon, and that is more DevOps-centric, and thus are less well-aligned to Microsoft Azure.”
|Market Share (2020)||32,4%||17,6%||6%|
|Pricing||Per hour basis||Per minute basis||Per minute basis|
||Instances ||VMs||VM Instances
|Platform-as-a-Service||Elastic Beanstalk||Cloud Services||App Engine|
|Serverless Computing||Lambda||Azure Functions||Cloud Functions|
|Docker Management||ECS||Container Services||Container Engine|
|Kubernetes||EKS||Kubernetes Services||Kubernetes Engine|
|Archive Storage||Glacier||Archive Storage||Coldline|
|File Storage||EFS||Azure Files||ZFS /Avere
|Global Content Delivery||CloudFront||Delivery Network||Cloud CDN|
|Data Warehouse||Redshift||SQL Warehouse||Big Query|
|Computing Power||Elastic Compute Cloud or EC2:|
-Windows and Linux support;
-Custom and predefined machine types boasting;
|Object Storage||-Object storage S3 (Simple Storage Service);|
-Persistent block storage (usually used with Elastic Compute Power);
-File storage (Elastic File System).
|-Blob Storage for REST-based objects;|
-Storage for voluminous workloads;
-File and Disk Storages;
-Storage for all object types;
-Store for big data apps.
|-Cloud Storage – a unified object storage service. It transfer Appliance server, which is similar to AWS’ Snowball.|
|Advantages||-Ease of use;|
-No capacity limits;
-Provides speed and agility;
-Incredibly diverse array of tools;
-Reliable encryption & security;
-Managed IT services are available;
-Flexibility & affordability.
|-High availability; |
-Good scalability options;
-Integrated with Visual Studio;
-Strong data security profile.
-Different storage classes for each necessity;
-Easy to integrate with other;
-Google cloud services.
|Disadvantages||-Limitations of Amazon’s EC2;|
-Technical support fee;
-Billing can be confusing;
-Common cloud computing problems.
-Requires platform expertise;
-Unclear road map;
-No support for bugs.
|-Support fee is quite hefty;
-SDK APIs seem less stable;
-Has a complex pricing schema.
|Free Options||Free tier offers are only available to new AWS customers and are available for 12 months following your AWS sign-up date. When the term expires or if your app use exceeds the tiers, you simply pay standard, pay-as-you-go service rates.||The Azure free account includes access to a number of Azure products that are free for 12 months, $200 credit to spend for the first 30 days of sign up, and access to more than 25 products that are always free.||Like AWS and Azure, Google Cloud also offers a free 12-months-long tier that includes $300 free credit to get started with any GCP product during the first year. Afterwards, 5 GB of Storage free to use forever.
Is Your Data Safe in the Cloud?
“I don’t need a hard disk in my computer if I can get to the server faster… carrying around these non-connected computers is Byzantine by comparison.”
Still a relatively new innovation, so data safety in the cloud is not a trivial concern. Despite that, cloud storage remains one of the safest ways to store business data today. Cloud services utilize more complex security methods than the average computer owner is able to devise, giving your cloud-stored data an added level of protection.
Also, security and compliance is a shared responsibility between the cloud vendor and the customer.
Cloud storage provider share responsibility for “Security of the Cloud” – he is responsible for protecting the infrastructure that runs all of the services. At the same time, the customer is responsible for “Security in the Cloud”. From there, most enterprises supplement these protections with added security measures of their own.
The Future of Cloud Computing
- – According to CNBC, the iPhone maker, Apple spends more than $30 million on Amazon’s cloud every month making it one of the biggest AWS customers.
- – According to a poll taken by McKinsey & Company, 80 percent of large North American companies are either looking at or are currently using cloud services.
- – As per the latest Gartner report, the worldwide cloud services market is projected to grow 17.3 percent in 2019 to total $206.2 billion, up from $175.8 billion in 2018.
It is predicted, that within the next three years, 75 percent of existing non-cloud apps will move to the cloud. Today’s computing landscape shows companies not only adopting cloud but using more than one cloud environment. Even then, the cloud journey for many has only just begun, moving beyond low-end infrastructure as a service to establish higher business value.
Still a Bit Hazy on the Cloud?
Cloud hosting is an ideal solution for startups and businesses seeking to create an online presence, optimize business applications and processes. But they didn’t do it alone.
To get started, first, you need to solve a technical challenge. Hiring a hosting or technology services company is obligatory. It can help you to overcome many challenges and will help you succeed, from inception to IPO, choosing the right hosting solution for you, and providing tech support on every stage of your journey.
Business analysts and experienced DevOps engineers at DevCom are ready to drive your company’s growth with enterprise cloud services. Applying our deep industry and technical expertise, we will design, implement, and manage your cloud strategy to provide fast, attainable results that align with your transformation goals.
Contact our cloud experts for a free consultation, to discuss your hosting requirements, and to leveraging the power of the cloud!
Written by: Halyna Vilchynska, Head of Marketing at DevCom.