The number of businesses using applications to optimize business operations has been steadily growing. While this means businesses are recognizing the efficiency of modern solutions, this also implies putting more load on local data servers, which increases the risk of server failure.
Servers crashing can leave a significant impact on the business operations as downtime hampers productivity. Worse, server failure can lead to damage or loss of data, which can take some time to recover or restore.
While local servers have given businesses a significant boost for years, current trends in business applications are geared toward cloud servers than local data centers. Cloud servers are not only more reliable and durable, but they are also faster, easily scalable, and are easier and cheaper to maintain. Microsoft Azure is one of the leading cloud computing solutions available today.
What Is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a product of operating system giant Microsoft Windows. This cloud computing solution is equipped with the ability to serve IaaS, Paas, and SaaS, all from a single platform. Despite its cloud-based infrastructure, Microsoft Azure does not leave behind on-premise networks as it is also capable of running hybrid applications.
But while Microsoft Azure may seem like it has everything anyone can ask for from a cloud computing solution, you may find other cloud hosting services that might fit your business model and budget more. In this article, we gathered ten Microsoft Azure alternatives you can choose from.
1. AWS by Amazon
Amazon Web Service (AWS) has its own impressive list of specs that competes with Microsoft Azure’s in terms of technology, performance, cost, and scalability. AWS is a full-featured cloud computing service with a wide range of solutions for business startups, established enterprises, and even government agencies.
AWS seamlessly delivers features standard to cloud computing. These features include the migration of apps, data, and databases to the cloud server. Disaster recovery is also cost-effective with its backup and restore solution. On the more advanced side of things, AWS offers robust tools and support for DevOps and other modern application development, scientific and serverless computing, hybrid cloud architecture for your IT team, and more. Website hosting is one of the things AWS is known for, especially for its reliability and scalability. It offers solutions for all types of websites from simple, single-page apps, simple static, and enterprise web hosting.
When it comes to the cost, AWS also offers flexible and customizable pricing–you will only pay for what you need. But as ideal as AWS is, utilizing this cloud computing service to optimize your business requires some level of expertise. Fortunately, AWS also provides training and other machine learning support to help its customers.
DreamHost, unlike Microsoft Azure and AWS, offers a fast and user-friendly web hosting service. All of its hosting plans run on servers that use SSD storage, thus ensuring your website’s no-lag performance.
DreamHost’s cloud computing and object storage are not only fast and reliable but also fully customizable. Root access is provided on select hosting plans so that you can gain complete control of your server. This is extremely useful if you would like to change your server’s system configuration, upgrade your OS–pretty much anything for you to restructure your server in any way that suits your business. With DreamHost, you can also use the DevOps tools to build your server via an API that’s compatible with OpenStack.
DreamHost also offers 24/7 support from its team of experts, and the prices of its hosting solutions start at $ 2.59/month.
DigitalOcean is a cloud computing service that promises 99.99% uptime SLA and a free predefined firewall, among other things. Another standout feature of DigitalOcean’s is its load-balancing capabilities, which ensure that traffic is evenly distributed for optimized performance and reliability.
With DigitalOcean, you can build your own cloud servers, which are Linux-based virtual machines (VMs) called Droplets. Droplets are fully customizable—you can rebuild them, resize them, add SSH keys, or connect them with an SSH client. When it comes to Managed Databases, DigitalOcean maintains a database cluster service that takes care of daily backups with PITR or point-in-time recovery and complete SSL encryption for enhanced security.
DigitalOcean provides technical support 24/7 for free. Its pricing model is based on the hourly usage of services purchased.
4. Google Cloud
Google Cloud is a product of one of the world’s largest corporations and comes with a lot of benefits to Google Cloud’s infrastructure. Considered as one of the most popular cloud computing solutions, Google Cloud offers a list of robust and AI-powered features.
Equipped with cutting-edge technology, its products include AI and machine learning, cloud GPUs, dedicated media and gaming services, data migration (BigQuery, Anthos, VM migration, etc.), serverless computing, and more. For developers, Google Cloud offers a broad range of tools from cloud SDK, cloud source repositories, cloud tools for PowerShell and Virtual Studio, Tekton, and others.
As one of Microsoft Azure alternatives, Google Cloud is trusted by businesses from different industries, including retail—more about this in our detailed analysis of ecommerce software—financial services, telecommunications, gaming, and even government sectors. If you would like to learn about the pricing of Google Cloud products, you can request for a quotation.
Kamatera is another great Microsoft Azure alternative because it not only offers similar cloud services, Kamatera is also cost-efficient with its flexible pricing scheme (by the minute, hourly, or monthly).
This cloud computing solution is not only robust, but it’s also easy to use and fully customizable, not to mention highly scalable. What makes Kamatera even more efficient is its zero-maintenance infrastructure. Kamatera is a fully managed cloud, which means all cloud management tasks are handled by Kamatera itself, thus, allowing your IT staff to focus on more important tasks. If you would like to add to or configure your operating system, all you have to do is make a request, and Kamatera’s team of experts will do it for you.
Another benefit of Kamatera’s fully managed cloud is how it automatically takes care of server issues without assistance from you or your IT team. In case you need expert help, Kamatera’s support team of professional system engineers are available 24/7.
Linode is a multi-cloud Microsoft Azure alternative, especially for Linux-based users. Other than high-performance computing, Linode delivers robust features, including machine learning, mobile app builder, and artificial intelligence, among others. When it comes to platform support, Linode’s infrastructure supports PaaS and DBaaS deployment.
Another thing that makes Linode ideal is its open-cloud and open-source infrastructure, which means users are not at risk of being locked in a subscription contract with another cloud computing vendor. It is also a cloud computing solution that is easy to understand, operate, and maintain—which falls under Linode’s goal to create and promote a cloud computing solution that is simple and affordable.
When it comes to pricing, Linode’s plans start at $5/month, which includes 1GB of RAM, single-core CPU, and 25GB of SSD storage.
7. Media Temple
Media Temple is one of Microsoft Azure alternatives that is both low-cost and low-maintenance. Like Kamatera, Media Temple also delivers a fully managed cloud hosting service, which means you and your team don’t have to worry about the backend operations and maintenance of your site. Media Temple’s team of engineers takes care of monitoring, deployment, optimization of your site’s performance, security configuration, and even your site’s migration.
Media Temple’s hosting services also offer AWS management assistance by its team of AWS-certified professionals. This means you get to experience the benefits of AWS hosting but without worrying about the technical side of maintenance and optimization as this will be taken care of by Media Temple’s team.
When it comes to integrations, Media Temple works seamlessly with G Suite for smooth and efficient collaboration and communication between teams and team members.
Media Temple’s cloud hosting services are ideal for ecommerce, web publishing, creating a highly visual online presence, and especially marketing campaigns–you can use our list to compare marketing software reviews. Pricing for Media Temple services is also quote-based.
RackSpace is a cloud computing service that provides a wide range of solutions to various industries. Beyond website hosting, RackSpace delivers ERP and CRM services, database management, email hosting, and robust tools for communication and collaboration, some of which you can find in this discussion about collaboration software.
Like other robust cloud computing solutions, the services offered by RackSpace focus on addressing business-related challenges, including regulatory issues, SaaS delivery, controlling IT spend, data protection, optimizing uptime and performance, and more. RackSpace also encourages businesses to abandon in-house data centers and migrate instead to cloud-based hosting, which is not only more cost-efficient but also more agile and innovative.
When it comes to platform support, RackSpace has an impressive list from Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Google Cloud, Kubernetes, Oracle, Microsoft, and many others. RackSpace pricing model is also quote-based, which you can request directly from its website.
ToggleBox offers an easy to operate cloud solution, especially for smaller businesses. Once purchased, accounts are all set up with a base configuration, ready to be used and scaled depending on your business’ needs.
Despite its more simple approach to cloud hosting infrastructure, ToggleBox delivers sophisticated features at a low price. Using ToggleBox includes the benefits of operating on multiple servers, which reduces downtime in case a hardware problem is encountered. Its web hosting service also doesn’t break the bank but doesn’t sacrifice resources. With SSD San storage, ToggleBox’s input/output performance is ensured to be at its best. It also offers VM cloning, which creates a template of a running cloud that can also be deployed to another server.
As for the cost, ToggleBox pricing starts at $9/month; pricing based on hourly consumption is also available.
Vultr is another budget Microsoft Azure alternative that runs purely on SSD servers. This high-performing cloud computing solution allows its users to build cloud servers instantly as well as deploy integrated applications in just one click. These applications include WordPress, cPanel, Docker, Drupal, Joomla, GitLab, Magento, NextCloud, Plesk, OpenVPN, and more.
The object storage offered by Vultr is both flexible and scalable—you can add more storage as your business operation grows. Vultr’s object storage is also managed through S3 API, which seamlessly integrates it with S3-enabled tools and applications. When it comes to reliability and durability, Vultr automatically clones your application data three times to ensure that your data will always be available. With Vultr, you can deploy cloud instances on servers dedicated just for this purpose, which eliminates sharing resources that can affect your cloud’s performance.
Overall, Vultr is an ideal alternative, especially for businesses that do not have a dedicated team as it can configure their cloud servers from scratch. As for the pricing, each product is priced differently, and your total fee will be based on the types of services and add-ons purchased.