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Infrastructure as a Service Clouds (IaaS)
July 2022
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Julio Graham - PeerSpot reviewer
Managing Director at Olive Professional Services Ltd
Real User
Top 5
Helpful automation scripts, good documentation, responsive support, easy to use and manage
Pros and Cons
  • "The ability to fire up a virtual machine, use it, and then kill it, is quite a valuable feature for me."
  • "Before they changed the dashboard, I found some of the more granular options easier to find."

What is our primary use case?

Linode is a service that hosts virtual machines for you.

How has it helped my organization?

It is important to me that Linode offers a small, but well-focused set of cloud computing services, and there are two reasons. I've got a lot of choices because you can do a lot of things with Linode, but the core of what they offer is the ability to host your own cloud.

The size of the applications that you can use is significant. For example, you can run some massive infrastructure through Linode if you need to. The focused set of services is important because if you compare with Amazon, for example, they have AWS cloud, and it has a lot of things that get really very confusing. I understand technology, but I'm a business person more than a technologist. So, for me, the fact that they're focused means that they are working on the latest technology.

They are also practical and don't just use a component because it's there. They've got specific paths, such as migration paths, and they understand what I call fundamental IT. They understand that very well and it's invaluable. For example, one time I had to contact support because someone on my end deleted something. I phoned them at two o'clock in the morning to open a support ticket and a human being answered the phone. They said, "Oh yeah, no, we can do that. All done." Ten minutes later, the problem was resolved and life was fine. Essentially, they understand the practicalities of IT the way it should be in terms of the fundamentals. This is something that a lot of people don't understand.

An example that I'm thinking of is where you have a large call center that is located somewhere else in the world and people don't speak English, which is always a problem. They've got scripts that they go through and based on what you describe, they try to tell you the problem or ask you more questions. You'll be forced to go through a poor process, whereas Linode doesn't do that. Linode is just human beings who are IT literate, for want of a better word, dealing with you at every step of the way. That's important.

To me, it's very important that they haven't lost their focus, even though their capabilities seem to have expanded quite a lot.

Another way that Linode has improved the way my organization functions is that I don't have to have the physical infrastructure, anywhere. This means that I can work from anywhere in the world with the same infrastructure. Whether I'm in the United Kingdom, whether I'm in South Africa, whether I'm in Costa Rica, makes no difference. This is a massive advantage.

Many people think that because it's the web, and it's all-pervasive, it is just "old hat". But to have infrastructure that you can access from anywhere is absolutely brilliant. So, that's one area.

I used to host all my own stuff but I've gotten to the point now where I think I've got one server in-house, and that is full of what I call pet projects. I don't even know if I've got backups of that.

On the topic of backups, human beings don't like doing them. Also, IT people set backups and never look at them again. At least at Linode, you choose their backups and you know you've got three backups a day that you could fall back on, in the worst case. It's brilliant for me from that point of view.

Because of the ease of use, I can offer it to more clients. It's a doorway for me to customers where maybe I would have had to have a much more technical staff. As it is now, I don't have to, and it's not a deal-breaker. The customer is not saying that I don't have a server expert because I do. It's Linode.

In terms of helping me to accelerate innovation, Linode has got a whole bunch of storage options now. They've got features where you can attach data in different ways, which is something that they have addressed in the past couple of years. You can have Amazon buckets, as well as other clever things. I don't know whether they were the first to support or offer things in this way, but they definitely made the accessibility to some of these more obscure storage options easier. If you want to attach to an S3 bucket, it's always been quite a challenge, whereas with Linode, you just put in your credentials and it'll attach to the bucket for you. From that point of view, I see them changing the underlying technology constantly because you see the upgrades as they come through. Without even having a strategy to remain on top of things, Linode has enabled that for me.

If I want to fire up anything that is attached to any of the common data types, it's not a difficult thing to do at all because that is what they're doing. For example, I've just seen something new on their site, which is called a cloud firewall. It's in beta testing. So, looking around, I can see that there's going to be a new service that they're going to add back on top of all of that. It means that if I've got a cloud firewall, I don't have to worry about other firewalls on my machines. I just stick them all behind one firewall. This means one setup, one cost, etc. That's innovation for you because, one, they're making life easier for me. I don't have to set up a whole bunch of things. Secondly, they make a new income stream for themselves, which is brilliant.

What is most valuable?

The ability to fire up a virtual machine, use it, and then kill it, is quite a valuable feature for me. They have a lot of startup scripts, I think they are called stack scripts, whereby you can install something at a click of a button. For instance, you can install a whole server at the click of a button. Linode gives the users a lot of control.

Another thing that I use quite a lot is their documentation. They have documentation on how to perform tasks and often, I use that to educate a client on how to do something or on how to maintain something, et cetera. This is because a lot of customers are used to simpler systems like an iPhone, where if you want an app then you just download it from a store, press a button and it installs, or press a button and it updates.

The truth of the matter is that with servers and things like that, whilst people like the push button idea, it's a lot more complex than that. With these stack scripts, the people at Linode have thought about all of the things that a new user would not think about. They do all of that stuff and then walk you through it, and that's where Linode's documentation is really good. They walk you through what you have to do to secure a server, what you have to do to run a patch, or whatever.

They've got all those sorts of knowledge bases of information, which I think is invaluable, especially for clients who are uneducated in these things.

It's extremely important to me that Linode offers worldwide coverage via multiple data centers, for various reasons. One is that because we live in this global world, our customers are everywhere. Secondly, for people who need geo-redundancy, with for example a server in China and one elsewhere as a backup, it's great.

It's also nice because if they were just US-based, I wouldn't be able to use them because I would need to go through a whole process of trying to certify the data integrity in other regions. I'm sure that most people wouldn't bother with this because of all of the EU laws and the UK laws around data privacy.

The US's data privacy laws are far more relaxed than what they are on my side of the world. The fact that I can have a server in London means that I don't have to bother with all of that. My physical location of that server is in London and to me, it is really important.

When you compare Amazon, they claim to have infrastructure all over the place but I think that the bulk is centered in Germany. Even if it is in a few different places, everything gets backed up to the US, which is a problem for a lot of people.

What needs improvement?

Before they changed the dashboard, I found some of the more granular options easier to find. However, it was just a matter of getting used to the new interface.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Linode for more than 10 years, since 2009.

I've got two use cases. The first one is that I use Linode to host my own personal servers that host programs and software. Some of the applications are things like firewalls, et cetera. Any offsite technology infrastructure that I need, I use Linode for.

My second use case is that when I provide my customers with solutions that are cloud-based, where it is customized software, websites, or something else that they want control over, I spin up a Linode for them and then hand it over to the customer. I'm constantly giving Linode new customers as I provide people with solutions. I normally spin the Linode up myself and then pass it on to the client. Once my relationship with that customer is over and my side is fulfilled, they continue a relationship with Linode as their infrastructure provider.

That said, the main objective is not to resell their product. What I'm doing is I'm including Linode as the hosting infrastructure in the solutions that I sell. This allows people to have a virtual machine in the cloud at a very reasonable price. For example, a lot of people use that for their bespoke websites, membership sites, or for hosting other services.

Our company makes some bespoke software for the music industry, for example, whereby they can manage contracts and things like that. When people purchase this, instead of giving them a physical machine in the office, I give them a Linode machine and my software is on that, which is how Linode gets bundled along with everything else.

I don't make any money on top of the Linode service. Rather, I just say to the customer, "You've got to pay Linode $20 or whatever it is a month to carry on using Linode." At that point, they say, "Absolutely," because they've got backups and all of the good stuff without any of the downsides, for literally a tenth, or in some cases a hundredth of the price compared to having to do it on their own site.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The overall stability is brilliant. I don't think I've ever had downtime that I wasn't in control of, for upgrades as an example. I don't think I've ever had an outage. 

There have been some DNS problems once or twice, but not a single one of my clients phoned me and said, "Hey, this is not working."

I use Linode daily. The machines serve all of my websites, some of my client's websites, some of my user applications, and some of my knowledge base stuff. I've got customers who've got critical data, such as their financial data stored on Linode. To me, Linode is like having your coffee in the morning or breathing. It is integral.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think that if I had to do something massive, it would be easy. Scalability-wise, if you've got the money, the sky's the limit with them. I'm guessing that if you were to try and buy some of their massive offerings, GPUs, which are $4,000 a month, I'm guessing that'll take a little bit of time to set up, but I may be wrong because I've never done that.

Basically, if I look at the options that they have, you can move from anything from a tiny one-gig configuration to something that's got 125 gigabytes or 200 gigabytes of memory. That's ridiculous. There is more RAM than you've got hard-disk storage in some cases.

There are also a lot of articles that help people. If you want redundancy, for example, you're going to go and have a look and see, "Okay, that's how I do that.", and then you've learned something. That's the beauty of it, is that they're not like all these proprietary people, everything's under a hat and you don't know until you pay your money. They're quite open about everything.

I have customers who use Linode, but I am the only person in my organization who uses it at the moment. I have one other software developer who has access to it. At the moment I've got one machine on Linode, which I've just recently made slightly smaller. It runs about 40 or 50 websites and web applications for myself and for some of my clients.

Every time I get a new project, I fire up a new Linode. I use it for as long as I need it for the project and then I kill it again. So as soon as I get my next customer, I'll be adding another Linode to my account.

My current Linode that's running now, I recently down-scaled because a lot of customers have moved away, and also, we're trying to save money wherever we can. I didn't have to go to Linode and explain that I was suffering because COVID has taken away some of the customers. Rather, I went onto my dashboard, selected to make it smaller, and they warned me to ensure that I had taken care of three steps first. I went ahead and took care of the one that I hadn't done, and the other two were not applicable to me.

Once that was complete, I pressed the button and my Linode was half the cost in less than 10 minutes. I have got control of everything that I do. If at the end of next month things are back to normal, then I'll press the button and double my usage again. I expect that I'll be adding customers to it after that. In the meantime, I have the freedom to do what I want and I'm not captured by any sort of contract. I trust the people at Linode explicitly.

How are customer service and technical support?

Linode has 24/7, no-tiered human customer support, and its flexibility and overall responsiveness are why I don't use the other major providers. They are very responsive and are quite happy to listen to what you have to say, rather than trying to rush you through the process. You get a very real and very human interface, even with their email systems and through their ticketing systems. All of that appears to be very considered and it appears to be unique to you. You're not just getting a knowledge base thrown at you and told, "Go and sort through that and figure out what's going on."

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I also have some experience with Amazon AWS, and it is more complex than Linode. I know a little bit about the AWS pricing, where they bill according to time, at perhaps the millisecond level. I did use them in the early days but I got burned a few times where I suddenly had a bill of $1,000 when I didn't even realize that the machine was on. Amazon was quite unforgiving, at least in those days, about such things.

Linode, on the other hand, has a maximum cap that you can pay. If you use less, you pay less. I think that they're quite smart in that they worked out that cap quite well because you never really pay much less than that. It's a fixed price and whoever did those calculations has done them well.

I have no idea how much I have saved over the years by choosing Linode, but just from a management point of view, no one's time is spent having to double-check how much your bill's going to be all the time. I would estimate that would be one or two hours, of someone who knows what they're doing, a month having to do that. If you take a support person, earning, for example, $5,000 to $8,000 per month, if you consider what two hours of the month would cost, that's probably the cost of the savings. If you manage these things properly, obviously, you can keep the costs the same. Honestly, I haven't put much thought into it or wondered if anybody had better pricing because Linode does everything that I need, nicely.

Generally speaking, as I have been a customer of Linode for a long time, I don't have a lot of experience with other cloud providers. I don't even bother with them. But, I can tell you from seeing customers that have had other providers that I've got absolutely no problems with response time, in comparison.

I don't ever run anything that's mission-critical to the point where I need support in five minutes with someone. I don't have anything like that. None of my customers do because we build our systems so that there's redundancy. If something goes down, it's much like having a backup for your electricity. It doesn't really matter if it's down 5% or 2%, because you've got a backup.

That's the same with the way that we design solutions for our customers and for ourselves. If Linode does go down, normally, they're not down for long. When I say not for long, it's minutes. They communicate well and for the maintenance they do, they let you know months in advance. So, it's only your own fault if you suddenly find yourself caught in a situation where you're not prepared. Ultimately, they've got a very good balance and I think that they have got a very good future.

An example of this is that one of my machines needed to be moved to Tucson. It was a virtual machine that needed to be moved to some other hardware, which is a process that they said could take up to two hours. They said to me, if you do nothing, we're going to move it in April or whenever it was, but you can click here and move it at your convenience. I know when the US is not so busy because I'm half awake when they're still sleeping, so I pressed the button one morning and it took less than 20 minutes to move.

My machine was back up and running. Nobody knew, in terms of my users, that it had even happened. So, their response times and their options, because they allow you to manage so much yourself, are great. It's a very good balance between moving forward and balancing that with the needs of the customer.

How was the initial setup?

Linode is a virtual machine, so I'm often setting them up for the first time. I have images that I set up to be Linode in a particular format, and I can run them by hitting a button that says Deploy New Linode. It asks me what size, where, I press a button and it deploys that machine that I had deployed two years ago, exactly the same way. It means that if you're doing repetitive stuff, you shouldn't have to be doing it from scratch every time. You can just make an image and deploy your Linode from it. They've really made it quite easy.

Setting up a Linode from scratch is child's play. It's literally easier than updating your iPhone. But, it's what you have to do after that you need to consider. Depending on your choice of what you want to do, such as installing Ubuntu or some other software, that's where the complexity comes in. However, that's not Linode's issue. That's an issue with whatever it is you're doing.

The actual acquisition of a machine takes just minutes. I've got six questions to answer and when I press that button that says create, it takes approximately a minute and then you've got a machine that has an operating system installed. It's a basic operating system, whatever you choose, and a root password. It is at this point when the complications start because that's when you then have to do all the stuff that you do to set up a machine, but that's not a Linode function. That's a user function.

For what I do, if I start from scratch, without my pre-installed stuff, it could take me anything from 15 minutes for a basic system to about four hours for a complicated one. But, that's after the Linode set up. For example, setting up a Laravel dev environment probably takes me about three minutes, because I just pop an image and I say, "Deploy this image," and it just goes and does it. If you take a look at their marketplace, they've got apps that you can use to set up various machines.

In the marketplace, there are apps available to help you set up a cloud server, an open VPN, Jenkins, LAMP, or anything. You just say, "This is what I want," and that script runs for you. Another example is Minecraft; if you want the Java edition of Minecraft, you can go and set that up and it'll take you five minutes. Any customer can do this and you don't have to be a tech guru.

What was our ROI?

It is tough to determine what my return on investment is. I think there's a cost benefit more than a return on investment. When you look at an organization in terms of infrastructure setup, I've had a much lower cost than I would have, had I used the traditional bare metal or hardwired approach.

Compared to a traditional method with a server, plus someone running it, and all of the administration that comes with it, my cost savings are literally a hundredfold or a thousandfold. Moreover, without Linode, I probably wouldn't have been able to offer some of the services to some of the markets that I have in the past because of the pricing.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The monthly cost depends on your requirements.

The pricing is absolutely spot on. I think whoever thought about how their pricing should work and how their sizing should work, clearly understands the use case of their customers. I'm a tiny customer of theirs, but, I'm loyal to them because they constantly deliver and they do things that make sense.

I'm not paying any more now than I was paying in 2009. As a matter of fact, I think I'm probably paying less now than I was then, yet I've probably got 20 or 30 or 40 times larger resources available to me. Every time they upgrade their infrastructure, they don't say, "Oh, we've got new equipment, now we're going to charge you more." Instead, they say that they will carry on charging you the same or less, yet, we have better stuff for you. That is just a good business model, which has stood them in good stead.

What other advice do I have?

Because I am such a happy customer, it is difficult to point to an area that is in need of improvement. I've not had a use case, and none of my customers have said, "Oh, we would have loved to have used Linode, but they don't do X." What they do is more than adequate for what I need. In my view, you'd have to go a long way to find something. I don't use the API, although I've seen a lot of documentation on it. I'm guessing that the API is an area where people would want different accessibilities, but I don't know enough about that to be able to comment.

They changed the dashboard quite a while back, but there was a while when you could switch between the classic and new one. The classic one had some different granularity, which was nice, but I've now found that with the new one. It had looked like some of that granularity had gone away, but it's just in other places. Ultimately, it was just a matter of getting used to what it looked like.

I think the new interface is more modern-looking and probably a little more user-friendly. However, when you've used something for a long time and then it changes, you think, "Oh, what's going on?" But I've not found myself sitting and wondering what is happening in different parts of the solution. I would say that now, it's fine.

Quite a while ago, they moved away from one particular underlying technology that is used for the virtualization of machines. There are two types of virtualization, and they moved from one to the other. I'm not sure of the details but there was a massive improvement as a result. I could tell because I only moved some of my machines at the time, and left some of them on the first platform. There was a noticeable difference and it was big. Whatever they did in terms of the backend of their virtualization, when they moved from one of the main ones to a better one, that was a good move.

The biggest lesson that I have learned from using Linode is that you can be human and still provide a good service. I don't know anybody in the company and I don't particularly follow any of their leaders, they're not even on my radar. That said, every single interaction I've had with Linode has always had all of my core values in there. Integrity is an important one.

I find that often with tech companies, they lose humanness for the sake of efficiency, or other reasons. Banks have also lost it. A lot of people have lost that human touch and whilst I don't think Linode in any way have ever said, "Oh, we're the company with a human touch.", I can tell you that they definitely, you can feel the love and the fact that people know what they're doing and they care about what they're doing.

My advice for anybody who is thinking about using Linode is to know what you want, and if you don't know what you want, ask Linode because they'll know what you want. Often with these sorts of things, you tend to do your research first and then go to a vendor and ask them, based on your research, what you want. I would be very comfortable suggesting to any customer of mine that they ask Linode.

I am confident that they are not going to try and figure out how much you can afford and then nail you with that. They'll give you the options. They're very transparent. That way, you end up buying what you need as opposed to buying what someone's trying to sell you or what someone thinks you need.

In summary, Linode is a good product and I love them.

I would rate this solution a ten out of ten.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
PriteeshSinha - PeerSpot reviewer
Assistant Manager at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Optimized cloud solution with reliable recovery and fail services
Pros and Cons
  • "Microsoft Azure is an optimized solution when we compare it to any other particular cloud solution."
  • "There are multiple DevOps solutions and tools available in Microsoft Azure, but most of the time they are either in the build mode, meaning you don't get complete support for them because they are either making changes, or changing the names of the particular services. Sometimes, services vanish from the portal. We are not able to see that. I think they actually change the names of the services."

What is our primary use case?

I am a technology consultant and pre-sales cloud solution architect.

What is most valuable?

These are the features I have found most valuable with Azure. For any particular cloud world, when we talk about the cloud computing model, it is all about agility, availability, how you are trying to scale up your environment, how you're providing high availability, your disaster recovery mechanism, and what is the service availability matrix that you're following? We then talk about the workloads which are being supported on the Microsoft platform. Then we come to the commercial side of those workloads. For example, if we are trying to migrate the Windows workload, then Microsoft Azure offers a lot of benefits for Windows and SQL licenses. We can include that in the picture while we are trying to draw a comparison between different providers. Because AWS does not provide that DAM facility, though there is something that they provide, but you need to put it on the installs, not on RDS. Make it easy to install.

The second thing about Azure is that if we talk about Gartner, IDC and Forrester, although AWS is leading the chart in the leader's quadrant, when we look at the recent growth and what companies are acquiring and how much business they are pulling in year to year, there is a greater spike in the Microsoft Azure growth as compared to AWS.

I have worked as a cloud solution architect in India and Microsoft Azure works on data centers. They have three different geographical locations where they put the data centers. So as per the ISO 27001 BSI compliance for DR, disaster recovery mechanism, you need to make sure that the primary and secondary data centers are separated by a geographical zone - which Microsoft Azure adheres to. That definitely makes it a good choice for the client who wants the data to be in India and to also follow the BSI compliance.

Other factors include the Azure Site Recovery. The ASR one-stop DR solution provides RPO and RTO. It also gives you failover and failback scenarios. AWS did not have that kind of platform earlier. They had DM, DMS and SMS for small scale and medium scale app and database migration, but they didn't have a one-stop DR solution. They recently acquired cloud in their platform. Microsoft Azure also recently acquired cloud. They have built that particular platform into their Azure Migrate, which is their cloud feasibilities function provider. If we need to do a feasibility assessment or dependency mapping, we can use that particular tool or the Azure Migrate. It's a very good tool. I use that tool for multiple things.

I am trying to draw a comparison between the two leading cloud providers.

When we try to do backup scenarios, Azure Site Recovery is supported with all kinds of platforms. But it is not capable when you are trying to do recovery of a database or a recovery of an application server which are already on HA, high availability. HA would mean that you have only done the clustering. If there was clustering there, then definitely the ASR does not support it. But if you don't have HA, if you don't have the clustering done, then definitely ASR would be supported in that particular scenario. You can also do big database migrations with the Azure Site Recovery if there is a single database. Otherwise, you can use native database solutions to migrate them to cloud. For example, SQL Enterprises uses the Always On, where you introduce a new machine into the clustering. Then you try to put that as a secondary, and then you migrate.

Otherwise, if you have SQL Standard, then you can use a log sheet mechanism, which can be used to migrate the data. For SAP HANA, you can use HSR, HANA Service Replication, and for Oracle you can use the Data Guard, the negative solutions supported, but definitely Azure is doing that, as well. When we talk about a typical DR scenario, the cost that you are giving within Microsoft Azure would be storage, then the Azure Site Recovery cost, and then the network readiness. Microsoft Azure is an optimized solution when we compare it to any other particular cloud solution.

What needs improvement?

In terms of what could be improved with Azure, I would like to see something like what Google has created with their cross-platform solution, Anthos. I would like to see some features like Anthos has. Secondly, there are multiple DevOps solutions and tools available in Microsoft Azure, but most of the time they are either in the build mode, meaning you don't get complete support for them because they are either making changes, or changing the names of the particular services. Sometimes, services vanish from the portal. We are not able to see that. I think they actually change the names of the services.

For example, they had advanced data analytics in Office 365. They actually removed it and they now include all those features in Windows Defender. 

One more thing that I would like to say is that AWS works on availability zones. You have multiple availability zones in a particular region, which means that in that particular region you have more than one data center. If any of their single data centers fail, they can do a failover to the next immediate data center, which is in the same region. But in the case of Azure, if the data center fails for one particular region, they need to do a failover to different region altogether, which is separated by a geographical distance. That will be a kind of DR scenario.

Microsoft should focus on the higher availability of data centers where they can have more than one data center in a single region. I think they have implemented that kind of solution in the USA. They are going to do it soon in Europe and other countries as well, but it still is an upcoming feature. It's not completely built. They need to build that. 

The second thing which I feel regarding Microsoft Azure in India, is that they have less case studies when we talk about SAP on Azure as compared to SAP on AWS. There are fewer numbers of case studies on the portal. You can't find any. Whereas when you go into the India section for AWS, you will find plenty in terms of SAP and cloud.

Case studies are not there. If you have case studies, good case studies of large banks or any kind of government sectors, those case studies would definitely help to build customer trust on that particular platform.

There is one more thing which I would like to talk about in terms of costing. When you talk about AWS, they have three different types of costing models - partial upfront, no upfront, and all upfront. Azure has two models, all up front and no upfront. But also in these costing models, AWS has multiple other payment modes in terms of one-year or three-year. Azure does not have that. It lacks that particular costing mechanism, which it needs so there are more costing models. There is a lack of pricing flexibility, and I would like to see more costing models and licensing.

The third thing I would like to say, is that Azure was pretty bad in terms of the recent service off-time for Microsoft Azure and AWS. They didn't complete 99.99% of service they provide to the customers as compared to AWS. AWS data centers have also gone out recently, I think, four or five service interruptions, but definitely Azure should be keeping that in mind. I think with the help of clustering data centers in a single region, they can achieve that.

I do not want to take any credit away from Azure or AWS, but definitely Anthos is a big plus point for DCP. Azure should also build that kind of platform. Secondly, they can work on creating more data centers to build the regional availability,  which AWS already has across geography. The third thing they can work on is their costing models and the RI models - make them a bit more flexible for the client.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working on Azure for the past seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Regarding stability, Azure is doing well in terms of IES portfolio. They need to progress on the implementation of more data centers in a single region, which would increase their service level agreement by a little. They definitely need to work on their DevOps services. AWS' DevOps services are pretty good. If you go into ratings, the leading raters or the leading magazines, Forrester or Gartner or IDC, rate AWS services much higher compared to Azure. So, they need to increase on their service.

The third thing on the stability factor is that they publish more cases on the core infrastructure migration, the mission critical applications like SAP migration or Apple migrations. Putting the case studies on the portal would alleviate the doubt that Azure is stable. Azure is stable, but the case studies have to be there to support that.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

When we talk about scale and scale out mechanisms, this works pretty seamlessly in Azure. For example, if I need to use the spot instances that AWS has (spot instances are those instances which are actually created at times when you need a high memory or a high CPU for some time) you can configure a spot instance and the spot instance occurs, and it does the load checkpoint. Azure does the same thing with scaling out. However, one thing regarding RI is that AWS does not support that, but when I am in a particular RI, for example my family is the DS series, I am in DS3 or DS4, if I want to scale up, I can scale up with the same RI, but if I need to scale down, I cannot scale down unless I remove that RI and create a new one. I cannot scale into a different family altogether.

Cross-family scaling is not there. Cross-family scaling would help because sometimes being on cloud machines which are in RI, those machines have been used for one year and are currently a very small application host or they are hosting applications or IA services, etc... Now, that particular application has been, or is getting decommissioned, and the company wants to leave the same RI machines for a different application altogether for which they want that particular application to perform on a higher computer issue. For that particular thing I need to cancel that RI and with the remaining my budget, and with the call deduction that Microsoft does, I need to purchase a new RI. If the cross-family RI is there, then it is definitely smoother, and the priority won't be there. So, it will not be an economic blow for the company.

How are customer service and support?

When you open a normal case, Azure has a response matrix. They don't have a resolution matrix - at what particular time that will be resolved. The maximum resolution matrix is not there. But when we talk about the premium support, then Azure has a response matrix and a resolution matrix, and they also have the escalation matrix.

When I was working in Progressive Infotech, we had the advanced support subscription with Microsoft Azure Support. We were given multiple hours of advanced support. We were also provided with other things. I felt then that when you're opening a support ticket, and the support ticket priority is less or if the ticket that you opened is not in the premium bracket, the resolution will be late and the support matrix won't follow the time. They have a response. I think the response matrix is there for basic support and for advanced support. Premium support has the resolution matrix, as well. But the support center needs to have a service level agreement, which has the response matrix, the resolution matrix, and escalation matrix. That will build more trust from the partners in the OEM. AWS actually does not have that, but their response and resolution are pretty good because all the cases that you open in AWS are paid.

How was the initial setup?

Azure materials are pretty good compared to AWS, or any other platform materials. Azure has multiple platforms, and MS Learn is where you can learn about the platforms and the services. Then you have Docs.Microsoft.com, which you can use as a troubleshoot document or understanding of how to implement that solution. With the help of Microsoft Azure, the Microsoft platform, you have multiple types of cases which you can open in the Microsoft Portal. The premium cases are there. Then you have support cases, as well. Azure is pretty good there. Their support matrix is pretty good. The materials are there, the support matrix is there. So, that is pretty good.

What other advice do I have?

Microsoft Azure has multiple levels that an organization can take. Once they had the silver, bronze and the gold partnerships, and in terms of the productivity there is the Office 365 suite or the Azure suite, and they have specialty certifications, as well. You have the premium certifications. If you are also providing support to the client, then as a manager you can join Microsoft as an expert MSP. I think there are 50 or 55 in the country. It started at 15, and it grew to 55. Because many companies who are putting out tenders or an RFP or RFQ, mention in the PQ criteria that the partner should be MSP certified.

It would definitely help. It would act as a USP for you because there are multiple companies in India, more than hundreds and hundreds of companies in India and outside India. The customer would know the first company which is an expert MSP and the Microsoft partners would also give the lead to those export MSPs. Currently, you can also elevate the level by being on a fast track team, which is a one-stop team for Microsoft implementation and support for the Office 365 platform. The fast track team can be a very good asset because you can get a faster certification and then you сan be on the fast track board. You can actually make money when you do a successful implementation or support for a particular client. So the value is there.

On a scale of one to ten, I would give Microsoft Azure an eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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CTO at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20Leaderboard
Cheaper, more flexible, straightforward to integrate, and creates serverless functions easily
Pros and Cons
  • "What I like most in IBM Public Cloud is how easy it is to create serverless functions. They are called IBM functions, but in AWS, they are called Lambda functions. Those are pretty standard, and another thing I like the most is that you have fewer restrictions on the amount of data you can transfer across those functions. IBM Public Cloud is way more flexible than AWS. I also like that IBM Public Cloud is pretty straightforward to integrate. As long as you have all the tools IBM provides you, getting everything up and running is straightforward."
  • "An area for improvement in IBM Public Cloud is getting up-to-date information on how to set up everything. It's hard to find new documentation."

What is our primary use case?

Our team creates systems that do analytics for solar parks. We develop a system that creates preemptive alerts to forecast problems before they happen, so we can tell their operations and management teams onsite what to attend to and what to look for before a problem arises. What we do is get all the data into the cloud, and we do our analysis there, then we end up with some alerts and send those alerts back to the team to tell them what to look for. These are our use cases for IBM Public Cloud.

What is most valuable?

What I like most in IBM Public Cloud is how easy it is to create serverless functions. They are called IBM functions, but in AWS, they are called Lambda functions. Those are pretty standard, and another thing I like the most is that I have fewer restrictions on the amount of data I can transfer across those functions. IBM Public Cloud is way more flexible than AWS.

I also like that IBM Public Cloud is pretty straightforward to integrate. As long as I have all the tools IBM provides you, getting everything up and running is straightforward.

I also find the solution cheap in terms of costs, so that's another thing I like about it.

What needs improvement?

In general, you have fewer options to configure in IBM Public Cloud than in AWS because Azure is another thing. This is one area for improvement in the solution.

Another area for improvement in IBM Public Cloud is getting up-to-date information on how to set up everything. It's hard to find new documentation, and you'll end up getting it from the web, but once you get it, everything in terms of setting up the solution is pretty straightforward.

What would be nice to see in the next release of IBM Public Cloud is increasing the capability of the serverless functions, for example, having the capability to run more RAM-intensive or more memory-intensive applications from the top. There are still some restrictions, but those are the same restrictions that are almost everywhere in other solutions. Those are pretty standard, but it would be great if there could be an improvement in that area.

For how long have I used the solution?

We are IBM partners, so we've been using IBM Public Cloud for the last two years, and we're still using it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

IBM Public Cloud is a stable solution. It gives you SLA notifications all the time of what could be done, what is going to happen in the next hour regarding downtime, or anything that affects you. So far, I never noticed any issue, so I'm very happy with the solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

IBM Public Cloud is a scalable solution, and it's straightforward, especially because we mostly use only serverless solutions.

How are customer service and support?

Because my company is an IBM partner, my team gets special treatment, and the technical support for IBM Public Cloud is pretty good. I wouldn't know how the support would be if you asked people from the outside. I can say it's pretty good, but maybe it's just because of special conditions IBM has with my company.

How was the initial setup?

Setting up IBM Public Cloud is pretty easy, as long as you get up-to-date documentation on how to set it up.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

IBM Public Cloud is pretty cheap. They have an ongoing free tier that won't expire, so as long as your solution is small enough, you can have a test set that you can use for demos, which will cost you almost nothing.

What other advice do I have?

My company uses IBM Public Cloud and AWS Cloud, but just for their basic functions, in particular, for some virtual machines and serverless functions.

I'm guessing that what I'm using is the latest version of IBM Public Cloud, not that I have much of a choice because it's the one I get from the cloud directly. If it's not the latest version of the solution, I couldn't tell otherwise.

I'm rating IBM Public Cloud an eight because it's hard to get to the right documentation, and that's the only thing that makes the solution a bit difficult. Once you know IBM Public Cloud, the rating could be a ten, but for someone new to the solution, it's an eight out of ten.

My company is a partner and reseller for IBM, but my company doesn't resell. It just integrates solutions, and IBM provides all the backend tools for the products. 

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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DanielMoreno - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Architect at Orbis Data
Real User
Top 5
Great database with good stability and a very good interface
Pros and Cons
  • "The pricing of the solution is pretty good."
  • "I work with many clouds and I would say, in comparison, others have a better presentation of services and they have clearer steps in terms of implementation."

What is our primary use case?

We are solutions implementors. My first project was an e-commerce platform and mobile application for clients where clients could check credit cards and their status. It's information about the last products purchased. We used the Oracle Cloud Platform for this.

How has it helped my organization?

Since implementing the solution, our service times are much better. We have noticed the better implementation of services with the Oracle Service Bus. There has been an overall reduction of complexity in regards to services.

What is most valuable?

The database is the solution's most valuable aspect.

We appreciate the solution's computing capabilities. It has good Meter Machines. There are good expansions as well.

The database by far is one of the best databases we are using. It has resolved many problems. It's more complete in comparison to all the other databases.

The interface has been renewed and it offers a very good user experience.

The pricing of the solution is pretty good.

What needs improvement?

The marketplace could be improved very much. There are some competing clouds that have marketplaces with solutions that within a few weeks have a total ecosystem running, and that is where Oracle is very limited.

I work with many clouds and I would say, in comparison, others have a better presentation of services and they have clearer steps in terms of implementation. Oracle could be more clear in the presentation of the hierarchies of services. The configuration for a canvas needs to be very clear. Right now, it's not as good as it could be.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with the solution for about three years at this point. It's been a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have a very good impression of the solution's stability. There aren't bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's very good overall.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability seems to be very good. There seem to be many ways you can automatically scale if you need to. If a company would like to expand this solution, they can do so. However, the scaling process could be a bit more clear.

We have many clients and their sizes vary. One of my clients is a retailer and it has about 2000 employees. They have many physical stores and have e-commerce where they have been using Oracle Platform.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good. We have an engineer assigned to our account and they are a very fluent communicator and have been very fast at resolving problems normally.

We have so far been satisfied with their level of service.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup isn't overly complex. The only complexity was in understanding the way that the user gains access to the services. In other Cloud services, like Amazon, you have a URL that directly allows the user to go to a service. In Oracle, you have to know specific URLs, and there are too many steps to get right to your services. In that sense, it's not as straightforward. They could definitely make the process easier.

In our case, deployment took about two months or so.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The model is basically if you aren't using the solution you won't have to pay. We can turn off the machines if we don't need them and we won't keep incurring bills.

The solution seems to offer pretty competitive pricing. We haven't found it overly expensive. It's very competitive in comparison to other options.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did look at Amazon among other solutions. The decision was basically made after a series of negotiations.

What other advice do I have?

It's one of the best databases in the market. We've found it to be very stable in the new versions. You can plug it into other services easily. As a database solution, it's been very good and you can implement it very quickly.

Overall, I would rate the product at a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer
CTO at a healthcare company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
Priced-well, easy to set up, and you can easily use it through a web browser
Pros and Cons
  • "You can just connect and start using it through a browser within a few minutes."
  • "Monitoring and usage reporting could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

I am in the process of migrating from on-premises to the cloud.

We use it for IT infrastructure deployment and management.

What is most valuable?

The best part of Google Cloud is that it is cheaper than the competitors.

It is easy to set up, monitor, and manage.

You can just connect and start using it through a browser within a few minutes.

What needs improvement?

Monitoring and usage reporting could be improved. For example, they don't provide the CPU primary memory usage report. They do provide a CPU usage report, but not the memory. This is something that is critical for people interested in monitoring because if you are burdening the machine then you want the option of providing more RAM.

There is no graph or monitoring in the console; if it is there then I haven't found it, so it is something that takes extra time to figure out.

Google does not provide free support and at the least, email support should be available. I am not asking for free chat or telephone support, but given that we are paying to use the machine, email support should be included.

The alerts are somewhat cryptic and do not say much about what is going on.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Google Cloud for almost three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Google Cloud is a scalable product.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is bad, and you have to purchase it separately. There is no free support available.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I am currently working with both Google Cloud and AWS. I am in the process of also trying to implement IBM Cloud.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to set up and up the time for provisioning depends on the type of machine that you want to set up. It will not take longer than 15 or 20 minutes if you know how to do it.

What about the implementation team?

We have two or three people in the organization who set up the machines.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The support costs extra, even when it comes to email.

What other advice do I have?

This is a good product, but I wouldn't immediately recommend it because there are a lot of options available. People have to choose based on their requirements and location. There is not much different, so people have to look at particular requirements, cost, and support.

I agree that cost is a factor but support should also be considered because it is needed from time to time, and Google does not provide free support. Given that we are paying for the machine, we should have to pay for costly support in addition to that.

This is a good product but I would like better monitoring, alerting, and reporting.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Google
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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