Public Cloud options apart from AWS

Wednesday February 27, 2013,

3 min Read

AWS has become synonymous to cloud so much that not many look for other options. With its extensive feature set and free tier, it is difficult to look past. This article aims to showcase other Public Cloud options available (restricting to only IaaS offerings to keep the comparisons fair). This also highlights public providers based in India known to us. Please note that this is by no means an exhaustive list. If you are such a provider/ know of such a provider and would like to be highlighted, please leave a comment.

Big players


Rackspace is the second largest public cloud after AWS. Their secret sauce is their 'Fanatical Support' - something that they are very proud of. Having co-launched the OpenStack  project and being the biggest supporters of OpenStack, their cloud runs from 'trunk' of OpenStack with updates almost on a daily basis.

Google Compute Engine (GCE)


After having pioneered PaaS through their Google App Engine, GCE is Google's IaaS offering. While this is still under limited preview, it has got very good, well documented APIs (probably the best among the IaaS providers). There are some reports that claim that GCE compute instances are faster than Amazon EC2 - however final verdict needs to wait until after it is public and has had significant user base.

HP Cloud


HP Cloud is also based on OpenStack, provides Compute, Storage, CDN etc. It also provides CLIs for both Unix and Windows (powershell), which makes the life of developers easier. It's console also provides AWS console like experience.

Hosting providers offering Cloud solutions


With datacenters in US, Europe and Singapore, SoftLayer provides a good alternative if you are already considering a hosting provider. I was not able to find out if they provide programmatic (API) access though.


GoGrid also provides pay-per-use options over their hosting offerings. They also offer programmatic access (last time I checked, it was SOAP only though). Check out their marketplace for pre-configured images (akin to EC2 AMIs)

Providers based in India


Hosting providers in our backyard, NetMagic also provide public, private and hybrid cloud services. Check out their public SimpliCloud for their offerings. Email them for their APIs.Tata InstaCompute

Tata Communication's cloud offering based on CloudStack, Tata InstaCompute provides nice local options for Indian customers with their datacenters in India and Singapore. Check out their performance comparisons against other providers.

European Providers



GreenQloud provides sustainable cloud computing options through its Truly Green (TM) initiative and datacenters running on 100% renewable energy sources. Their prices look competitive (little bit pricier than EC2), but provide more instance sizes. Most interesting feature is their 100% uptime guarantee or 1% credit for every 20 minutes of downtime.


They are also traditional hosting providers offering cloud services. Check out their 100% guarantee or credit back, APIs, and the console.


Again, this post is not meant to list ALL the providers, but only to highlight that there are options other than AWS available to cloud consumers. No need to get stuck with AWS. You can find one from above, find one on your own, or you can be smart and use a Cloud Service Broker (CSB) like ComputeNext which aggregates services from many such providers.


ComputeNext was one of the past employers of the author.