Public Cloud Platforms (under review) comparison & reviews

4th 5th 1st
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Analysis expand by by Ronald van Vugt
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General expand
  • Fully Supported
  • Limitation
  • Not Supported
  • Information Only
  • + Good range of hybrid capabilities (including VMware partnership)
  • + Baremetal Server options with cloud characteristics (hourly consumption)
  • + Competitive priced fully featured IAAS offerings
  • + Good datacentre coverage across Asia Pacific
  • + Cloud leader with the most extensive range of services
  • + Mature services with good compliance coverage
  • + Huge number of 3rd party integrations
  • - High performance networking, but limited capabilities
  • - Limited European and US datacentre footprint
  • - Evolving hybrid strategy based around VMware partnership
Content Creator
Bluemix delivers virtual machines running in IBM Cloud data centers backed by a global private fiber network.
Alibaba Cloud Elastic Compute Service (ECS) provides fast memory and the latest Intel CPUs to help you achieve faster results with low latency to power your cloud applications.
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use.
Management expand
Single UI : Various APIs / CLIs native to services. Differences between IAAS & PaaS environment
Webbased UI, API Available, CLI Available for Windows/Mac/Linux, SDK Available for different platforms
Common API service keys
Multiple API service keys
Each Alibaba Cloud user can create multiple access key/secret key pairs
AWS Users can create their own API Access keys; these keys can be shared
General Service monitoring
Available, but inconsistent IAAS & PAAS service monitoring
Cloud Monitor
Every EC2 instance includes the following service quality services with a frequency of 1 minute: StatusCheckFailed, StatusCheckFailed_Instance, StatusCheckFailed_System
VM Service monitoring
Guest OS agent based (Nimsoft)
The OSS monitoring service details metric data, including basic system operation statuses, performance, and metering. It also provides a custom alarm service to track requests, analyze usage, collect statistics on business trends, and promptly discover and diagnose system problems.
Every EC2 instance sends basic metrics to CloudWatch every five-minutes. More metrics and one-minute monitoring are available at cost.
Actions / Event logging
Limited capability (agent based)
The alarm rule page is where you can view, modify, activate, deactivate, and delete alarm rules related to OSS monitoring alarms.
Logging for EC2 instances is possible with the service CloudWatch Logs
Identity & Access Management
Centralised IAM
Alibaba Cloud Resource Access Management (RAM) is an identity and access control service which enables you to centrally manage your users (including employees, systems or applications) and securely control their access to your resources through permission levels.
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Multi factor authentication support
Only for IAAS
Users can create, bind, unbind, and delete virtual multi-factor authentication devices.
Granular Access Control
Configurable access control to IAAS
Supports role-based access control
Using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) a very granular access control is possible. The default for every user and role is no access; you have to define every access control.
VM Billing per min / hr
Hourly / Monthly / Subscription
On-demand pricing by the hour and by the month
Pay-as-you-go, reserved instances for one or three years, scheduled instances for one year, spot instances
Compute VM expand
VM micro (below 1 vCPU)
1vCPU minimum
EC2 instances nano, micro, small
VM Small (up to 8 vCPU)
Available : Configurable mem up to 64GB
ecs.c1.large and ecs.n1.xlarge series
EC2 instances medium, large, xlarge,
VM Medium (up to 16 vCPU)
Available : Configurable mem up to 128GB
ecs.c2.large and ecs.n1.3xlarge
EC2 instances 2xlarge
VM Large (up to 32 vCPU)
Available : Configurable mem up to 242GB
ecs.n1.7xlarge and ecs.sn1.7xlarge
EC2 instances 4xlarge
VM XLarge (up to 64 vCPU 128GB RAM)
Max 56 core with mem up to 242GB
largest instance is 56 vCPU
EC2 instances 10xlarge
VM XXLarge (up to 128 vCPU 2TB RAM)
Not available as VM (Baremetal option : per Month)
EC2 instance 32xlarge
GPU VM Large (up to 32 vCPU)
Not available as VM (Baremetal option : per Hr / Month)
It is possible to add a GPU to every current generation EC2 instance
GPU VM XLarge (up to 64 vCPU 128GB RAM)
Not available as VM (Baremetal option : per Hr / Month)
largest instance is 56 vCPU
It is possible to add a GPU to every current generation EC2 instance
GPU VM XXLarge (up to 128 vCPU 2TB RAM)
No generally available Baremetal option
It is possible to add a GPU to every current generation EC2 instance
GPU types
Nvidia Tesla P100, M60, K80, Grid K2 (monthly & hourly options)
Nvidia Tesla P100 GPU
Yes, with up to 16 NVIDIA Tesla® K80 GPUs, 192GB of total video memory, 40 thousand parallel processing cores yielding 70 teraflops of single precision floating point performance and over 23 teraflops of double precision floating point performance using P2 EC2 instances
Custom VM size
Standard config types for public VMs. Private host VMs can be configured
Defined disk IOPS
Not available as local disc (available with SAN)
Users can choose SSD storage, but they cannot specify IOPS
EBS Optimized instances provided dediated storage network
SR-IOV support
No native SR-IOV support
Supported on some instance types
Network speeds
1 x public / 1 x private : Can add 1 private but no ability to add additional
Based on selected network bandwidth peak between
Low, moderate, high, 10Gbps, 20Gbps.
Depending of the instance type from 450 Mbit until 20 Gbit
Add virtual NIC
No ability to add vNIC
No. Can add multi-queue for NICs
All instances in a VPC can add 1 until 14 virtual NICs, depending of the instance type (this is not possible in the EC2-Classic platform, but this platform is not recommended)
Attached / detach block storage
Limited ability with portable storage
Yes, including Shared Block Storage
It is possible to detach block storage from an unmounted volume on a EC2 instance and attach block storage to an EC2 instance
Virtual dedicated cloud
Virtual network created at L2 VLAN level.
Alibaba Cloud Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is an isolated cloud network built for private usage.
Every EC2 instance will be part of a VPC (Virtual Private Cloud)
IP reassignment
Can assign portable public / private IPs
Only Elastic Ips
Possible with Elastic IP Addresses
Manual snapshots image
Can create system image
Can create Amazon Machine Image (AMI) from EC2 instance
Scheduled snapshot image
Not available as native service (could script through API)
Scheduled tasks are supported, but not for VM image
Not available as native service
API / CLI Snapshot image
Scheduled tasks are supported, but not for VM image
Make image public / marketplace
Only through Marketplace
AWS Marketplace is available to publish and sell application images
VM import
ISO & VHD imports supported
Supports RAW and VHD format
You can import Windows and Linux VMs that use VMware ESX or Workstation, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Citrix Xen virtualization formats.
VM export
VHD image export
Must request for export function to be whitelisted
you can export previously imported EC2 instances to VMware ESX, Microsoft Hyper-V or Citrix Xen formats.
Windows Server 2012, 2012R2, 2016 Standard edition
Windows Server 2008 and 2012, Standard, Data Center, and Enteprise, English and Chinese
Amazon EC2 currently supports a variety of operating systems including: Amazon Linux, Ubuntu, Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Fedora, Debian, CentOS, Gentoo Linux, Oracle Linux, and FreeBSD. 
Redhat, Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Cloudlinux, CoreOS
CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, FreeBSD, SUSE, and Alibaba Linux as well as CoreOS
Amazon EC2 currently supports a variety of operating systems including: Amazon Linux, Ubuntu, Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Fedora, Debian, CentOS, Gentoo Linux, Oracle Linux, and FreeBSD.
Bring your own OS
Supported (at own risk)
Yes, you can bring your own Microsoft license
Resize existing VM
Resize vCPU, memory, network speed
Resizing of a VM which is EBS backed supported
VM Live Migration
Recovery processes not clearly defined. SLA for recovery defined (in hrs)
If a host fails and the EC2 instance uses EBS, it is possible to start the EC2 instance on another host manually or automatically with monitoring and scripting; if an EC2 instance is installed on instance store and de host fails, the EC2 instance is lost