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Cloud Service Providers (CSP) Explained

By Elliot Heath

What are they?

Cloud service providers (CSP) are companies that offer network services, infrastructure, or business applications in the cloud. These cloud services are typically managed and hosted by the cloud service provider, removing a layer of complexity for businesses looking to simplify their I.T management overheads.

Who are they?

There are many different cloud service providers with dozens of big brands offering cloud services. For the sake of simplicity, we have highlighted the commonly known big 4, however, depending on whom you speak with there might be some hot debate!

Microsoft

Microsoft is probably the most well-known business brand among cloud vendors, almost every business today uses some form of Microsoft technology, from office applications through to Office 365 and Azure. In recent years Microsoft has increased its commitment to delivering scalable cloud services for everyone. While a latecomer to the cloud infrastructure market, Microsoft has already made a global impact with Office 365 and attracts a loyal following of creating business grade solutions.

Amazon

Amazon Web Services or AWS as it is commonly known was born out of the online shopping giants need to build a highly scalable global infrastructure to meet the tremendous consumer demands across its websites and services. With proven experience in delivering low latency and technology-driven services such as online shopping, prime video streaming, and more Amazon was one of the first to market with services that businesses could leverage in their own IT estates.

Google

Instantly known for its search engine and advertising services, Google went about building its cloud infrastructure of highspeed networking, content delivery, compute and storage to cope with the enormous demands of it is DNS, search and streaming services. Couple this with being an engineering-led company they quickly had an abundance of business-ready collaboration (G-Suite formerly Google Apps) and cloud services (G Suite) due to using these themselves. Google went as far as designing and manufacturing their server hardware.

IBM

One of the longest standing brands in the corporate world, IBM has roots dating as far back as the 1880's long before computers and the internet. IBM proved itself in the early days of computer hardware that it could create highly reliable systems. So much so that in prior years IBM were often chosen as the vendor of choice based purely on their brand and track history. Today IBM has its cloud offering called IBM Cloud (formerly Softlayer).

Which one is best?

While all these Cloud Service Providers (CSP's) and others, in essence, deliver similar services and ultimately the same result. There are different advantages and considerations for each depending on your requirement. For many businesses, these key differentiators may not be immediately apparent or even be significant. However, that does not mean you should discount or prefer one at face value alone.

Which should you choose?

Just because a business uses one specific cloud service provider, it does not mean that choice is right for you. When helping our clients decide where to migrate and run their systems from we take into consideration a variety of influencing factors such as who will be doing the migration and ongoing support, what technology and services are in play. Coupled with other information means that an informed decision gets made.