For many in IT, the word “cloud” often invokes an immediate thought of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) – and often so in that order. Cloud service offerings have been dominated by these three vendors, with AWS as a clear leader in the space. Despite its large head start, Microsoft and Google have both taken significant steps to challenge the cloud giant and have both made names for themselves with their own cloud offerings.
When considering the public cloud for storage, all three vendors provide similar offerings. They all have block, file, and object storage services, although with a number of differences in features and configurations.
All three major cloud providers have seen considerable success in the cloud storage market; however, they are not without their critics. Public cloud storage services have often been criticized for their complex, and often expensive, pricing schemes, with one of the largest issues being expensive egress charges. In addition to adding cost, these egress charges can lead to lock in, preventing data from being moved to other clouds, or even back to on-premises arrays.
In addition, public cloud storage offerings from the Big 3 are often lacking some of the more advanced features found in on-premises storage solutions such as data reduction and business continuity solutions.
Public cloud storage has been successful, and for good reason, but it has also become clear that no vendor has a single perfect solution for all data needs. Enterprises are increasingly looking for hybrid and multi-cloud approaches that allow them to leverage all three major cloud vendors for their different advantages, as well as utilize their on-premises solutions. To achieve these goals, however, is difficult to do solely with the offerings provided by the big three cloud providers.
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