Amazon is the dominant cloud platform for a reason: It has built out so many products and services that it’s impossible to begin to discuss them in a single article or even a book. Many of them were amazing innovations when they first appeared and the hits keep coming. Every year Amazon adds new tools that make it harder and harder to justify keeping those old boxes pumping out heat and overstressing the air conditioner in the server room down the hall.
For all of its dominance, though, Amazon has strong competitors. Companies like Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, and Digital Ocean know that they must establish a real presence in the cloud and they are finding clever ways to compete and excel in what is less and less a commodity business. These rivals offer great products with different and sometimes better approaches. In many cases, they’re running neck and neck with AWS. And if what you’re after is a commodity machine, well, their commodity Linux instance will run the same code as AWS.
Sometimes the competitors not only match AWS for commodity products, but they actually do a better job. These advantages often appear when the competitors link their cloud to parts of the computer ecosystem that they already dominate. If you want to use .Net code, you’ll find it just a bit easier on Microsoft Azure. If you want to use Google’s G Suite of web-based office productivity tools, it’s no surprise that they’re well-integrated with Google Cloud Platform.
Still, for all of these competitors’ innovation and success, Amazon continues to outshine them in many ways—and the words “many ways” is a pretty good summary of Amazon’s approach. The company has evolved a strong, consistent style that might be described as overwhelming. The AWS cloud offers six different databases and another six different solutions lumped in a separate section called “storage.” There are dozens of different instances in dozens of different configurations and you can arrange for Amazon to scale them automatically when the load increases.
Indeed, the greatest advantage of AWS may be the sheer overwhelming number of options. Most of the time, someone there has faced the same problem that’s confounding you and they’ve set up a team to productize a solution. You just have to work your way through all of the options.
Here are just 11 of the ways AWS beats Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.