Cloud Computing Service Providers

IT Services
Cloud Computing Service Providers
Article by Maria Martin
Last Updated: August 06, 2023

Cloud computing is the delivery of IT services over the Internet, usually on a pay-as-you-use basis. Instead of depending on local infrastructure, businesses can access computing resources, such as storage, servers, and software, over the Internet.

With cloud computing changing the way businesses manage their data and access computing resources, many cloud computing service providers have surfaced in the market.

That’s why we’ve taken the time to list the top 10 providers, along with their key features, pros and cons, and costs.

Amazon Web Service (AWS)

Amazon Web Services or AWS is an immensely popular CSP (cloud service provider) in the market today. It offers more than 170 services and has customers in more than 190 countries around the world. Companies that use AWS include Adobe, Twitter, ESPN, Facebook, and Netflix.

AWS can also handle unlimited bandwidth, which is perfect for high-traffic websites or email hosting services. This benefit is why AWS remains one of the leading cloud computing service providers today.

According to statistics collated by Zippia, 30,000 websites are hacked every day around the world. With that in mind, you need reliable security when it comes to cloud service providers. AWS is backed by numerous cloud security tools, with more than 300 compliance, security, and governance features and services.

Key Features of AWS

Here are some of the main features and services that make AWS stand out from the competition:

  • Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2): This service provides bare servers or machines where you can run virtual machines and launch applications.
  • Simple Storage Service (S3): With S3, you can upload and share files and media for backup and archiving. You can even host a static website.
  • Amazon RDS: Short for Amazon Relational Database Service, this AWS service provides makes it easier to create, manage, and scale a relational database.
  • AWS Lambda: This serverless computing service runs code in response to specific events without managing servers.

Pros of AWS

Here are some of the advantages of this widely used CSP (cloud service provider):

  • Easy to use
  • Offers a wide array of tools
  • Unlimited server capacity
  • Reliable and secure
  • Effortless migration
  • Cost-effective

Cons of AWS

On the other hand, here are the drawbacks businesses might find when using AWS:

  • Limitations on EC2
  • Confusing billing system

How Much Does Amazon Web Service Cost?

With AWS, you only pay for the resources you need without long-term contracts involved, which is a major benefit of cloud computing services. This is called a pay-as-you-go pricing model.

You can use the AWS Pricing Calculator to get cost estimates.

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Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform that provides a wide array of solutions to businesses and individuals who want to build, launch, and manage applications and infrastructure in the cloud.

The company takes pride in spending $1 billion per year on data security and cyber threat protection. It offers robust security services and over 90 compliance offerings, ensuring that your data and applications are protected.

Additionally, 95% of Fortune 500 companies trust Microsoft Azure. With Microsoft Azure, you can operate hybrid seamlessly. Integrate and oversee your environments, whether it’s on-premises or on the cloud.

Key Features of Microsoft Azure

Like the other cloud computing service providers on this list, Azure has a range of features and services that help organizations. With efficient cloud adoption, businesses can be more efficient and competitive in today's fast-paced environment.

  • Azure OpenAI: Microsoft Azure and OpenAI partnered to create this feature. This helps develop and launch advanced AI models in the cloud. Some of its services include computer vision models, language models, and reinforcement learning algorithms.
  • Azure SQL: This is Microsoft Azure’s cloud-based relational database service. It’s a fully managed, secure, and scalable database service. Microsoft’s Azure SQL supports several database engines, including MySQL and SQL Server.
  • Azure Container Instances: This service allows users to easily run containers on the cloud without managing infrastructure. Containers are portable, lightweight, and isolated environments that contain applications and their dependencies, allowing easy deployment and consistent launching across multiple environments.
  • Microsoft Defender for Cloud: Formerly known as Microsoft Defender for Identity and Azure Advanced Threat Protection, this is a security solution offered by Azure. It provides unified security management, real-time security access, and more.
  • Azure Arc: This solution enables businesses to govern resources across multi-cloud, on-premises, and edge environments using a single control plane. You can deploy Azure services, including Azure Data Services, Azure App Service, and more.

Pros of Microsoft Azure

Although it’s not as large as AWS yet, here are some benefits of using Microsoft’s cloud computing solution.

  • High uptime rate
  • Flexibility and scalability
  • Security
  • Cost-effective

Cons of Microsoft Azure

Conversely, here are the drawbacks you may notice when using this CSP (cloud service provider).

  • Data transfer fees
  • Poor customer support
  • Complicated pricing

How Much Does Microsoft Azure Cost?

Microsoft Azure takes pride in having lower fees than most cloud computing service providers. You can save up to 65% on selected computing services with the easy and flexible Azure savings plan. Like other providers, it has a pay-as-you-go pricing scheme.

You can get an estimated hourly or monthly pricing with the Azure Pricing Calculator.

Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offers a variety of computing services, from cost and data management to AI and machine learning.

This cloud service provider (CSP) is a latecomer to the market, so it only has limited services available. However, it provides a high specialty in machine learning, analytics, and big data.

Google developed the Kubernetes standard used by competitors like Azure and AWS. GCP is an open-source and DevOps-focused provider, so it doesn’t integrate well with Microsoft Azure.

Key Features of Google Cloud Platform

Here are some features that make GCP worthy of a spot on this list of top cloud computing service providers.

  • Autoclass: This feature automatically transfers objects to proper storage classes depending on their access pattern. When data is not accessed, it’s moved to colder storage classes for cost optimization.
  • Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE): This feature is incredibly scalable and fully automated. By putting your containers on autopilot, you eliminate the need to manage nodes or capacity and ultimately reduce cluster costs.
  • Compute Engine: This cloud computing service provided by Google allows users to create and manage virtual machines in the cloud. Users can launch VMs in minutes and scale them according to their needs.
  • Cloud Run: This is a fully managed platform developers can use to build and deploy scalable containerized applications written in any programming language, such as Python, Java, Ruby, Node.js, .NET, and Go.

Pros of Google Cloud Platform

Here are GCP’s advantages over other cloud services providers:

  • Easy integration with other Google services
  • Easy collaboration
  • User-friendly
  • Fast input/output

Cons of Google Cloud Platform

Alternatively, here are some drawbacks you should note before deciding on using GCP.

  • Potential difficulty moving out of the platform
  • Fewer data centers globally
  • Fewer services and features

How Much Does Google Cloud Platform Cost?

You can sign up on Google Cloud to test out products in real-world scenarios. New customers get $300 worth of free credits to test, run, and deploy workloads. Meanwhile, all customers can access and use over 20 products, free of charge.

Similar to most cloud service providers, with Google Cloud Platform, you pay only for the resources you use. There are no upfront fees or termination charges.

You can use the Google Cloud Pricing Calculator to understand how costs change depending on workloads, location, and other factors. Alternatively, you can get a customized quote by speaking with a sales representative.

IBM Cloud

This cloud service provider (CSP) provides its users with a large variety of cloud-based services. IBM Cloud offers enterprise-grade security, flexibility, scalability, and ease of use.

Specifically, it provides businesses with numerous cloud deployment models, such as private, public, or hybrid. Businesses can select which model suits their needs.

Through this platform, IBM offers IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS, providing more flexibility to its users. These offerings are placed under three umbrellas: SmartCloud Solutions, SmartCloud Services, and SmartCloud Foundation.

Key Features of IBM Cloud

IBM is conscious of the environmental impact of cloud operations. It commits to reducing this impact by using renewable energy sources and applying energy-efficient practices and infrastructure.

Aside from this, here are the features that help IBM Cloud stand out from its competition.

  • AI and Machine Learning: IBM Cloud has various tools and services in this aspect to help businesses analyze data, automate processes, and build smart applications.
  • Blockchain: With its blockchain platform, IBM Cloud enables businesses to share transactions and data securely, create new business models, and automate workflows.
  • Internet of Things: This service allows businesses to connect and manage devices, build IoT applications, and analyze data from these devices.
  • Analytics: This CSP also offers analytics services to help businesses make informed and data-driven decisions. This includes business intelligence, predictive analytics, and data warehousing.

Pros IBM Cloud

IBM Cloud is a robust cloud computing platform. Here are some of its advantages:

  • A one-stop-shop for your computing needs
  • Robust security features
  • Fast data loading time
  • Advanced AI capabilities
  • Offers three types of cloud deployment models

Cons of IBM Cloud

Conversely, like other cloud computing service providers on this list, IBM Cloud comes with the following drawbacks:

  • Can be pricey for startups and small businesses
  • May need a steep learning curve
  • Limited geographical coverage

How Much Does IBM Cloud Cost?

You can create an IBM Cloud account at no cost, where you’ll have access to over 40 products that are always free and have no time limit.

Beyond the free tier, you only pay for the services you use.

Use the IBM Cloud cost estimator to get cost estimates and configure products based on your needs.


This cloud computing service is provided by a leading software company worldwide, Oracle Corporation.

Oracle Cloud was launched in 2016 and offers a range of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Oracle Cloud has a long history in enterprise software and a dedication to innovation, so it’s well-positioned in the market to help businesses with their cloud computing needs.

Key Features of Oracle

Like some of the cloud service providers on this list, Oracle Cloud offers a large variety of cloud computing services, including IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.

  • Autonomous Database: Oracle Cloud reduces the need for manual intervention by automating database management and maintenance through the use of machine learning.
  • Developer Tools: With a range of developer resources, such as Cloud Shell, Code Editor, and Command Line Interface (CLI), developers can easily build and deploy applications.
  • Integration: Businesses can seamlessly integrate Oracle Cloud with other Oracle products, which allows them to leverage existing investments in Oracle technologies.
  • Oracle Financing: Oracle provides versatile payment solutions so that businesses can maximize their technology budget and ROI.

Pros of Oracle

Here are some of the pros of this innovative cloud computing solution:

  • Excellent after-sales support
  • Powerful developer tools
  • Datacenter coverage in almost all regions
  • Automated processes

Cons of Oracle

We can’t talk about the pros without also mentioning the cons. Here are some:

How Much Does Oracle Cost?

With Oracle, you pay for services as you go, allowing flexibility and scalability. Your usage of its services is metered hourly, and you can switch data centers and services at any time without notice.

There are no upfront costs to use Oracle. Moreover, you can use the Oracle Cost Estimator to get an estimate of your monthly fees based on your usage.

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Founded in March 1999 by Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Frank Dominguez, and Dave Moellenhoff, Salesforce provides a cloud-based CRM to businesses of all sizes.

Due to its rapid growth, Salesforce went public in 2004 and became the first cloud-based software company on the New York Stock Exchange listing.

Nowadays, Salesforce is one of the largest cloud service providers in the world with over 150,000 companies using it. Salesforce is known for its revolutionary approach to customer relationship management and its focus on maintaining social responsibility.

Key Features of Salesforce

Salesforce includes a wide range of cloud-based solutions, such as Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Salesforce Platform, and Commerce Cloud. It has also made some strategic acquisitions, such as Slack and Tableau, to enhance its capabilities.

  • Sales Cloud: Being one of Salesforce’s popular product offerings, Sales Cloud allows businesses to manage their sales, marketing, and customer support. It provides updates on leads to help sales executives.
  • Marketing Cloud: This Salesforce service helps businesses manage emails, marketing campaigns, content, and social media accounts. With this cloud solution, every moment of engagement is maximized.
  • Service Cloud: Salesforce helps businesses better serve their customers. Automation is used to scale service processes and empower teams to be more productive.
  • Commerce Cloud: This supports both B2B and B2C commerce with diverse payment methods and order management to cut costs and drive growth.

Pros of Salesforce

Some advantages of using this established cloud-based CRM platform are:

  • Simple account planning
  • Increased team collaboration
  • Increased revenue
  • Customizable to your business needs
  • Widely used CRM platform

Cons of Salesforce

Businesses should also consider these drawbacks before signing up for Salesforce:

  • Add-ons are paid
  • Complex configuration and setup
  • Poor customer support as reported by some users

How Much Does Salesforce Cost?

Salesforce provides various levels of editions. Prices depend on the size and needs of your business. The Essentials edition of Sales and Service Cloud both cost $25 per user per month, whereas if you want the Unlimited edition, it’ll set you back $300 per user each month.

Check out the Salesforce product pricing page for more information.


Founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, Dropbox was first ideated on a bus ride to New York when Houston had forgotten to bring his USB with important files.

His frustration led him to create a service that allows users to access their files from anywhere in the world without a physical storage device.

Dropbox quickly gained popularity after launching its beta version in 2008. As of 2021, it has an astounding 16.79 million paying users, which is a huge leap from 6.5 million paying users in 2015.

Key Features of Dropbox

The range of features that Dropbox provides includes file syncing and sharing, document collaboration, and cloud storage.

Startups, small businesses, and large enterprises use Dropbox to boost productivity and simplify file management.

  • Cloud Storage: Users can store various types of files in the cloud, such as photos, documents, videos, and more. These files can then be accessed from anywhere on any internet-connected device.
  • File Sharing: With Dropbox, sharing files and folders is easy. Real-time syncing allows users to instantly view any changes made to the file by other users.
  • Dropbox Paper: This Dropbox service allows users to edit and share documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other files for better collaboration. Features like real-time editing, task management, and comments help teams collaborate more effectively.

Pros of Dropbox

This versatile and widely used file storage and collaboration platform provides numerous benefits for individuals and organizations.

  • Start for free
  • Compatible with practically any OS
  • Offline capability
  • Better collaboration
  • Automatic file synchronization and backup

Cons of Dropbox

However, some potential drawbacks have to be considered as well.

  • Limited storage for free users
  • A complex organizational structure of files and folders
  • Can be pricey

How Much Does Dropbox Cost?

Dropbox offers various pricing plans based on the storage needs of the user.

  • Plus: For individuals; $9.99/month; 2TB; 1 user
  • Family: For friends and family; $16.99/month; 2 TB; Up to 6 users
  • Professional: For freelancers: $16.58/month; 3 TB; 1 user
  • Standard: For smaller teams; $15/user/month; 5 TB; 3+ users
  • Advanced: For larger teams; $24/user/month; 3+ users

With the Advanced option, users get more storage space. Dropbox also offers an Enterprise plan for organizations, wherein you can contact Dropbox to get pricing information.

Alibaba Cloud

Founded in 2009, this cloud computing and data management platform is a subsidiary of one of the largest e-commerce companies, Alibaba Group. It offers content delivery, data storage, and analytics.

Additionally, Alibaba Cloud established a global presence, with offices and data centers across the globe, including Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Alibaba Cloud is a global leader in cloud computing, with a major focus on customer satisfaction and innovation. It has become one of the most widely used cloud computing service providers for businesses in China and beyond.

Key Features of Alibaba Cloud

This platform provides a wide variety of secure and scalable cloud computing services. Some of its key features are:

  • Elastic Compute Service (ECS): This Alibaba Cloud service provides the latest CPUs and fast memory that allow businesses to open cloud applications with low latency.
  • Server Load Balancer (SLB): This tool distributes network traffic across multiple backend server groups, helping to improve application availability and service capability. It comes in three types: Layer 7 Application Load Balancer (ALB), Layer 4 Network Load Balancer (NLB), and Classic Load Balancer (CLB).
  • Simple Application Server: This is Alibaba Cloud’s cloud-based hosting solution. It can be used for website building, development and testing, and cloud-based learning.
  • Object Storage Service (OSS): This service is fully managed to allow users to store and access data from anywhere. Its uses include content distribution, data backup and restoration, cloud archive, online drive, data lake storage, and static web hosting.

Pros of Alibaba Cloud

Like other cloud service providers, Alibaba has its share of pros and cons users should know about. Let’s start with the pros.

  • Lower costs
  • High coverage in China and Asia
  • Access to hybrid cloud
  • Highly flexible customer support
  • Security and Compliance

Cons of Alibaba Cloud

Let’s move to the possible cons of using Alibaba Cloud.

  • Less familiarity among developers
  • Limited presence outside Asia
  • Fewer integrations

Alibaba Cloud Pricing

Alibaba Cloud offers a free trial that includes always-free products. However, if you get a paid plan, you only pay for the services as you use them. Contact Alibaba Cloud’s global sales team to get a quotation.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Initially released in July 2013, Adobe Creative Cloud is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering provided by Adobe Systems.

It’s essentially a set of services and applications that give users access to software for video editing, web development, graphic design, and photography. There are also some mobile apps and optional cloud services included.

This model allows users to access the latest versions of Adobe software for a monthly or annual fee instead of buying each software individually and updating it manually.

The idea behind Adobe Creative Cloud was to provide flexible and cost-effective solutions for users, particularly those who only use the programs occasionally.

Key Features of Adobe Creative Cloud

The Creative Cloud includes widely used Adobe Programs, such as Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, and more.

  • Adobe Creative Tools: This includes all the Adobe tools we love, such as Illustrator, Photoshop, and more.
  • Cloud Storage: Users can store and sync their photos, graphics, videos, and other files across multiple internet-connected devices.
  • Collaboration: With Creative Cloud, team members can easily collaborate since edits are reflected in real-time.
  • Mobile Apps: With a range of mobile apps, users and businesses can access software from their mobile devices and work on the go.

Pros of Adobe Creative Cloud

This CSP (cloud service provider) designed these services for creative professionals. Here are some advantages users can expect from Creative Cloud.

  • Cost-effective
  • Ability to access your plan from anywhere
  • Easy collaboration
  • Regular updates and new features

Cons of Adobe Creative Cloud

Conversely, the disadvantages of this SaaS platform include:

  • May cost more than perpetual licenses
  • Prices may change
  • May encounter compatibility issues

How Much Does Adobe Creative Cloud Cost?

Users only pay for the services and applications they want to use. There are no upfront costs involved since subscriptions are paid monthly or yearly.

There are different levels of pricing for individuals, businesses, students and teachers, and schools and universities.

Individual users can gain access to all 20+ apps in the Creative Cloud suite, with the exemption of the Substance 3D apps, for $54.99 per month.

For more information, you can visit Adobe Creative Cloud’s plans and pricing page.


Founded in 2011, DigitalOcean is a cloud infrastructure provider offering virtual private servers and cloud computing for businesses that want to scale.

Although it’s headquartered in New York City, they have data centers around the world to provide uninterrupted cloud services worldwide.

DigitalOcean started as a simpler and more affordable alternative to larger cloud computing service providers like AWS and Microsoft Azure.

Consequently, it rapidly became popular among small businesses and developers and now has over 500,000 customers globally.

Key Features of DigitalOcean

DigitalOcean is popular among developers and businesses looking for a simple, flexible, and reliable cloud infrastructure provider. Some of its key offerings include:

  • Compute: Build and deploy faster by using scalable cloud-based computing solutions. Get versatile server configurations for applications of all sizes, consistent pricing, and unmatched cost-to-performance ratios.
  • Storage: With DigitalOcean, you can quickly store and access various amounts of data in the cloud. Spaces Object Storage is S3-compatible and includes a built-in content delivery network (CDN). Volume Blocks Storage allows businesses to add more storage to compute servers.
  • Networking: With powerful networking services like cloud firewalls, load balancers, virtual private cloud, reserved IPs, scalable DNS, and IPv6 addresses, you can enhance and secure your apps.
  • Databases: With the power of DigitalOcean’s core virtual machine and fully managed MySQL, MongoDB, Redis, and PostgreSQL databases, users can boost the performance of their applications without building and running their server.

Pros of DigitalOcean

If you’re a developer looking for a web hosting service, you’ll be satisfied with what DigitalOcean has to offer. However, any user will find these pros to their advantage.

  • Scalable hosting service
  • Professional documentation system
  • 99.99 % uptime
  • Super fast load speed record
  • Scalable and affordable pricing

Cons of DigitalOcean

Here are the cons of using DigitalOcean every user should consider:

  • No phone support
  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Automated backups are not free

DigitalOcean Pricing

Businesses can work with a cloud consulting company to get recommendations for the best mix of solutions to meet their needs. However, DigitalOcean’s sales team can do this as well. Here are the starting prices of some DigitalOcean computing services:

  • Droplets: $4/month
  • Kubernetes: $12/month
  • Databases: $15/month
  • Load balancers: $12/month

You can use the DigitalOcean Price Estimate Calculator to get a custom quotation based on the services and usage you need.

Cloud Computing Service Providers: Which Is the Best?

Now that we’re done exploring the best cloud service providers and their strengths and weaknesses, you can make an informed decision as to which platform best suits your business needs.

You can also hire the best IT support company to help you with assessing and finding the right cloud strategy.

AWS may emerge as the top provider in terms of reliability, security, scalability, and customer support, but other providers on this list are worth looking at as well. It’s important to evaluate each provider’s offerings and compare them with your business needs.

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