Microsoft Azure vs AWS vs Google Cloud

In more recent years, public cloud adoption has become an integral part of most businesses' infrastructure strategy and roadmap. Enterprises from around the world have already made the switch from self-hosted infrastructure to public cloud configurations.

And while companies will still need some on-premise technology, they can now develop applications directly in the cloud. In fact, roughly 73% of businesses already have at least one app or part of their infrastructure in the cloud. By 2020, 83% of enterprise workloads will reside in the cloud.

For those looking to go down the road of cloud adoption, several questions come to mind. These are "Which cloud platform should I adopt?" "Which platform provides the most cost-effective services for my needs?" and "How do I go about my cloud adoption?"

How Are Public Clouds Used?

Typically, public cloud services are used as:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) - This allows people to use cloud-based applications.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) - This is a cloud platform that provides runtime environments for developing, managing, and testing applications.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - This is a cloud platform hosting infrastructure components that are present in physical data centers. IaaS is, thus, a virtual data center.

According to industry analyst firm Gartner, the IaaS market has reached $52.9 billion in 2019 and is expected to exceed $83.5 billion by 2021. The SaaS market, on the other hand, is at $87.2 billion and will reach $117.1 billion in two years. Although smaller than both SaaS and IaaS, PaaS will also see steady growth over the coming years. In 2019, the PaaS market is at $18.6 billion, reaching $27.3 billion in 2021.

What's The Public Cloud Market Share

At the moment, three leading cloud platform providers make up the majority of the market share. These are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). As of the first quarter of 2019, AWS dominates the market at a 38% percent market share. It's followed by Microsoft Azure with 18% and Google Cloud at 9%.

Now, even if both Azure and GCP are behind AWS in terms of market shares, they have both seen significant growth in recent years. While AWS has seen 41% in growth, Azure and GCP saw 75% and 83%, respectively.

The Big 3 Cloud Platform Summary Comparison

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  • Amazon Web Services - Having an extensive toolset that continues to expand, AWS's capabilities have a lot to offer for businesses of different sizes and in many industries. Its main issues, however, are in terms of its confusing cost structure and its focus on the public cloud. A lack of attention on hybrid or private clouds means that interoperating with your data center isn't AWS's selling point.
  • Microsoft Azure - With a similarly capable could infrastructure, Azure is a close competitor to AWS. Very few companies have the enterprise background and Windows support of Microsoft. As such, Azure knows that many companies operate their own data centers, focusing much of its effort on the hybrid cloud.
  • Google Cloud Platform - Though it's the underdog in this top 3 competition, GCP is also the one that entered the market last. It also doesn't have the same enterprise focus as its counterparts, meaning that it doesn't draw in as many corporate customers. That said, the platform is well-funded; it has an in-depth technical expertise and is investing significantly in AI, ML, and data analytics.

AWS Vs Azure Vs Google Cloud Customers

Since it's the oldest on the market, AWS also has the biggest community support and user base. Among its high-profile customers, we can include the likes of Unilever, BMW, Netflix, Airbnb, and Samsung.

Azure has also taken its fair share of well-known customers. In fact, almost 80% of Fortune 500 companies use it. Some of these are Fujifilm, HP, Johnson Controls, Polycom, Apple, and Honeywell, among others.

When it comes to Google Cloud, it also has its own high-end companies that use its services. Among the most noteworthy, we can include PayPal, Bloomberg, 20th Century Fox, Dominos, HSBC Bank, and others.

All three cloud providers offer cloud computing services that can meet even the most basic needs. The main difference lies in the total number of services and how these fit with each company's needs. Below, we will be taking a closer look at each of these platforms in more detail and see which services and features distinguish them from their competition.

AWS Pros and Cons

As mentioned, AWS's primary strength is in the public cloud market, being the cloud IaaS majority market share leader for over a decade. One of the reasons for this popularity is its vast scope of operations. AWS has a broad and growing array of available services.

It also provides a comprehensive network of worldwide data centers. In a sense, AWS is the most mature and enterprise-ready cloud provider as it offers the most capabilities of governing large numbers of resources and users.

On the downside, Amazon's platform has cost-related issues. While it has lowered its prices, many find it difficult to understand its cost structure and manage their costs effectively while running high-volume workloads. Another drawback is its limited hybrid or private cloud capabilities.

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Why Choose AWS

AWS is a good choice for both startups and enterprises alike. The platform provides numerous services for both web and analytical workloads as well as large scale data center migrations.

Amazon is also looking to help differently-sized customers by offering niche services via RoboMaker, while also building a virtual private server in the form of LightSail. This way, they want to help even small, single-server workloads to be onboarded without much overhead.

From a compute perspective:

  • AWS provides a wide range of virtual machines (VM) types (136 VM types over 26 VM families) and storage options. This allows customers to run small web workloads to large SAP or HPC workloads.
  • It also provides Bare-Metal-as-a-Service for single tenancy for compliance and regulatory workloads.
  • AWS provides placement groups that ensure virtualized workloads run on designated underlying hardware.

In terms of managed databases, AWS supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, Oracle, and MS SQL. They also feature their own PostgreSQL and MySQL compatible database offerings. For NoSQL databases, they provide DynamoDB for key-value and document, Elasticache for key-value caching, and Neptune for graphs.

AWS also provides a managed VPN Gateway, NAT gateway, Direct Connect Gateway, Transit Gateway, and a recently announced Client VPN service. This will remove the need to deploy OpenVPN servers when managing access to the company's VMs.

As far as network security is concerned, AWS has managed services for:

  • Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  • AWS Inspector
  • AWS Shield for DDoS protection
  • GuardDuty for threat detection
  • AWS Config and CloudTrail for inventory auditing and policy management

For data security, AWS provides:

  • KMS and CloudHSM services for key management
  • Encryption at Rest for most storage services
  • Macie - an AI-driven data loss prevention (DLP) service

Microsoft Azure Pros and Cons

Though Azure came later on the cloud market than AWS, it got a significant jumpstart by taking its on-premise software and moving it to the cloud. This includes Windows Server, Office365, Sharepoint, .Net, SQL Server, Dynamics Active Directory, and more.

This is particularly important since many businesses use Windows and other Microsoft software. And as Azure is highly integrated with these applications, companies that use Microsoft software will also feel at home using Azure. Also, those that are already Microsoft enterprise customers can expect sizable discounts.

The drawbacks of Azure sometimes come in the form of technical support, training, documentation, and the width of its ISV partner ecosystem.

Why Choose Azure

Azure also provides a wide range of features that may be preferred by customers that are already using Microsoft products. With over 151 VM types over 26 VM families, Azure can support both small web workloads as well as SAP, HPC, and Oracle workloads. It also has Windows and Linux distros like CentOS, SUSE, RHEL, and Ubuntu, as well as a separate family of instances for AI/ML workloads.

For those who want to interface Azure and run services in their own data centers, they can use Azure Stack, its hybrid cloud computing software solution. The platform also offers support for hybrid storage apps like StorSimple. Data centers with predominantly Microsoft workloads that need to migrate to the cloud can use Azure Site Recovery to do so.

When it comes to SQL and NoSQL databases:

  • Azure provides managed MS SQL Server and SQL Datawarehouse
  • Managed databases for MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MariaDB
  • Azure Table for managed key-value storage
  • CosmosDB for multi-model globally distributed NoSQL database

In terms of billing, Azure provides a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model. Those that have existing enterprise accounts can also pre-purchase Azure subscriptions as part of their annual renewals. This makes it easier for budgeting.

Google Cloud Platform Pros and Cons

Unlike the other two, GCP specializes in high compute offerings in the form of ML, Big Data, and analytics. It also offers great scale and load balancing. Many customers choose to use GCP as a secondary provider. Nevertheless, those that are more open-source and DevOps-centric will tend to go with GCP as their main cloud provider.

In terms of downsides, Google's platform doesn't offer the same array of features and services like Azure or AWS. It also doesn't have as many global data centers as its two main competitors, but it's expanding at a rapid pace.

Why Choose GCP

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While Google has the smallest number of VM sizes (28 instance types over 4 categories), it makes up for it by allowing its customers to create their own custom sizes based on memory and CPU. This means that users can match their cloud workloads sizing to their own on-premise sizing.

Billing is also based on the total memory and CPU used rather than VMs, which reduces the overall waste of unused capacity. Another waste-reducing feature is its per-second billing instead of the traditional per-hour method. Google also provides automatic discounts that can reduce the on-demand price. The sustained use discount, for instance, offers a price reduction when a VM runs more than a certain number of hours in a month. This makes GCP the most cost-effective cloud provider.

VM startup times in GCP are very fast, making scaling out especially responsive. The platform also helps its users assess, plan, and live-migrate their VMs to GCP for free. It does this through its third-party cloud migration tools like CloudPhysics, Velostrata, and CloudEndure.

Having a global, low latency network, GCP is great at its networking. While other cloud providers limit their VPC networks to any given region, Google's VPC network spans all its regions. This makes it easier to build applications for global customers without the need for cross-region infrastructure design or data replication. The same thing goes for object storage.

GCP provides support for managed PostgreSQL and MySQL databases. Also, for those wanting a globally distributed database, they can use Spanner. This is Google's NewSQL globally distributed database service that provides developers a production-ready storage solution that uses consensus algorithms and atomic clocks, among other such features. These help with synchronizing transactions between nodes.

What Cloud Solution is Best for You?

While the aforementioned services are not all that each platform has to offer, they are, however, the most noteworthy features that set them apart from one another. That said, here is a short rundown to help you make a decision.

Choosing AWS - Amazon's platform has a rich collection of tools and services for large scale uses. That said, you should make sure to understand its pricing structure before running a high volume of workloads on the service.

AWS is a good fit for:

  • Larger companies
  • More global reach
  • Flexibility and a wide range of services
  • Stable and reliable services

Choosing Azure - Azure's biggest appeal is its Microsoft software integrations. Similarly, the platform's focus on the hybrid cloud helps bridge your legacy data center environment with the scalable Microsoft cloud.

Azure is a good fit for:

  • Developers
  • Companies operating on Windows-based business apps and platforms
  • Migrating to the cloud for the first time
  • Companies needing a hybrid solution

Choosing GCP -  Google is a great platform in terms of its application container deployments, big data, ML, and analytics capabilities. It also offers the best pricing model of all the three.

GCP is a good fit for:

  • Its comprehensive container-based model
  • Its hyperscale networking environment
  • Developing and deploying cloud-based apps and software
  • Companies already ahead with their digital migration and that want a leaner, more cost-efficient, and greener tech solution

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Every business owner, director or CTO has countless questions before deciding on whether or not to migrate to a public cloud, as opposed to using the already familiar in-house methods that have been used for years. We have come up with important questions to ask yourself before migrating to a public cloud.

All these questions, curiosities and worries are well-founded because you need to know all the advantages and disadvantages implied by undergoing the switch to a public cloud. It may be a lengthy process, and this is why you should see if it’s worth it, or not. Most of the times it is, and here’s why.

The cloud services most companies are familiar with are Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Google Cloud Platform. While these services are the most popular, they may not prove to be the best solutions for your company, depending on the costs you have estimated in your budget and depending on the data you need to migrate to a public cloud.

Microsoft Azure was created for building, testing, deploying and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. Similar to this cloud service, the AWS, which is a subsidiary to, provides on-demand cloud computing platforms to individuals and companies on a paid subscription basis.

The cloud platform offered by Google comes complete with more or less the same features, being a suite of cloud computing services that run on the same infrastructure used internally by Google for its end-user products; the most famous examples: Google Search and Youtube.

If you’re not sure yet whether you should migrate your company’s data to a public cloud, you should ask yourself these three questions:

1. Do I want access to a larger talent pool working for my company?

It is the first question you should start with. By switching over to a public cloud, not only will you benefit from 24/7 technical support, but you will also stand to gain from the years of experience which can be had by working with IT resource management companies. These companies experience a more extensive variety of situations that may appear because they encounter more situations on a daily basis than most companies encounter in an entire year.

Also, migrating to a public cloud, you will have access to talented people from all around the world, people you would otherwise have no access to because they live far away on a different part of the globe.

2. How will the knowledge transfer and other business-related activities go after migration?

Smoother, Faster, Better, Stronger. When you have your IT knowledge in one place where it can be accessible for your employees from any corner of the world they are, it’s easier to get things done from both a technical and business standpoint.

Your employees can have all the benefits they would have if they were present at the company’s headquarters, even if they are currently working for one of your clients, in their offices, which could be located on another continent.

Information becomes accessible at a click of a button, without having to go through all the email and phone calls to receive requested materials.

3. Is it a greener approach for my company?

In our modern day society, nothing should be more important than keeping our business as green as possible and limiting our carbon footprint to a minimum. It is what any self-respecting company is currently doing, and migrating to cloud services is at the top of the list when it comes to evolving your company into an environmental-friendly one.

Without having to keep all those servers plugged in and consume way too much energy than your company needs, you’ll be exponentially reducing the mark you leave on the planet, and you can start on having a positive one on the business world.

If you’re interested in learning more about cloud services and how to migrate to a public cloud; be sure to get in touch with us - right here

Azure vs Amazon Web Services


Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services go head-to-head, but which one is really the best on top? Whether you are planning a multicloud solution with Azure and AWS, or migrating to Azure, you can compare the IT capabilities of Azure and AWS services in all categories. As the leading public cloud platforms, Azure and AWS each offer businesses a broad and deep set of capabilities with global coverage. Yet many organizations choose to use both platforms together for greater choice and flexibility, as well as to spread their risk and dependencies with a multicloud approach. Consulting companies and software vendors might also build on and use both Azure and AWS, as these platforms represent most of the cloud market demand.

Essential Features


  • Data management and databases
  • Compute
  • Networking
  • Performance

Security and management tools include Active Directory Federation Services, Azure Active Directory, Multi-Factor Auth, among others, as well as a range of integrations for Azure monitoring and performance tweaks.


  • Content delivery and storage
  • Compute
  • Networking
  • Database

No matter which IaaS offering you get, you will be using Amazon’s identity and security services such as AWS CloudHSM’s key storage service and Amazon’s own Active Directory.  Not only that, but AWS offerings also have a range of management tools that users can use, including AWS Config, AWS Cloudtrail, and Cloudwatch.


Deploying Apps & PaaS


Azure has multiple app deployment options for developers. Including App Services, Cloud Services, Service Fabric, Container Service, Functions, Batch, WebJobs and more. No matter what type of application you are developing, Microsoft has great tools in place to help deploy and scale it.


AWS offers similar solutions with Container Service, Elastic Beanstalk, Lambda, and Batch. AWS does not have as many options or features on the app hosting side. Microsoft has flexed their knowledge of developer tools to have a little bit of an advantage for hosting cloud apps.


Hybrid Cloud


Hybrid clouds are easier with Azure, partly because Microsoft has foreseen the need for hybrid clouds early on.  Azure offers substantial support for hybrid clouds, where you can use your onsite servers to run your applications on the Azure Stack.  You can even set your compute resources to tap cloud-based resources when necessary. This makes moving to the cloud seamless.  Aside from that, several Azure offerings help you maintain and manage hybrid clouds such as Azure Stack, Hybrid SQL Server, and Azure StorSimple. Microsoft’s long history of working on enterprise IT gives them an upper hand when it comes to the hybrid cloud.


While Amazon realizes that it needs to strengthen its offerings to support hybrid clouds, it is still catching up, with more investments earmarked for hybrid clouds, according to Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer. Still, the retail giant currently has a handful of solutions that is geared for companies who wants hybrid cloud deployments such as Storage Gateway, Direct Connect, and DynamoDB Local.


Government Cloud


Harness the power of government cloud computing, so you can focus on advancing your mission. Designed only for US federal, state, local, and tribal agencies and their partners, Azure Government offers:

  • Strict validation program to determine eligibility before organizations can move their workloads
  • Complete data, applications, and hardware residency in the continental United States
  • Geo-replication between datacenters 500 miles apart supporting business continuity
  • Specially constructed datacenters with 24x7 monitoring
  • Physical separation within the continental US, operated by screened US citizens


The AWS cloud provides scalable cost-efficient solutions for the US Federal Government. The cloud services can be employed to meet mandates, reduce costs, drive efficiencies, and increase innovation across Civilian agencies and the Department of Defense. It is a pay-as-you-go model, delivering access to up-to-date technology resources that are managed by experts.


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Cloud Wars: Microsoft vs. Amazon Web Services

Why Microsoft Azure is the #1 Cloud Vendor

While Amazon Web Services has typically been a strong contender for cloud solutions, Microsoft is walking away with the title of number one cloud vendor (Source: Bob Evans on With highlighted features of scalability, innovation, and complete cloud capabilities, Microsoft is a clear winner in the battle between AWS and Microsoft Azure.
Download the infographic below to see how we break down how Microsoft Azure shines against AWS in all things cloud.

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Managed Solution is in the top 1% of Microsoft Cloud Service Providers worldwide, and a premier partner aligned with Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Download our Cloud Comparison Calculator to receive access to the latest in cloud pricing aggregation, your all up cost of on premises vs. a cloud hosted solution

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Microsoft wins battle for Boeing in war with AWS

By Clint Boulton as written on

Boeing chose the Azure cloud platform because Microsoft agreed to collaborate on analytics software intended to help improve operational efficiency in the narrow margin aviation sector.

Boeing's decision to run its aviation analytics applications on the Azure cloud computing software is a big win for Microsoft, which is chasing Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the high-stakes race to sell computing, storage and other infrastructure software over the internet. The aerospace giant based its choice largely on Microsoft’s willingness to help it develop applications to serve its 300 airline customers, which are starved for ways to optimize fuel efficiency and better manage fleets.
"The combination of technical acumen and depth, as well as where they're investing and how they're addressing the business customer, really matched up with our objectives," says Andrew Gendreau, director of advanced information solutions at Boeing's digital aviation unit. He tells that Microsoft also impressed with its commitment to advancing its Cortana analytics and internet of things suites as well as augmented reality, which could play a big factor modeling aviation modeling.
That even a division within a large enterprise would standardize on Azure shows just how far the platform has come in a few years. AWS grabbed an early lead in corporate cloud infrastructure a decade ago as developers began consuming its elastic storage and compute services. With AWS proving reliable and cost-effective, developers sung AWS' praises, boasting that the capability to spin up and shut down servers at will made application development more nimble. AWS soon began attracting larger corporate customers, notably Netflix, Capital One, Pfizer and the CIA.

Boeing deal shows Microsoft no longer 'bumbling around'

Azure has come on strong under the leadership of CEO Satya Nadella, whose mobile first, cloud first strategy is resonating with CIOs. Pattonair CIO Brian Long recently told that CIOs have noticed how Microsoft has "gotten its act together," entering the mobile and cloud frays after a few years of "bumbling around."
Boeing's digital aviation unit chose Azure after using AWS, CenturyLink and other vendors. Gendreau acknowledges that while there are "players that accelerate your business" most cloud providers offer point solutions, which can introduce complexity in Boeing customer's aircraft systems. Conversely, Microsoft is willing to work closely with organizations to understand their business objectives and provide more comprehensive software suites.
Gendreau says Microsoft will help Boeing generate analytics that enable predictive aircraft maintenance, optimize fuel efficiency and fleet management in an industry where margins are razor thin. While airlines globally generate about $700 billion in revenue, they spend about $700 billion in operating costs, Gendreau says. Ensuring access to real-time machine information will assist pilots, mechanics, dispatchers and flight attendants in making flying more efficient. Ideally, this will help airlines sustain profitable growth.
"The aircraft are becoming smarter and smarter and the operators are all looking to gain more operational insights into what's happening on the aircraft," says Greg Jones, Microsoft’s global industry director for travel. "This is a true opportunity to look at what transformation can occur within the aviation space."
Several smaller organizations, from native cloud companies such as Box to the nearly 200-year-old publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt are using Azure. Yet if Microsoft is going to challenge AWS it needs more marquee enterprise customers like Boeing and General Electric, which earlier this month said that its Predix IoT platform would run on Azure.
Yet Microsoft faces a big challenge in a cloud market where exclusive deals remain hard to come by. AWS enjoys commercial relationships with Box, GE and Boeing.

In AWS, Microsoft faces stiff test

Ed Anderson, a Gartner analyst who tracks the cloud computing market, says Microsoft’s recent enterprise wins underscores how traditional businesses such as GE and Boeing are adopting progressive computing approaches, including cloud, IoT and machine intelligence. “The fact that Boeing announced this with Microsoft rather than with AWS shows some traction that Microsoft is gaining,” says Anderson. “It’s very important for Microsoft to win deals like this.”
AWS played a major role in driving's profitable second quarter Thursday, reporting revenue of $2.87 billion, up 58 percent from the same period in 2015 and the most it ever delivered in one quarter. If AWS keeps up the pace, it will easily exceed the $10 billion run rate CEO Jeff Bezos foreshadowed for 2016. And there's no signs of slippage: selected AWS as its preferred public cloud infrastructure provider and Kellogg’s, Brooks Brothers, Ferrara Candy Company are all running critical SAP business applications on AWS.
Microsoft’s cloud business is on a bit of a tear itself. The company said earlier this month that its fourth-quarter revenue from Azure grew 102 percent, while Azure compute usage doubled year-over-year. Its Intelligent Cloud, which includes server Windows Server and Azure, grew 7 percent to $6.7 billion. More broadly, Microsoft’s commercial cloud business, which includes Azure, as well as Office 365 and Dynamics CRM, achieved a $12 billion run rate, up from $10 billion in its previous quarter.
However, Microsoft’s accounting practices – it declines to disclose revenues for Azure alone -- make apples-to-apples comparisons between Azure and AWS impossible. Anderson says that while Microsoft’s enterprise reach goes deep, particularly with businesses that use .NET applications and that have inked enterprise agreements, AWS enjoys the pole position in the public cloud market. As such,Anderson says, Microsoft “must go the extra mile to attract some of these big deals.”


AWS enables Netflix to quickly deploy thousands of servers and terabytes of storage within minutes. Users can stream Netflix shows and movies from anywhere in the world, including on the web, on tablets, or on mobile devices such as iPhones.

Online content provider Netflix is able to support seamless global service by partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for services and delivery of content. AWS enables Netflix to quickly deploy thousands of servers and terabytes of storage within minutes. Users can stream Netflix shows and movies from anywhere in the world, including on the web, on tablets, or on mobile devices such as iPhones.


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"With traditional IT, it would take weeks or months to contend with hardware lead times to add more capacity. Using AWS, we can look at user metrics weekly or daily and react with new capacity in 30 seconds." Richard Crowley Director of Operations

AWS Case Study: Slack

About Slack

Slack provides a messaging platform that integrates with and unifies a wide range of communications services such as Twitter, Dropbox, Google Docs, Jira, GitHub, MailChimp, Trello, and Stripe. The San Francisco–based company, which launched its eponymous app in February 2014, was started by a small group of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs that include Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield. Privately-held Slack is on Fortune Magazine’s “Unicorn List” of startup firms worth $1 billion or more, with a $2.8 billion valuation supported by a five percent weekly user growth rate and major brand-name customers including Adobe, Samsung, Intuit, NASA, Dow Jones, eBay, and Expedia.

The Challenge

In the age of the unicorn startups, Slack has drawn attention for its meteoric rise and potential for disrupting traditional business communications tools, particularly email. By June 2015—less than 18 months after its launch—the company already had more than 1.1 million daily users, 300,000 paid seats, and more than 30 million messages flowing through Slack each week via integrations with other services.
Slack’s founders had already learned hard lessons from previous failed ventures. One of those was the importance of picking the right IT infrastructure to run the business. If Slack was to succeed in a fiercely competitive business-software marketplace, its founders knew they would need a lean staff, low costs, and above all an IT environment capable of supporting speed, agility, and innovation. Going to the cloud was the logical choice.
“The realities of physical space, hardware acquisition, replacement parts, running a server facility with all its costs—all the physical manifestations that can lead to breakages—made a traditional IT environment impractical for an Internet startup,” says Richard Crowley, Slack’s director of operations. “Plus we would have needed an extra layer of expertise just to run the infrastructure. We could have operated with that kind of IT infrastructure, but the cost and complexity would have made it much harder to launch the business.”
Why Amazon Web Services
Crowley says Slack turned to Amazon Web Services out of experience and because it was the best choice for the company going forward. Tiny Speck—the original company name for what became Slack Technologies—used AWS in 2009 when it was the only viable offering for public cloud services.
“Given their expertise and pains running a more traditional environment when Flickr was developed, Slack’s founders realized it was a no brainer to use AWS,” says Crowley. “During the development of Slack, the feeling was that AWS was good to us and would continually improve with more and better features. There was no need to leave.”
Slack has a relatively simple IT architecture that is based on a broad range of AWS services, including i2.xlarge Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances for basic compute tasks; Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for users’ file uploads and static assets; and Elastic Load Balancing to balance workloads across Amazon EC2 instances.
For security, Slack uses Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) to control security groups and firewall rules and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to control user credentials and roles. The company uses Amazon CloudTrail for monitoring logs related to Amazon EC2 instances, and Amazon Route 53 for DNS management.
Along with the AWS services, Slack is using the Redis data structure server, the Apache Solr search tool, the Squid caching proxy, and a MySQL database.

slack-arch-diagram managed solution

The Benefits

Using AWS as its IT infrastructure has helped Slack achieve an astonishing growth rate and a multibillion-dollar valuation with a platform that supports speed of innovation and responsiveness, reliability, and security features to ensure the confidentiality of customer information.
Crowley says AWS gives fast-growing companies like Slack the ability to minimize their involvement with daily IT management. That lets them focus on pushing innovative products and services to market quickly. “We have a lot of metrics and programs that tell us about available capacity for new customer teams to join and existing customers to grow their Slack usage,” he says. “With traditional IT, it would take weeks or months to contend with hardware lead times to add more capacity. Using AWS, we can look at user metrics weekly or daily and react with new capacity in 30 seconds.”
The ease of provisioning resources in the AWS cloud allows Slack to practice disaster recovery scenarios, which is essential for assuring existing and prospective customers that their information will always be there, when and where they need it. “One of the real strengths of AWS is that we can do a lot of re-provisioning of our infrastructure, making sure that we can recover quickly and competently in the event that something goes down,” Crowley says. “Having the ability to quickly grab twice as many of a certain class of instances is great. It gives us the ability to regularly practice our disaster recovery scenarios.”
A large part of the appeal of Slack is that it replaces disparate communications tools with a single, unified platform. But that puts an increased burden on Slack to ensure that its customers' information is safe, and that Slack can deliver the kind of enterprise reliability and high availability to support the service-level agreements expected of robust enterprise applications.
“As a company, our business is integral to our customers’ daily lives,” Crowley says. “So in our customers’ eyes, our security controls and ability to deliver a reliable service become incredibly important, and it’s a responsibility we take incredibly seriously.”
He says AWS immediately addresses customers’ security concerns because AWS publishes service organization control (SOC) reports, which are based on third-party examinations evaluating how AWS achieves compliance controls and objectives. “The fact that we can rely on the AWS security posture to boost our own security is really important for our business. AWS does a much better job at security than we could ever do running a cage in a data center,” Crowley says. ”Hosting Slack in AWS makes our customers more confident that Slack is safe, secure, and always on.”
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Case Study: Condé Nast goes all-in with AWS Cloud. The company reduced costs by 40% and increased operational performance by 30-40%

About Condé Nast

Condé Nast is a well-established media and publications company known for producing high quality lifestyle content suited for everyone. As a result of going all-in into the AWS Cloud, the company reduced costs by 40% and increased operational performance by 30-40%.

In just three months, Condé Nast was able to migrate over 500 servers, one petabyte of storage, various mission critical applications (such as HR, Legal, and Sales), and over 100 database servers into the AWS Cloud. With this migration, Condé Nast can now create content faster, while improving organizational creativity, productivity, agility, flexibility and time to market.

Read more customer success stories or search by industry to learn how Managed Solution helps businesses implement technology productivity solutions.

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