Amazon, Azure, and Google, probably in that order. These guys are built for big enterprises that need maximum flexibility about everything. If you’re Netflix, Amazon is for you. If you want to be all devopsy api-slingers, this is where you prefer to play. I’m not going to talk much about these guys but some things to note:
- Bandwidth is metered at an X-cents-per-GB rate. You don’t start with 1 TB – you pay from the first GB or after the first 10GB. That’s a huge factor in any cost consideration.
- Generally great networks, with tons of fancy features – e.g., load balancers, queue services, firewall appliances, snapshots and block volumes, extensive APIs, etc.
- Amazon has a free tier that’s good for one year. CPU is severely restricted but note that inbound bandwidth is free, so these are good for temporary small backup locations.
- I think everyone and his mother has free Azure services – DreamSpark, BizSpark, etc. Note that Microsoft Azure offers Linux as well.
- I have never known anyone who’s used Google Public Compute or even read about a project but I’m sure someone does.
- Amazon is moving into more of the mid majors waters with LightSail.