You have done your research and determined that you need to install your data center into the public cloud. You studied the technology and defined the criteria you will take into account in your purchase decision. The time has come to choose a public cloud provider to host your virtual machines. But what is the vendor that offers the services and technical support that best fit your environment and your needs? If the decision is overwhelming, you may consider hiring someone to help you make the right choice, like this London cloud computing consultancy.
This article compares four suppliers of public cloud market leaders, namely Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, Microsoft and Rackspace, and ranks them based on the following criteria:
- Supports migration of VM
- Support personalized images
- Image Library
1. Support for VM migration
The use of public and hybrid Clouds is becoming increasingly common, so it is important that companies can move virtual machines (VM) hypervisor on a site in the public cloud and repatriate these workloads in the enterprise if necessary.
Among the leading provider of Cloud services, AWS is one that offers a highly transparent migration path VM, although Microsoft is not far behind. AWS provides a graphical interface called AWS Management Portal for vCenter that allows virtualization administrators to manage their resources via Amazon VMware vCenter. The portal also provides the ability to migrate VMware to the public cloud.
Microsoft created its Azure public cloud above Windows Server and Hyper-V. Given that Azure uses the same software as many networks on site, it is relatively easy to migrate VMs between local data centers and Azure. The process is not transparent, but is relatively easy once you have established connectivity between Azure and a local network.
Google does not support VM migration in the Google Compute Engine. However, there are third party suppliers, such as Cohesive Networks, which allow users to import the VM into Google Compute Engine.
Rackspace does not give the option to migrate the VMs to the cloud or from the Cloud. However, it offers a service called RackConnect, which is designed for hybrid clouds.
2. Supports custom images
The cloud providers usually allow you to create VMs from predefined images, but these generic operating system images do not always meet the needs of a business. Therefore, they must offer the ability to create and operate customized virtual machine images.
AWS provides APIs that you can use to import VM images in the Amazon Cloud. AWS allows importing:
- Images VMDK VMware ESX and VMware Workstation;
- The virtual hard disk images Citrix XenServer;
- Images Microsoft Hyper-V VHD for Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2;
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.1-5.11, 6.1-6.6 (using Cloud Access), Centos 5.1-5.11, 6.1-6.6, Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10, 13.04, 13.10, 14.04, 14.10 and Debian 6.0.0-6.0.8, 7.0.0-7.2.0
Microsoft can create a custom image rather easily. The simplest method is to create a virtual hard disk file and import it into Azure. Although you can create zero VHD images, System Center Virtual Machine Manager can facilitate the imaging process.
Rackspace supports the creation of customized images that can be imported and exported in its cloud environment. Rackspace also provides a custom API designed to share custom images.