The Best Cloud Computing Service Providers


Author: Tangent Solutions

Published: 27 January 2023

At Tangent Solutions, one of the questions we get asked frequently by customers is, “Which is the best cloud computing service provider in South Africa?”.

It is important to remember there is a myriad of variables to consider when building a business’s cloud strategy. One is selecting the right cloud provider, and another critical decision is if the company requires the engineering of a single cloud, multi-cloud or hybrid cloud environment

In this article, we take a closer look at some of the best cloud providers in South Africa, expressly limited to the top three global hyper-scale cloud providers, which accounts for 62% of global spend. Furthermore, our focus will be on providers that are well-suited to medium to large sized enterprises. 

Importantly, selecting a cloud provider is highly dependent on the IT landscape and culture of a given enterprise, although one cannot really go wrong. It is integral to note that cloud implementation is a fundamental key to success when moving to and operating in the cloud. No matter which cloud service provider a business selects. Therefore, many businesses opt to work with cloud partners.  

As the world becomes increasingly digital, businesses are turning to cloud providers to meet and support their technology, digital as well as IT requirements. This is especially true in South Africa, where cloud adoption is on the rise. 

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS is one of the most popular cloud providers in the world, and for good reason. As of August 2022, AWS owned 33% of the global cloud vendor infrastructure market, according to Statista. 

AWS launched its Africa region in Cape Town in 2020. The region has three Availability Zones, which means that it is comprised of three separate data centres. 

Reasons customers choose AWS, include: 

  • Scalability, AWS allows customers to easily scale their resources up or down as needed, making it a great option for businesses that need to handle fluctuating workloads. 
  • AWS has a large global infrastructure, AWS currently boast 79 Availability Zones. Meaning customers can easily deploy their apps in multiple regions for better performance and reliability.  
  • Linux workloads and custom software, AWS can easily support Windows workloads running commercial software. Although, in some cases licensing can be a bit more complex for customers with existing Microsoft agreements. AWS makes this simple for customers as it offers an incredible range of services for Linux workloads and custom software, from its cloud-based computing services to its managed databases.  
  • Widest service offering, AWS launches a substantial number of new services on an annual basis. In relation to the three providers, AWS currently offers the widest array of. The result is that there is the right fit for almost any need. Although as mentioned earlier, architecting correctly is pivotal to cloud success and cost management, and that’s where the AWS Cloud partner network provides support.  

Microsoft Azure (Microsoft Cloud)

Another popular option for South African businesses is Microsoft Azure. Moreover, Microsoft Azure is the second biggest cloud vendor in the world, with 21% of the market share.   

Azure was the inaugural cloud hyperscaler with a presence in South Africa with the launch of their South Africa North (Johannesburg) and South Africa West (Cape Town) cloud regions. These regions deliver a total of three Availability Zones between the two areas. 

Reasons customers choose Azure, include: 

  • Hybrid capabilities, Azure allows existing Hyper-V customers to easily extend their on-premises infrastructure into the cloud. 
  • Integration with other Microsoft products, Azure integrates well with other Microsoft collaboration and productivity products such as Office 365 as well as Dynamics 365. Beneficial for businesses that already use these products.  
  • Existing relationships, Microsoft has a well-established presence in South Africa with existing relationships and agreements at many large enterprises. This enables an easy extension of the agreement to include Azure.  
  • Stability and redundancy, as Microsoft Azure offers multiple data centres within a region, the Availability Zones allow for increased network stability and redundancy. 
  • Comprehensive machine learning and AI, Microsoft offers a vast range of machine learning and AI tools suited for productivity, scalability, and agility. Their partnerships with industry-leading AI and machine learning businesses provide clients access to the latest innovations in this field.      

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Google Cloud Platform is another strong option for South African businesses. Google Cloud currently ranks third in terms of market presence globally, with a 6% market share. 

A primary concern here is that GCP is not yet available in South Africa. Google has announced its intention to launch a presence within the region soon. So, it’s only a matter of time. However, for now, GCP is not available in-country. Making GCP a viable option for applications that do not have high latency requirements and are not bound by data sovereignty laws. 

Reasons customers choose GCP, include: 

  • The simplicity of billing and accounts, GCP treats discounting and billing for long-term use of resources in a simple and elegant way, removing a lot of complexity for the customer. The structure of accounts, projects and usage also makes the platform easier to manage.  
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning, GCP offers powerful AI and ML services. Known for its performance, scalability, and security, GCP is an attractive option for businesses that want to leverage these technologies. It also offers an AI hub, which features an extensive range of pre-trained models. In addition to advanced machine learning capabilities, including model optimisation and hyperparameter.  
  • Strong data analytics capabilities, GCP has a range of cost-effective, scalable, and automated data analytics services. These services are flexible and easy to tailor to the business’s specific. Moreover, it provides deeper insights, goes beyond basic analytics, and allows for quick diagnosis of problems relating to underlying data.  

Cloud Computing in South Africa

In conclusion, AWS, Azure and GCP are all solid choices for South African businesses looking to adopt a cloud strategy. Each provider offers a wide range of services, and they are all known for their high levels of reliability as well as security. Ultimately, the best choice for your business will depend on the business’s specific requirements.  

Today, it is a growing trend within enterprises to develop hybrid and/or multi-cloud strategies to meet the company’s needs. According to Statista, as of 2022, 80% of enterprise respondents had a hybrid cloud strategy, with 90% noting they had a multi-cloud strategy. Often businesses take on multi-cloud to enjoy the best of all worlds, essentially taking advantage of vendor-specific capabilities to meet the needs of the company within their cloud environment. Obviously, these cloud strategies are often more complex. Although, it is clear that an enterprise’s requirements substantially impact decisions related to selecting a cloud provider and the cloud environment type.  

As such, it is imperative that business research and evaluate each cloud computing service provider carefully before deciding which cloud provider is suitable for the company. Alternatively, a company can take on a cloud solutions partner, such as Tangent Solutions.

In this scenario, the enterprise benefits from years of infrastructure engineering experience. Ensuring the business develops a cloud strategy and well-architected cloud environment that suits the company’s needs from the start, including single cloud, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments. Contact Tangent Solutions today to get started with cloud computing. 

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