Atlantic.Net Blog

Cloud Hosting Providers: A Comparison Chart

Kent Roberts
by Atlantic.Net (80posts) under HIPAA Compliant Cloud Hosting

One of the most difficult things for companies is trying to figure out which hosting provider to choose because there are so many different factors to consider. They may know they want cloud server hosting, but exploring different services can sometimes get complicated and confusing. Comparison charts allow a simple, side-by-side view of various parameters offered by a number of different companies so that you can easily determine what you are getting for the price.

Let’s look at basic features for three of the most prominent cloud server hosting providers (CHPs), along with Atlantic.Net. (Note that our “Medium” cloud hosting package at Atlantic.Net is one of the options listed, but all information is current to the best of our knowledge, obtained through third-party comparison pages and the sites of the hosting companies themselves.)

Basic cloud server hosting provider features – chart & explanation

The below comparison chart gives basic parameters for each of three major cloud hosting providers. Not everything is included here for the sake of efficiency, but you will find these patterns hold true, in a general sense, for other features as well. (Note the 24/7 support description in the section below the chart to better understand the prices within that row.) Amazon Web Services Rackspace
Monthly Price $19.94 (Lin.)$29.94 (Win.) $40 $43.20 $58.40
RAM 2 GB 2 GB 1.7 GB 2 GB
Disk Space 80 GB 96 GB 160 GB 80 GB
Billing Timeframe Per Second Per Hour Per Hour Per Hour
24/7 Support Free Free $100 Free

The above gives you an idea of how the top hosting services compare with regards to price, memory (RAM), bandwidth, disk space, billing timeframe, and 24/7 support. Now let’s analyze each feature separately, before looking directly at comparison costs for the amount of RAM and disk space available:

  • Monthly price – The price obviously covers a broad range, from $19.94 to $87.60. It helps to know upfront what the monthly charge will be for each of these services. However, the resources are what’s really important. Each of these cloud server hosting providers offers different prices for different sizes of accounts. In this chart, RAM serves as the stabilizing feature so that we are comparing the same basic type of account.
  • RAM – As stated above, this feature is just about even. Obviously, there is a little discrepancy, but all the hosting services are right around the 2 GB mark for these specific solutions.
    Disk Space – Two of the hosting solutions stand out in this category with significantly more disk space than is offered by the other two companies.
  • Billing Timeframe – Most cloud server hosting providers contain language on their sites explaining that you will be billed for the full hour for each partial “instance-hour” during which you consume a resource. The problem for customers regarding pricing with that policy is that there is a lot of “rounding up” involved, on an hour by hour basis. In other words, if you need more during the hour, you pay for those resources for the entire hour, whether you need them or not. A company that bills for each individual second does not bill for the full hour based on the highest amount of resource use.
  • 24/7 Support – Typically people want support questions answered almost immediately. Because the support team is available 24/7 at Atlantic.Net for free and immediate assistance, the prices for support listed for the other hosting packages are for personal customer support that is available right away.

What really gets helpful here to better gauge price is to look at the amount you will be paying for certain amounts of RAM and disk space on a couple of the different plans. Since Atlantic.Net is obviously at the low-end on price but also has high resource figures, we will use it as the basis for comparison for a couple “what-if” scenarios.

At the $43.20 rate offered by Amazon Web Services, how much would you be paying if the RAM were to be equivalent to that offered by Atlantic.Net (2 GB rather than 1.7 GB)? To get the same amount of RAM Atlantic.Net provides from AWS offered at their per-gigabyte rate, you’d have to pay $52.04 each month (all other factors remaining equal). That allows a clear comparison between the prices and parameters of the two cloud server hosting providers.

At the $58.40 rate offered by Rackspace, how much would you have to pay to get disk space that equals what is offered in the Atlantic.Net plan (80 GB rather than 80 GB)? To get the same amount of disk space from Rackspace as Atlantic.Net offers at Rackspace’s price for each gigabyte in its plan, your cost would be $116.80 (all else remaining equal). Again, comparing in this way gives a better sense of the true difference between prices for the two solutions.

The important thing when you choose a cloud hosting provider is to know exactly what you’re getting. For example, you might get a little irritated if you sign up for an account with a big-name cloud service and then realize you will have to pay $1200 per year to get the 24/7 support offered standardly with many hosting services. As you can see generally from the above, Atlantic.Net has worked hard to develop extremely competitive cloud servers at a cost-effective level for any type of business – including businesses that must operate in the HIPAA-compliant cloud.

By Kent Roberts


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