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There are several cloud service providers. But, if you're going to design an app that runs on their infrastructure, you have to have confidence that they are going to be around for a while, and that they are going to continue to offer the service. For example, Google might decide that AppEngine isn't profitable and close it in a year (like many of their non-profitable "20%" projects). Cash strapped startups might not make it through the current economic downturn and be forced to close down.

So, who do you trust in the cloud?


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closed as not constructive by Iain Mar 13 '12 at 10:16

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Hang on a moment, I'll just get my time machine...vworp. – tombull89 Mar 13 '12 at 9:47
up vote 24 down vote accepted

It doesn't matter what is going to be around in 2015. Nobody can predict future but you shouldn't buy into proprietary platforms that are offered by single vendor.

  • Amazon EC2 is good candidate to deploy your application on because Amazon compatible services can be easily provided by other companies as well. Even if you will want to host your application on your own servers at some point, it won't be a big problem. Amazon EC2 is practically zero lock-in.

  • Google App Engine is just bad candidate because there is not going to be compatible product from other company for very long time if ever. It's just too proprietary and Google doesn't plan to release their technology. To me it's 100% lock-in and if you decide to move somewhere else, it will be impossible without massive rewrite. I would be very surprised if any ambitious and big project would bet on GAE.

  • Windows Azure is not looking as bad as Google App Engine. Although it's still going to be hosted exclusively by Microsoft, it might be possible for other companies to come up with (almost) compatible cloud service. After all, core pieces of Windows Azure are based on well known SQL Server, IIS and .NET framework stack.

+1 loved the "reasons" for why some will last and the others will not. – Sung Apr 30 '09 at 23:41
Actually Microsoft has stated that they don't plan on letting anyone other then themselves host Azure. There is also a great write up which compares EC2 to Azure here: – mrTomahawk May 1 '09 at 1:16
@mrTomahawk, that's news to me but you're right (…). I've updated my answer. thanks. – lubos hasko May 2 '09 at 11:12
Going from Azure to somewhere else hosting a Windows environment shouldn't be too much of a hazzle though; as he stated it's all based on .NET, IIS and SQL Server at the bottom line. – Arve Systad May 2 '09 at 16:33
Google Sucks, Azure Sucks, Ec2 is right. The Big One will come. – Carlos Garcia May 24 '11 at 7:30

My bet: none of them.

Even if the companies are still around in 2015 (or 2020, or 2030), technology will have shifted. Your cloud services will be put on an upgrade treadmill (it won't be Azure, it'll be Azure, or The likelihood that there will be significant breaking changes between Cloud Service v.x and Cloud Service v.x++ is pretty high. Especially so the more proprietary the technology is.

Until there are widely adopted standards and until switching from one cloud service to the next is as easy as moving ISPs or hosting providers, putting an important, business critical solution up in the cloud will be a risky proposition (forcing you to be utterly dependent on the whims of one particular corporation).


Amazon ... Their services have continued to grow and get better. They were the first in the market and were the ones that started the business. They have a business model that works and are making money from it. Because of this they will be in the game for quite some time.

And the reason being? – Sung Apr 30 '09 at 23:27

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