cloud storage solutions

Viable Alternatives to AWS

Going by usage statistics, Amazon’s AWS is the most popular platform in the world for virtualizing business IT infrastructure. Customers love it for its ability to scale up to potentially millions of users, the ability to customize every aspect to your liking and the security and reliability of the industry’s biggest name. Still, it’s not a perfect platform. Among the knocks against it are that it’s tough to come to grips with if you’re not technically inclined and don’t have an IT staff doing everything for you, and AWS tech support operates on a sliding scale and can get very expensive with heavy use.

Coupon sites like VPS coupons can help mitigate the overall cost of AWS, but it’s an at-best temporary solution.

AWS has grown to over a million customers, including heavy hitters like Netflix and Samsung, but that doesn’t mean it’s automatically going to be right for your specific business needs. If you feel like AWS just isn’t quite the right fit for you, here’s six of the best alternatives to take a look at.

1) Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

cloud storage solutionsGCP launched after AWS and has spent most of its life playing catch-up, but it’s now at the point where it is drawing very close to Amazon’s offering. Like AWS, GCP offers not just virtual computing but a robust range of services including storage,big data analytics and machine learning. It’s exceptionally fast when it comes to handling huge amounts of data, and if you’re already widely using other Google services it’s very easy to integrate with them. The ease of use of the browser-based console is also very popular with their customers.

2) Microsoft Azure

Microsoft’s Azure platform has also grown to become one of AWS’s closest competitors in terms of size and scope. This is a particularly popular platform for businesses looking to run a hybrid cloud model, particularly those with longstanding local Windows systems and lots of legacy users to get switched over. Microsoft also puts a particular emphasis on larger enterprise customers, especially those that are already users of their various cloud-based services like Office 365.

3) IBM Softlayer

Softlayer’s competitive advantage is a huge number of data centers, making it arguably the most reliable and fastest option out there. As with Microsoft Azure, it’s also more friendly to hybrid cloud solutions than many of the other options in this space. It’s an excellent choice for those who want dedicated servers that they don’t have to share with anyone else, and these private virtual servers are also highly customizable. This does tilt it a bit toward larger organizations with a dedicated IT staff, however, as getting applications up and running can take more work here than it does with options like AWS.

4) DigitalOcean

If you run Linux and you want things as simple and basic as possible, DigitalOcean is the solution that is most closely tailored to your needs. They also focus on being the most affordable of the major options, and their prices are fixed regardless of things like traffic quantity. And if your development scheme happens to align with what their offering, this is very likely going to be the fastest option for you as well.

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5) Hetzner

Hetzner is another “budget” option tailored to smaller companies or those with a very specific infrastructure. This one is based in Germany, so it’s more appealing to developers and businesses located in Europe or who expect the majority of their traffic from that region. They’re very customizable, and offer you the ability to scale up to if you outgrow their budget offerings. However, you’ll have to be comfortable with managing your servers yourself, including securing yourself against DDoS and other forms of attack.

6) IBM Bluemix

IBM’s other cloud-based option focuses heavily on the ability to customize your platform, which is one of the primary features sought after by app developers. Bluemix is “platform as a service” (PaaS) rather than “Infrastructure as a Service” (IaaS), however, it won’t suit everyone’s needs quite as well. Non-developers trying to use it will likely find it too confusing and overwhelming to get everything they want to work, in spite of advertising declaring that you don’t have to know anything about coding to use it. On the plus side, IBM’s customer service is some of the best in the business at present and is available around the clock.

smart kitchen

5 Brilliant IoT Devices That Will Change Your Kitchen

The Internet of Things, the network of object and devices connected with each other, is considered to be the next big wave of the internet. Equipped with state-of-the-art sensors, cameras, and Wi-Fi connectivity, everyday devices such as coffee machines, ovens, and light bulbs are becoming smarter, more efficient, and more independent. Some of the most amazing IoT devices that are being developed are kitchen appliances, and they have to potential to completely transform your cooking experience.

1. Somabar Cocktail Maker

Somabar is a robotic appliance that can prepare cocktails and infuse bitters to make the perfect drink in seconds. Somabar contains six Soma pods, three on each side of the appliance, that are used to keep the ingredients for your drinks fresh. The pods are removable, portable, and dishwasher safe. The Somabar menu contains over 300 drinks to choose from, and can suggest drinks from the menu based on the ingredients you already have.

2. Smart Plate

Smart Plate is a connected device that uses object recognition and weight measurement to analyze the content of your meals and determine the number of calories in them, thereby painting a complete picture of your eating habits. The 10-inch plate is microwave- and refrigerator-resistant, comes in several colors, and can be connected to any wireless device to instantly and automatically track your meals. Smart Plate also offers a “Portion Patrol” feature, which alerts you when you put too much food on your plate, helping you reach and maintain your fitness goals.

3. Drop Scale

Drop Scale is a connected, wireless kitchen scale that works with the Drop App to allow you to cook using interactive, step-by-step, single-bowl recipes. The Drop App features options such as Recipe Rescaling and Ingredient Substitution, while the scale itself has a touch button on the front which lets you interact with your iPad without touching it with dirty fingers. The Drop Scale is covered in heat-resistant silicone and can weigh quantities up to 6 kg.

4. June Oven

June is an intelligent oven that uses food-recognition software to identify what you are cooking. The oven also weighs the food and suggests the most suitable cooking method for it. Carbon fiber elements heat the contents of the oven super-fast while the exterior, protected by advanced insulation, remains cool and safe to touch. Throughout the cooking process, June uses temperature sensors to determine when the food is thoroughly cooked. The oven camera allows you to check on your dinner from your smartphone without having to go to the kitchen.

5. Mr. Coffee

Belkin’s Mr. Coffee is a connected coffee machine that allows you to schedule and monitor your coffee brewing from your smartphone. Mr. Coffee’s Optimal Brew technology heats the water up to 205 degrees Celsius, the optimal temperature for extracting the most flavor out of coffee. This coffeemaker features a sleek exterior of black and chrome, a double-walled stainless steel carafe that holds up to 10 cups of coffee, and LED lights which signal if the machine is connected. In the absence of wireless connectivity, Mr. Coffee can be used to make coffee manually.

Some of the most amazing IoT devices available right now are kitchen items, and they can replace a large amount of your work by allowing you to plan all your kitchen activity from your smartphone. From machines that can have hot coffee ready for you when you wake up, to plates that tell you how many calories you are eating, the Internet of Things will make an enormous difference in the way you prepare and eat your meals.

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