which cloud service comes out on top in Randstad’s clash of cloud?

By Mike Farrance, Randstad General Manager of Randstad Technologies.

New Zealand now has more than 11,000 IT firms and employs around 30,000 people with the industry a major and flourishing business for our country, growing 12% last year. One of the most significant technological advances in recent years has been cloud computing. 

Offering many advantages to business, cloud computing, allows firms to store their data in a secure facility while being able to access it whenever and wherever they want. The service also delivers efficiencies with fewer hardware costs, better risk management, enhanced collaboration and surprisingly less energy yet New Zealand companies have been slower than others to shift to the cloud, largely because of legacy systems and a preference for data to be locally stored.

That focus is changing starting at the top. Cabinet’s Cloud First policy details that government agencies must adopt cloud services because they’re considered more cost-effective, agile, secure and provide greater choice. 

But while there are several cloud services available, Kiwi businesses are unsure which is right for them and what are the watch-outs when making the transition from on-premises data and applications. 

Randstad Technologies Battle Royale.

To assist in answering these types of questions, Randstad has partnered with YUDU for a new interactive series of events called ‘Randstad Technologies Battle Royale’ for ICT candidates and clients. 

YUDU was a logical partner. A part of New Zealand Media and Entertainment, YUDU offers technology professionals and employers access to an engaging next-generation employment network, with rich content hubs to help users keep up to date with trends in their business arenas. The YUDU and Randstad teams also have synergies with a shared belief statement; We believe that meaningful work changes peoples’ lives and creates a brighter future for all.

let the battle begin.

Our first interactive event in the series was ‘Clash of Cloud’ organised by Joe Foy, Senior Consultant, Randstad Technologies. It was held this month in Auckland with three local technology experts pitching their thoughts on Amazon Web Service (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Azure. 

NZME's DevOps Lead Ben Taylor batted for AWS; Countdowns DevOps and Cloud Advocate Judy Marcelo stood for Azure, and Frenzy's Lead Engineer Ratha Long made a strong case for GCP.

Each speaker had five minutes to lay out their case to invited guests for their chosen cloud provider. It was then followed by two 15 minute discussions where the audience could gather in smaller groups to discuss the cloud providers: their strengths, preferences, and more. Once that was finished, the audience got to vote, deciding their favourite cloud service of the event.

Here’s a topline overview of some pros – and a few cons – for each service as shared by our speakers:

AWS:

  • pros
  • Automation and APIs allow flexible infrastructure and server software installation
  • Easy to manage/audit accounts in one place 
  • Good fit with CloudFront CDN and WAF
  • cons
  • Can be a lot of work to do complicated deployments
  • Cloud Formation support can lag behind service capabilities 
  • Sydney can lag behind the US for functionality.

GCP:

  • pros
  • Easy to use - logical resource grouping of project/org structure, good documentation with examples, SSH from the console, cloud shell, etc.
  • Secured by design - consistent access management, encryption of everything!
  • Highest capacity global network with global load balancing via anycast IP.
  • Developer ready - Paas, serverless, firebase
  • cons
  • Limited support of enterprise software for on-prem integration
  • Cloud functions language coverage
  • Less documentation of lower-level config like VPC, Security
  • Less flexibility with IAM & service account compared to AWS offering.

Azure:

  • pros
  • 54 regions worldwide, more than any other cloud provider
  • Dedicated pipe (ExpressRoute) to provide faster, private connection to Azure. It spans on-premises infrastructure and Azure without compromising privacy or performance
  • One of the very few western cloud providers that work in China
  • cons
  • An Azure VNET is limited to a single region. To connect virtual networks in different regions, virtual network peering is required which means you get charged for ingress and egress traffic
  • Some PaaS products that require isolation (using a VNET) needs to be either on a premium or isolated pricing tier. The pricing difference from standard to premium or standard to isolated is quite steep.

and the winner was…

Congratulations to Judy Marcelo from Countdown who stood for Azure and was voted the overall ‘Clash of Cloud’ champion. It was interesting to hear from Judy about the opportunities, and insights behind the challenges, of shifting to the cloud as our local tech industry continues to expand. 

cloud careers.

With expansion comes job opportunities and that is what we are seeing with the IT sector in relation to the cloud. Technical knowledge and expertise are required to enable businesses to successfully move their data storage. 

As one of the largest tech specialist recruitment businesses in New Zealand Randstad have dedicated consultants focused on the cloud and wider ICT market. We run a contract and permanent model placing over 135 professionals into meaningful work each week alone in the technology space.

a battle ahead.

The intention behind our first ‘battle’ was to provide a platform for like-minded people to share, collaborate, challenge and develop their cloud understanding to enable further growth in the tech industry. It also provided a valuable opportunity for clients and candidates to foster new business relationships, understand how different businesses approach difficult technical situations, share information and seek advice.

Our next Randstad Technologies Battle Royale event, Containers v Serverless, will be happening on the 10th of October and if you would like to attend please add your details here and we will be in touch. In the meantime, to get support with a vacancy visit randstad.co.nz/jobs/s-it-ict or search for Randstad technology jobs here on YUDU.