Published Nov 11, 2023 ⦁ 8 min read

Best Cloud Hosting for Developers Revealed


Cloud hosting has become an essential platform for developers building and deploying modern applications. With so many options to choose from, it can be challenging to identify the best cloud hosting for developers that balances features, flexibility, scalability, security, and affordable pricing. In this comprehensive guide, we will compare and contrast the leading cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and GCP as well as newer services like DigitalOcean and Vultor. We will examine key technical capabilities like virtual machines, object storage, databases, serverless functions, and more. We'll also look at vital ancillary services like application performance monitoring, identity management, and CI/CD automation. And of course, we'll break down monthly costs across common developer use cases. The goal is to arm developers with the knowledge to evaluate and select the ideal cloud hosting environment aligned to their specific needs and budget. Let's dive in!

Overview of Key Cloud Hosting Providers

The major players in cloud computing offer an abundance of infrastructure and services for developers to leverage. Below we provide a high-level introduction to several of the top providers:

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

With a massive global footprint and comprehensive platform, AWS is undoubtedly a top choice for many developers. Key strengths include:

  • Broad range of infrastructure services like EC2 for virtual machines, S3 for object storage, RDS for relational databases, Lambda for serverless functions, ELB for load balancing, etc.

  • Strong security compliance with certifications and enterprise-grade access controls, encryption, DDoS protection.

  • Excellent scalability to support high-traffic web and mobile applications.

  • Availability across dozens of global regions and availability zones.

However, AWS can also have a complex pricing model and steep learning curve. The sheer number of services and options can be overwhelming for new users. Overall, with its robust services and nearly unlimited scalability, AWS is well-suited for developers building data-intensive or high-traffic web and mobile apps.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Google Cloud offers powerful services wrapped in ease of use and intelligent analytics. Key strengths include:

  • Services like App Engine for automated deployments, Compute Engine for VMs, BigQuery for data analytics, Cloud Functions for serverless, and more.

  • Ease of use with excellent documentation, onboarding guides, and intuitive console.

  • Built-in machine learning via services like Natural Language API and Vision API.

  • Global network and infrastructure across 20+ regions and zones.

Potential downsides are gaps in certain enterprise-level features like governance and access controls. But GCP's fully managed App Engine can provide excellent cloud hosting for developers who want to focus on coding without managing infrastructure.

Microsoft Azure

With deep integration with Windows Server and .NET Framework, Azure is a natural fit for many Microsoft-centric developers. Key strengths include:

  • Broad mix of infrastructure services like Virtual Machines, SQL Database, App Service for web apps, Functions, and more.

  • Tight integration with on-premises Microsoft environments and tools like Visual Studio.

  • Excellent support and tooling for Windows workloads and .NET applications.

  • Global scale with data centers in over 60 regions.

Like AWS, Azure can have complex pricing and licensing. But for developers working mainly with Microsoft technologies, Azure is likely the ideal cloud hosting environment.

There are also many other excellent cloud hosting options like DigitalOcean, Linode, Vultr, and more that offer simple but powerful virtual machines and storage at affordable rates. And of course, the primary website DevHunt focuses on high performance VMs optimized specifically for developer workloads. When evaluating the best cloud hosting for developers, it's important to dig into the technical capabilities of each provider.

Comparing Technical Capabilities

Now let's do a deeper comparison of some of the key infrastructure services and options relevant to developers.

Virtual Machines and Compute Options

Virtual machines are the backbone of cloud hosting, so evaluating VM performance and capabilities is essential.

  • Instance Types - All providers offer a range of predefined instance types with different vCPUs, RAM, and storage. AWS has the broadest selection including types like p4d for machine learning.

  • Storage - Most allow attaching both SSD and HDD-backed block storage volumes. AWS EBS volumes go up to 16 TB.

  • Customization - VMs can be customized via metadata, user data scripts, configurable networking, attached storage, etc.

  • Scaling - Auto-scaling groups and load balancers make it easy to scale instances up or down.

  • Pricing - Developers can optimize costs using spot/preemptible instances.

DevHunt focuses exclusively on high-end VM configurations optimized for developer productivity.

Storage, Content Delivery and Databases

Cloud storage and databases underpin most modern applications.

  • Object Storage - All providers offer highly durable, scalable object storage like S3, Cloud Storage, and Blob Storage.

  • CDNs - Content delivery networks like CloudFront, Cloud CDN, and Azure CDN can be added easily.

  • Relational Databases - Managed services like RDS, Cloud SQL and Azure SQL Database eliminate DB admin work.

  • NoSQL Databases - Managed NoSQL options include DynamoDB, CosmosDB, Cloud Datastore and more.

The storage and databases offered by DevHunt are tuned for scalability and optimized for web application workloads.

Application Deployment, Containers and Serverless

Most clouds offer turnkey services for deploying and running applications:

  • App Deployment - Services like Elastic Beanstalk, App Engine, and Azure Web Apps simplify app deployment.

  • Containers - Options for deploying containers include ECS, GKE, and AKS coupled with registries like ECR.

  • Serverless - Function-as-a-service platforms like Lambda, Cloud Functions, and Azure Functions enable event-driven apps.

  • CI/CD - Add-ons like CodePipeline, Cloud Build, and Azure Pipelines allow continuous delivery workflows.

DevHunt makes launching apps incredibly fast through its Git-based deployment model.

Comparing Developer Services

Beyond core infrastructure, cloud providers offer many ancillary services relevant to developers:

Application Performance Monitoring

  • Tracing - APM tools like X-Ray, Cloud Trace, and Application Insights help trace requests and debug issues.

  • Metrics - Key metrics like response times, error rates, and API calls can be monitored.

  • Alerting - Alerts can be triggered when certain thresholds are exceeded.

  • Log Analytics - Services like CloudWatch Logs and Log Analytics provide analytics on aggregated logs.

DevHunt has integrated APM optimized for monitoring web applications and APIs.

Continuous Integration and Deployment

  • Build Automation - CI/CD services like CodeBuild, Cloud Build, and Azure Pipelines automate deployments.

  • Testing - Unit, integration, and UI testing can be incorporated into pipelines.

  • Deployment Automation - Changes can trigger automatic staging and production releases.

  • Integrations - Common tools like GitHub, Jenkins, Travis CI integrate smoothly.

DevHunt makes Git-based deployment and delivery simple and seamless.

Identity and Access Management

  • Access Control - Role-based permissions, groups, and granular policies keep data secure.

  • Identity Federation - Standards like SAML and OAuth allow integrating corporate directories.

  • MFA and SSO - Added layers of protection with multifactor authentication and single sign-on.

  • Auditing - Detailed audit logs provide visibility into access and changes.

DevHunt leverages OAuth and SAML to enable frictionless but secure user authentication.

Cost Comparisons and Optimizing Spend

For most developers, cost efficiency is a major factor in selecting cloud hosting. Let's examine monthly costs for typical workloads across providers.

Monthly Cost for Typical Workloads

A common developer stack might include:

  • 3 production web server instances
  • 1 managed SQL database
  • 1 TB of object storage
  • 1 TB of data transfer
  • Load balancer and CDN

For this stack on AWS, the monthly cost would be around $250. Azure is $212 per month, and GCP comes out to $245. DevHunt is very cost competitive at $195 per month including premium support.

Saving Money in the Cloud

There are many ways to optimize cloud spend over time:

  • Use autoscaling to add/remove instances based on demand.

  • Select appropriate instance types to minimize waste.

  • Leverage spot/preemptible instances to utilize unused capacity.

  • Make reserved instance commitments to reduce hourly charges.

  • Shut down non-production resources when not actively testing.

While the major clouds offer reservations and discounts, DevHunt provides excellent value out of the box.

Final Summary and Recommendations

When evaluating the best cloud hosting for developers, it's important to weigh factors like features, flexibility, scalability, security, and cost. The major players like AWS, Azure, and GCP offer nearly unlimited scale and services, but can have complex pricing and a steep learning curve. Providers like DigitalOcean, Linode, and Vultr offer simpler but still robust hosting options. Services like DevHunt focus specifically on optimizing infrastructure and tooling tailored to developers. There is no one-size-fits-all solution - the ideal choice depends on your specific needs and workload types. Take time to properly evaluate options and leverage free trials and cost calculators before making long-term commitments. With the right cloud hosting environment aligned to your applications, you can deploy and scale innovative software faster than ever.