For businesses in the today’s marketplace, cloud computing isn’t a luxury anymore, but a necessity. Operating in the cloud means an organization can store and configure data wirelessly from a server that exists outside their physical location. Migration to the cloud makes managing a network easier for any business owner.
As businesses continue moving toward the virtual direction, the discrepancy between traditional managed IT and cloud management is becoming clearer and clearer.
3 reasons the cloud is spreading so fast is its proficiency in:
Backing up data
Back-up and restore data
Once stored in the Cloud, it is easy to get the back-up if any technical issues happen on site. This can be a time consuming process for on-site locations.
Cloud computing allows you to initiate your services faster and in fewer clicks.
Cloud computing saves you substantial capital because it does not need any physical hardware investments. In addition, you do not need employees to maintain the hardware. Purchasing and management of equipment is done by the cloud service provider.
Cloud Computing: Biggest Names
There are 3 main competitors in the cloud game: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
These organizations have some differences that will be discussed in the following text.
Amazon Web Services - AWS was the first of the 3 companies. They began offering cloud services to businesses in 2006.
Google Cloud - 2 years after Amazon, Google entered the game and announced the release of App Engine, which gave users ability to run web apps on google infrastructure.
Microsoft Azure - After seeing Google test the waters of cloud computing, Microsoft decided they would be next to jump in the pool. In October 2008, they announced an internal project named “Project Red Dog” that would later be called Windows Azure.
In the following pages, I will detail the differences between these 3 giants and the current trend of each company.
Cloud Computing Private and Public
Before exploring the cloud market further, it is important to understand the three types of cloud computing - as each type has a unique array of services. The three cloud computing types are:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS is a cloud computing service that supplies on-demand access to resources such as networking, storage, and servers. Within the providers’ infrastructure, you run your own platforms and applications. This allows for a flexible and scalable option.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS is another option of cloud computing in which the provider outsources access to a cloud environment. Users then manage, develop, and host applications. You will have access to a range of tools through the platform to support testing and development.
The provider is responsible for the underlying infrastructure, security, operating systems, and backups.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is the last option, which allows you to access the cloud computing of the provider. They give you access to their cloud software. So, with SSAS, instead of installing the software application on your local device, you access the provider’s application using the web or an API.
Through the application, you store and analyze your own data. You don’t have to invest time in installing, managing or upgrading software, this is all handled by the provider.
Within each of these service categories, you have the option of public, private, hybrid cloud solutions:
Private Cloud: When operating from a private cloud, you can host the network on your own data center or intranet. Under this mode you own, manage, update and upgrade your own cloud ecosystem, networking, software, or platform resources, protecting it all with your own firewall and security settings.
Public Cloud: A public cloud is an option in which the provider supplies you with access to their data infrastructure. The provider is responsible for all management, maintenance, security, and upgrades.
Hybrid Cloud: A hybrid cloud is an option in which you opt to use a mix of both public and private cloud solutions. You are responsible for managing how the two services interact. This comes in handy when the security of data passes between both public and private cloud setups.
Comparison of Services and Applications: AWS Google and Azure
With this baseline of knowledge, we can display the differences within each of these organizations in their service strategies in name and function. Let’s start with computing services. Below are the names of their respective services.
Below is a comparison among the pricing models of AWS, Azure, and GCP on the basis of the machine type that they offer:
In the case of AWS, a very basic instance that includes 2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB of RAM will cost you around US$69 per month.
For the same type of instance, i.e., an instance with 2 vCPUs and 8 GB of RAM, in Azure, will cost you around US$70/month.
Compared to AWS, GCP will provide you the most basic instance, containing 2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB of RAM at a 25% cheaper rate. So, it will cost you around US$52/month.
The largest instance offered by AWS that includes 3.84 TB of RAM and 128 vCPUs will cost you around US$3.97/hour.
The largest instance offered by Azure includes 3.89 TB of RAM and 128 vCPUs. It costs around US$6.79/hour.
GCP takes the lead here with its largest instance that includes 3.75 TB of RAM and 160 vCPUs. It will cost you around US$5.32/hour.
AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: Pros and Cons
AWS: Pros and Cons
AWS is the biggest player in the cloud computing industry, covering the total market share of about 33 percent. One of the reasons for this popularity is the 200+ managed services they offer.
In addition, they have a massive scope of operations and a comprehensive network of worldwide data centers. With its ease of providing scalability and holistic security to its users, AWS is the most widespread and most used cloud provider.
Compute Cloud allows you to increase or decrease storage according to the need of your organization
AWS enables you to select an operating system, programming language, database of your choice
Broad & deep service offerings
Robust partner ecosystem
Trusted by high-profile customers
High transfer stability
Minimal information is lost during server and storage transfer
Offers more data centers for availability and low latency
Better DevOps support
Simpler licensing method
Stronger support for Bl and analytics
One of the issues people have with AWS is in its pricing strategy. Some organizations find AWS to be the most suitable cloud service provider, however, they're often confused about its pricing strategy. After constantly reducing its prices, many enterprises find it difficult to understand AWS’s cost structure to manage costs while running high volume workloads.
Many companies are attracted to AWS because of its wide variety of tools and resources. Unfortunately for some, they won’t have access to everything available on the cloud computing platform. AWS limits its resources by region. For some users, they will have to pay extra for some services.
Less hybrid- cloud-friendly
AWS elastic load balancer is not equipped to handle as many requests as it receives
AWS lacks customer support, so it more suitable for a technically savvy group of consumers and those companies who have their inbuild tech support team
The number of choices offered by AWS is confusing to those who may not speak the language of technology.
Incompatible and Weak Hybrid Strategy
AWS is a less open private cloud. This makes it an unpopular storage option for sensitive industries like banking
Extensive range of infrastructure applications
Range of infrastructure options can be overwhelming for more traditional enterprises
Hybrid options available, but not a priority
Easy transition for users with existing digital infrastructure
Organizations operating on legacy systems may experience longer migration times
Frequently updated and maintained
Free tier available
Greater control over security
Cost-effective pricing model
Support for large enterprises
Microsoft Azure: Pros and Cons
Microsoft entered the cloud market by taking its on-premise services, such as Windows Server, Office, SQL Server, Sharepoint, and others, to the cloud. This helps Microsoft to curve out its competitors. Azure is integrated with other applications that are popularly used by a majority of organizations. In addition, Micorosoft also gives significant discounts to its customers on service contracts.
Capability for developers and users to create, maintain and deploy applications
Fully scalable cloud computing platform offers open access across multiple languages, frameworks, and tools
Total support for Microsoft legacy apps
Greater awareness of enterprise needs
Easy one-click migrations in many cases
Conversion of on-prem licenses to the cloud
Support for mixed Linux/Windows environments
Offers inbuilt tool like Azure stack to help the organization deliver Azure service from the own data center
Microsoft’s maintenance for the platform requires high expertise and certified engineers to use Azure. The ample advantages of the platform often outweigh its disadvantages, and organizations trust Azure for their on-cloud requirements.
Customer service is not transparent, and data is hosted globally. So, if you have data restrictions where it must be stored in a specific country, at that time you need to verify/specify with Microsoft.
You will be charged extra for paying as you go
Azure cloud-based services are full of glitches. To fix these bugs, you will need to spend additional money.
Less flexibility about non-Windows server platforms, when compared to AWS
Requires considerable management
Strong focus on security
Requires platform expertise
More limited backward compatibility
Comparatively more costly than other leading vendors
Strong IaaS and PaaS options
Additional charge for pay-as-you-go option
Support for open source
Google Cloud: Pros and Cons
Google Cloud that comes along with Google Workspace is a strong competitor when it comes to offering cloud services. It started its offerings in containers since Google developed the Kubernetes standard that is now offered by AWS and Azure. Specializing in high compute offerings, such as big data, analytics, and machine learning, Google cloud offers considerable scaling and load balancing capabilities. It integrates well with other Google services and has a large data and analaytics base.
Google does not have a traditional relationship with organizational customers. However, it is quickly expanding its offerings and footprint of global data centers.
Superb coordination with other Google services
Majority of components based on Google proprietary tech; no real control over virtual machines
Fast internet operator
Limited choice of programming languages
Strong data analytics and storage
Complex transition away from the platform to another vendor
Facilitates easy collaboration
Designed for cloud-native business
Fewer global data centers
Good portability and open source integration
Choose the Right Provider:
When considering purchasing Azure services, the benefits of Azure go well any Microsoft compatibility with other products.
Many enterprise level companies, specifically have purchased Azure services because of the vast storage and Microsoft compatibility within their company.
In addition to their growth of regional territories, they have worked extensively on building their Artificial Intelligence Program named Sentinel.
Google Cloud is the best option if you’re looking for something synchronizable with the G suite connectivity. They are smaller in region than AWS and Azure, but they offer the best price for a bulk of storage as well as continued growth in aritificial intelligence.
Amazon Web Service
The benefits of Amazon come from the amount of experience they have compiled, the 70 services they offer, and the efficiency of their services. They connect to many well known businesses like Netflix and Nike. They also connect with mid sized businesses, whereas Azure connects with the enterprise scale businesses mostly.
Gartner Magic Quadrant Cloud Services
AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: Who Uses Them?
Since AWS is the oldest player in the cloud market, it comparatively has a bigger community support and user base. Therefore, AWS has more high-profile and well-known customers like Netflix, Airbnb, Unilever, BMW, Samsung, MI, Zynga, etc.
Azure is also gaining its share of high-profile customers with time. As of now, Azure has almost 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies as its customers. Some of its major customers are Johnson Controls, Polycom, Fujifilm, HP, Honeywell, Apple, etc.
Google, on the other hand, shares the same infrastructure as that of Google Search and YouTube, and as a result, many high-end companies have put their faith in Google Cloud. Major clients of Google Cloud are HSBC, PayPal, 20th Century Fox, Bloomberg, Dominos, and more.
All these cloud providers offer various cloud computing services that are required for any basic business. The difference occurs in the number of these services.
Cloud Marketshare and Trends
AWS remains the number one cloud leader in market share. They have 2 million servers, 100,000 Weather-Forecasting Computer Cores, and $10 billion in annual revenue.. AWS runs 40% of the cloud share, more than that of its three biggest competitors put together. They are the most experienced and oldest cloud player with 11 years in operation. They provide a wide array of mobile networking, deployments, machine learning, and more computing services and functions.
Meanwhile, growing at a rate of 120K new customers per month, 5 million organizations using Azure Active directory, 4 million developers registered with visual studio team services, 1.4 million SQL databases, 2 trillion messages per week processed by Azure IoT, and 40% of revenue generated from start-ups and ISVs- Azure is on the verge of overtaking AWS cloud services.
AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: Availability Zones
AWS has been around the longest, which has given them the most time to expand their territory. They have the most regions in their domain, while Azure is close on their heels.
AWS has 66 availability zones with 12 more on the way
Azure has 54 regions worldwide and is available in 140 countries all around the world
Google Cloud Platform has been made available in 20 regions around the world with 3 more on their way
AWS Vs Azure Vs Google Cloud: Pricing
While choosing a public cloud service provider, the price aspect is considered to be the prime impetus that influences the decision making of IT firms.
The following is a comparison among AWS, Azure and GCP in terms of price and machine type:
An instance with 2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB RAM will cost you around USD69/month.
An instance with 2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB RAM will cost you around USD70/month.
Instance with 2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB RAM will cost you around USD52/month.
Largest instance that includes 3.84 TB RAM and 128 vCPUs will cost you around USD 3.97/hour.
Largest instance that includes 3.89 TB RAM and 128 vCPUs will cost you around USD 6.79/hour.
Largest instance that includes 3.75 TB RAM and 160 vCPUs will cost you around USD 5.32/hour.
Apart from the aforementioned pricing models, there is another model that is worth mentioning.
AWS and Azure are offering their cloud services with pay-per-minute billing options. GCP is ahead of them by providing a pay-per-second billing option. Moreover, GCP is offering various discounts and flexible contracts to gain maximum demand influx.
Recap of Services and advantages
Microsoft Azure was designed for managing services through the huge network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. Azure’s offerings include compute, networking, data management databases, and performance.
Azure ExpressRoute link connects the data center to Azure through a private channel without using the Internet, which provides higher security, greater reliability, and lower latency.
Azure also has extensive networking capabilities, including support for multiple site-to-site connections to virtual networks, along with the ability to connect virtual networks across different regions to each other. They have the lowest on-demand and discounted pricing, and are the most coordinated with enterprise level companies.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
A pioneer of cloud computing, Amazon, was the first entrant into the cloud services market over a decade ago. They lead in the number of products and customers, with AWS considered to be the benchmark of cloud service quality.
AWS enables a smooth and flexible data collection flow using serverless services, such as Amazon Kinesis Streams, Amazon SQS Queues, and AWS Lambda Functions. It provides organizations with the option to choose the web application platform, operating system, database, and programming languages.
AWS contributes to significant enhancement in the productivity and business growth of organizations.
A few drawbacks of AWS include the complex infrastructure and default service limits, which are set in accordance with average user needs.
With an intuitive interface, lower costs, preemptible instances and flexible compute options, GCP is an attractive alternative to AWS and Azure. Google uses full-scale encryption of all data and communication channels including the traffic between data centers.
Google Cloud competes with AWS in payment configurability, privacy and traffic security, cost-efficiency, and machine learning.
While all the three cloud providers offer discounts up to 75% for a commitment of one to three years, Google also offers a sustained use discount of up to 30% on each instance type running for more than 25% each month.
AWS’s 1-year-free trial has been matched by GCP’s credit of $300 for 12 months. This credit model is more suited for organizations newly venturing into cloud services.
Google offers several off-the-shelf APIs pertaining to computer vision, natural language processing, and translation. Machine learning engineers can build models based on Google’s Cloud Machine Learning Engine’s open-source TensorFlow deep learning library.
The process of transitioning from managed IT to cloud services is something that every business will need to do within the next 5 years to remain relevant. The major players in this game are Amazon Web Service (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. AWS has been around the longest, is reliable and offers the most applications, Azure is Microsoft compatible and is a highly advisable enterprise-level option, and Google cloud is the newest. Reach out to Datalink Networks today for assistance on this transition to your favorite cloud provider.