31 min read

Cloud Computing: Azure vs AWS vs Google Cloud

 

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:

  1. Backing up data

  2. High speed

  3. Cost savings

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.

 

High Speed

Cloud computing allows you to initiate your services faster and in fewer clicks.

 

Cost Savings

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.

 

Brief History

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.

 
Compute Services
 

Services

AWS

Azure

GCP

IaaS

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

Virtual Machines

Google Compute Engine

PaaS

AWS Elastic Beanstalk

App Service and Cloud Services

Google App Engine

Containers

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud Container Service

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

Google Kubernetes Engine

Serverless Functions

AWS Lambda

Azure Functions

Google Cloud Functions

 

 
Database Services 
 

Services

AWS

Azure

GCP

RDBMS

Amazon Relational Database Service

SQL Database

Google Cloud SQL

NoSQL: Key–Value

Amazon DynamoDB

Table Storage

Google Cloud DatastoreGoogle Cloud Bigtable

NoSQL: Indexed

Amazon SimpleDB

Azure Cosmos DB

Google Cloud Datastore

 
Storage Services
 

Services

AWS

Azure

GCP

Object Storage

Amazon Simple Storage Service

Blob Storage

Google Cloud Storage

Virtual Server Disks

Amazon Elastic Block Store

Managed Disks

Google Compute Engine Persistent Disks

Cold Storage

Amazon Glacier

Azure Archive Blob Storage

Google Cloud Storage Nearline

File Storage

Amazon Elastic File System

Azure File Storage

ZFS/Avere

Are you preparing for the Azure interview? Here are the latest Azure Interview Questions!

 
Networking Services
 

Services

AWS

Azure

GCP

Virtual Network

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

Virtual Networks (VNets)

Virtual Private Cloud

Elastic Load Balancer

Elastic Load Balancer

Load Balancer

Google Cloud Load Balancing

Peering

Direct Connect

ExpressRoute

Google Cloud Interconnect

DNS

Amazon Route 53

Azure DNS

Google Cloud DNS

 

Pricing Differences: Azure vs AWS vs Google

Below is a comparison among the pricing models of AWS, Azure, and GCP on the basis of the machine type that they offer:

 

Machine Type

AWS

Azure

GCP

Smallest Instance

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.

Largest Instance

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

 
Pros

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
 
Cons

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

 

Strengths

Weaknesses

Extensive range of infrastructure applications

Range of infrastructure options can be overwhelming for more traditional enterprises

Highly flexible

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

 

Scalability

 

Cost-effective pricing model

 

Rapid deployment

 

Support for large enterprises

 
 

Microsoft Azure: Pros and Cons

 
Pros

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
 
Cons

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

 

Strengths

Weaknesses

High availability

Requires considerable management

Strong focus on security

Requires platform expertise

Scalability

More limited backward compatibility

Cost-effective

Comparatively more costly than other leading vendors

Strong IaaS and PaaS options

Additional charge for pay-as-you-go option

Support for open source

Customer service

Hybrid cloud

Less enterprise-ready

 

 

Google Cloud: Pros and Cons

 
Pros

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.

 
Cons

Google does not have a traditional relationship with organizational customers. However, it is quickly expanding its offerings and footprint of global data centers.

 

Strengths

Weaknesses

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

Fewer features/services

Designed for cloud-native business

Fewer global data centers

Good portability and open source integration

 

 

Choose the Right Provider:

 

Azure

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

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:

Machine Type

AWS

Azure

GCP

Smallest Instance

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

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

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 offers a range of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings that can be classified into computing, database, content delivery, storage, and networking.

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.

Amazon data centers are the largest among the three cloud providers.

 

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

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.

 

Conclusion

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.

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