AWS Vs Azure Vs GCP – The Cloud Platform of Your Choice?
Amazon, Microsoft and Google dominate the public cloud landscape providing the safest, flexible and reliable cloud services. Their respective cloud platforms, AWS, Azure and GCP offer clients a range of storage, computing and networking options.
Some of the features common among the three platforms include instant provisioning, self-service, autoscaling, identity management, security and compliance, among others.
At present, AWS can be considered to be much bigger than both Azure and GCP in terms of functionality and maturity.
However, the other two are also progressing at a faster rate to prove their market dominance.
AWS Vs Azure Vs GCP: Feature-wise Comparison
|Compute Services||1) AWS Beanstalk
2) Amazon EC2
3) Amazon EC2 Auto-Scaling
4) Amazon Elastic Container Registry
5) Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service
6) Amazon Lightsail
7) AWS Serverless Application Repository
8) VMware Cloud for AWS
9) AWS Batch
10) AWS Fargate
11) AWS Lambda
12) AWS Outposts
13) Elastic Load Balancing
|1) Platform-as-a-service (PaaS)
2) Function-as-a-service (FaaS)
3) Service Fabric
4) Azure Batch
5) Cloud Services
6) Container Instances Batch
7) Azure Container Service (AKS)
8) Virtual Machines Compute Engine
9) Virtual Machine Scale Sets
|1) App Engine
2) Docker Container Registry
3) Instant Groups
4) Compute Engine
5) Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
|Storage Services||1) Simple Storage Service (S3)
2) Elastic Block Storage (EBS)
3) Elastic File System (EFS)
4) Storage Gateway
6) Snowball Edge
|1) Blob Storage
2) Queue Storage
3) File Storage
4) Disk Storage
5) Data Lake Store
|1) Cloud Storage
2) Persistent Disk
3) Transfer Appliance
4) Transfer Service
6) Machine Learning
10) Deep Learning AMIs
11) Apache MXNet on AWS
12) TensorFlow on AWS
|1) Machine Learning
2) Azure Bot Service
3) Cognitive Services
|1) Cloud Machine Learning Engine
2) Dialogflow Enterprise Edition
5) Cloud Natural Language
6) Cloud Speech API
7) Cloud Translation API
8) Cloud Video Intelligence
9) Cloud Job Discovery (Private Beta)
|Database Services||1) Aurora
7) Database Migration Service
|1) SQL Database
2) Database for MySQL
3) Database for PostgreSQL
4) Data Warehouse
5) Server Stretch Database
6) Cosmos DB
7) Table Storage
8) Redis Cache
9) Data Factory
|1) Cloud SQL
2) Cloud Bigtable
3) Cloud Spanner
4) Cloud Datastore
|Backup Services||Glacier||1) Archive Storage
3) Site Recovery
|1) Nearline (frequently accessed data)
2) Coldline (infrequently accessed data)
|Serverless computing||1) Lambda
2) Serverless Application Repository
|Functions||Google Cloud Functions|
|Strengths||1) Dominant market position
2) Extensive, mature offerings
3) Support for large organizations
4) Global reach
5) Flexibility and a wider range of services
|1) Second largest provider
2) Integration with Microsoft tools and software
3) Broad feature set
4) Hybrid cloud
5) Support for open source
6) Ideal for startups and developers
|1) Designed for cloud-native businesses
2) Commitment to open source and portability
3) Flexible contracts
4) DevOps expertise
5) Complete container-based model
6) Most cost-efficient
|Caching||Elastic Cache||Redis Cache||Cloud CDN|
|File Storage||EFS||Azure Files||ZFS and Avere|
|Networking||Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)||Azure Virtual Network (VNET)||Cloud Virtual Network|
|Security||AWS Security Hub||Azure Security Center||Cloud Security Command Center|
|Location||77 availability zones within 24 geographic regions||Presence in 60+ regions across the world||Presence in 24 regions and 73 zones. Available in 200+ countries and territories|
|Documentation||Best in class||High quality||High quality|
|DNS Services||Amazon Route 53||Azure Traffic Manager||Cloud DNS|
|Notifications||Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS)||Azure Notification Hub||None|
|Load Balancing||Elastic Load Balancing||Load Balancing for Azure||Cloud Load Balancing|
|Automation||AWS Opsworks||Azure Automation||Compute Engine Management|
|Compliance||AWS CloudHSM||Azure Trust Center||Google Cloud Platform Security|
|Pricing/ Discount Options||One-year free trial along with a discount of up to 75% for a 1-3 year commitment||Up to 75% discount for a commitment ranging from one to three years||GCP Credit of $300 for 12 months apart from a sustained use discount of up to 30%|
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 comparison among AWS, Azure and GCP in terms of price and machine type will assist you in your decision making:
|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, whereas 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.
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
A pioneer of cloud computing, Amazon has been the first entrant into the cloud services market over a decade ago and leads in terms of both 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 and 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, among others as per their requirement.
Cloud infrastructure resource usage can be monitored using AWS management tools such as AWS CloudTrail and Amazon CloudWatch for tracking user activity and AWS Config for managing the resource inventory and changes.
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 and are located in 77 regions across the world.
Microsoft Azure platform has been designed for building, deploying and managing various services and applications through the huge network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. Azure’s offerings include compute, networking, data management databases and performance.
Azure Site Recovery enables organizations of all sizes to orchestrate site-to-site replication and data recovery to VMs hosted on Azure itself. Azure offers Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS) or data storage redundancy across multiple data center regions.
Azure ExpressRoute facilitates connectivity of the data center to Azure through a private link without using the Internet, thereby providing 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.
Azure has the lowest on-demand and discounted instance pricing. Specialist developers can write, test and deploy algorithms using the Azure Machine Learning Studio.
Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
With an intuitive interface, lower costs, preemptible instances and flexible compute options, GCP is an attractive alternative to both AWS and Azure. Google uses full-scale encryption of all data and communication channels including the traffic between data centers.
Some of the areas where Google Cloud strongly competes with AWS include instance and payment configurability, privacy and traffic security, cost-efficiency, and Machine Learning.
While all the three cloud providers offer discounts up to 75 percent for a commitment of one to three years, Google additionally offers a sustained use discount of up to 30 percent on each instance type running for more than 25 percent each month.
AWS’ 1-year-free trial has matched by GCP’s credit of USD 300 for 12 months along with a free tier that isn’t time-limited. GCP’s credits 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.
A Three-way Battle
The differences between the three major cloud services can be seen by evaluating them using different parameters such as compute, storage, databases, locations and documentation.
- Compute: AWS offers the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) that handles all compute services by managing virtual machines that have preconfigured settings and can also be configured by the users as required. On the other hand, Azure offers Virtual Machines and Virtual Machine scale sets while GCP provides the Google Compute Engine (GCE) which performs the same functions.
- Storage: Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is the best option for storage with extensive documentation, tried and tested technology with proper community support. Microsoft Azure Storage and Google Cloud Storage also offer reliable storage services.
- Databases: Multiple tools and service options pertaining to databases are offered by all the major service providers. Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS) supports major databases such as Oracle and PostgreSQL and manages everything from updating to patching. Azure SQL database offers SQL database handling features for Azure, while it is Cloud SQL for GCP.
- Location: AWS, Azure and GCP offer great coverage across the world and ensure peak application performance by having the least possible route to the intended customer base. While Amazon has 77 availability zones, Azure has a presence in 60+ regions and Google in 33 countries, with newer regions being added regularly.
- Documentation: All three vendors offer high-quality documentation though AWS is slightly ahead of Azure and GCP.
AWS Vs Azure Vs Google Cloud: Key Takeaways!
After going through the most significant pros and cons of these three cloud providers, it is obvious that each of them are unique in their own way and provides various options to the customers.
But when we take a close look at them, we can see AWS securing maximum footprint in this cloud battle of Azure vs AWS vs GCP. Even though AWS is ahead of the curve, it is still uncertain to say for how long AWS will be enjoying the dominance.
Azure and GCP are striving relentlessly to secure a maximum share in the global cloud market.
Azure is leveraging the fact that ‘it is easy to integrate MS tools with Azure cloud’. So, Azure can easily embrace organizations to use MS tools.
On the other hand, GCP with the best pricing models can aid the customers with cost concerns.
AWS, Azure and GCP: Market Shares and Growth Rate
Since the inception of Cloud computing, AWS has been dominating others in the global cloud market. AWS is enjoying dominance by securing around 32 percent of the global market share. While Microsoft Azure is ensuing AWS with 19 percent of the global market share.
And, GCP is in third place with a global market share of 10 percent.
Cloud Market Share at a Glance:
- AWS – 32%
- Microsoft Azure – 19%
- GCP – 7%
The Selection Dilemma
The war for cloud supremacy is between the Big Three. While a number of other players like IBM and Oracle have ventured into cloud services, they are still a long way off from cornering a significant share of the market.
Each of the three cloud platforms AWS, Azure and GCP are unique in their own way and offer a plethora of options for organizations to select from based on their specific requirements.
Whether AWS will retain its eminence or whether the others will catch up in the near future remains to be seen.
Post Updated: 07th April 2021