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AWS Vs Azure Vs Google Cloud: Choosing the Best Cloud Platform

AWS Vs Azure Vs Google Cloud: Choosing the Best Cloud Platform
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Cloud Computing has come a long way since its inception. Forbes predicts a record-breaking US$1 trillion in cloud business spending by the end of 2024. It’s no longer a question of whether to opt for Cloud Computing or not; now, the question is which cloud platform to go for. With the Cloud Computing market, flooded with numerous cloud providers, AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform stand out proudly as the top three cloud providers. So, how do you decide which one to choose? How do you conclude the big AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud debate? Well, this blog is how you’ll get answers to all these questions. This blog highlights and elaborates on AWS, Azure, and GCP.

Check out this AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud video:

Overview of AWS, Azure, and GCP

What is AWS?

What is AWS?- AWS vs. Azure vs. GCP - Intellipaat

As of 2024, according to TheChannelCo. AWS had already taken over 31% of the market –  thanks to its constant development, growing service offerings, and affordable prices.

Still, wondering why AWS emerged as the largest service provider? Here we are listing three reasons to prove it:

  • Most Functionality – It offers a variety of tools, from compute storage and databases to ever-changing Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning capabilities.
  • Largest Community of Customers and Partners –  AWS, being the biggest Cloud provider, has millions of users and partners actively using the services provided. There you’ll find plenty of resources, aws tutorials, and guidance to help you learn about the cloud ecosystem. 
  • Most Secure- AWS offers the best security because it has multiple layers of encryption, teams of experts, constant penetration testing and regular security updates that make it the most secure.

What is Microsoft Azure?

What is Microsoft Azure?- AWS vs. Azure vs. GCP - Intellipaat

Microsoft Azure is the second largest Cloud provider among the top three Cloud service providers. With a remarkable 24% share of total Cloud services, Azure also provides services and tools for over 95% of Fortune 500 companies. Some of the features that make Azure a good cloud option are: 

  • Microsoft Suite Integration– If you’re already a Windows or Office user, Azure integrates seamlessly, making it a familiar and comfortable Cloud choice. No need to learn a whole new system, you can use your existing Microsoft knowledge and start using Azure efficiently.
  • Big Business Focus: Azure is super secure and reliable, specially designed for big businesses. With strong security features, compliance certifications, and dedicated support teams, Azure is a trusted partner to handle your company’s crucial data. 
  • Hybrid Cloud Scope: Azure fulfills the need for both public and private cloud solutions,  as it offers hybrid capabilities, allowing businesses to mix and match their work based on their needs.

What is Google Cloud Platform?

What is GCP?- AWS vs. Azure vs. GCP - Intellipaat

The third-largest Cloud service provider, with a market share of 11%, it’s important to note its impressive growth rate of 36% year-over-year. This means Google Cloud is expanding its market share faster than both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, the current leaders in the market. GCP has some new features that make it stand out. These include: 

  • Competitive Pricing: When Google Cloud entered the market, they set aggressive prices, sometimes lower than competitors. This strategy attracted businesses looking for the most budget-friendly cloud option.
  • Open-Source Advantage: Google Cloud supports using open-source tools and frameworks, which makes it easier for programmers to work efficiently who are familiar with those ecosystems.
  • AI and Machine Learning: GCP continues to be the leader in AI and Machine Learning by offering services like Vertex AI, which has features like building and deploying Machine Learning models.

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AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud: Interesting Facts

Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services is a subsidiary of amazon.com, which provides an on-demand Cloud Computing platform to individuals, companies, and governments on a paid-subscription basis.

Amazon Web Services is the oldest and the most experienced player in the cloud market. As one of the oldest cloud providers, it has established a bigger user base, as well as bigger trust and reliability factors.

AWS was publicly launched in 2006 with service offerings such as Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), etc. By 2009, Elastic Block Store (EBS) was made public, and services such as Amazon CloudFront, Content delivery network (CDN), and more formally joined the AWS Cloud Computing Service offerings.

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Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure, initially called Azure, was launched in 2010 with the intent to provide a competent Cloud Computing platform for businesses. Azure was renamed as ‘Microsoft Azure’ in 2014, though the name ‘Azure’ is still commonly used. Since its inception, Microsoft Azure has shown great progress among its competitors.

Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform (GCP), which is offered by Google, is a suite of Cloud Computing services that runs on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products such as Google Search engine, YouTube, and more.

Google Cloud Platform began its journey in 2011, and in less than a decade it has managed to create a good presence in the cloud industry. The initial intent of Google Cloud was to strengthen Google’s own products such as Google Search engine and YouTube. But now, they have also introduced their enterprise services so that anyone can use Google Cloud Platform which shares the same infrastructure as that of Google Search or YouTube.

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AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud: Availability Zones

AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud Availability Zones- AWS vs. Azure vs. GCP - Intellipaat

It has been already established that AWS was the earliest in the cloud domain which means that they have had more time to establish and expand their network. So, AWS is hosting in multiple locations worldwide. Azure and GCP are also hosting in multiple locations worldwide, but the difference occurs in the number of their respective availability zones.

  • AWS has 105 availability zones, with 18 more on the way, and is available in 245 countries all around the world.
  • Azure has 69 regions worldwide and is available in 215 countries all around the world.
  • Google Cloud Platform has been made available in 39 regions around the world, with 10 more on their way.

Moving on with this Azure vs AWS vs Google Cloud blog, let’s look into the market shares and growth rate of each of these cloud providers.

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AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud: Market Shares and Growth Rate

According to CRN quarterly earnings for 2023, Microsoft Azure’s cloud revenue has been observed to, once again, outperform both AWS and Google Cloud.

In spite of the Goliath-like stature of Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure Cloud outperformed its competitors with its US$25.9 billion in commercial-cloud revenue, as per the fiscal Q4 earnings report. While Amazon’s AWS reported US $24.2 billion in Cloud business revenue for the fourth quarter of 2023, Google Cloud had a modest US $9.2 billion, respectively.

Top Three Cloud Vendors- AWS vs. Azure vs. GCP - Intellipaat

Reports by CRN, mention that, as of Q4, 2023, the global Cloud market grew 67% this quarter to $78 billion. AWS covers 31% of the market, followed by Azure at 24% and Google at 11%.

AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud Market Shares- AWS vs. Azure vs. GCP - Intellipaat

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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.

Top users - AWS vs Azure vs GCP1

Azure is attracting more high-profile customers over time. As of now, Azure has almost 95% of Fortune 500 companies as its customers. Some of its major customers are Johnson Controls, Polycom, Fujifilm, HP, Honeywell, Apple, etc.

top users - AWS vs Azure vs GCP2

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.

top users - AWS vs Azure vs GCP

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. So, moving forward with this Azure vs AWS vs Google Cloud blog, let’s look into the service offerings of these cloud providers.

AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud: Services

Now, you will see what all these three cloud giants have to offer in terms of services.

With the added advantage of five years of a head start, AWS computing services are by far the most evolved and functionally rich.

Want to read more about AWS and Azure? Go through this AWS Tutorial and Azure Tutorial!

AWS offers around 200+ services, whereas Azure offers up to 100+ services. Google Cloud, on the other hand, is catching up with Azure and AWS offering around 60+ services.

Service offerings from AWS, Azure, and GCP that come under the domains of compute, database, storage, and networking are mapped below:

Compute Services

ServicesAWSAzureGCP
IaaSAmazon Elastic Compute CloudVirtual MachinesGoogle Compute Engine
PaaSAWS Elastic BeanstalkApp Service and Cloud ServicesGoogle App Engine
ContainersAmazon Elastic Compute Cloud Container ServiceAzure Kubernetes Service (AKS)Google Kubernetes Engine
Serverless FunctionsAWS LambdaAzure FunctionsGoogle Cloud Functions

Database Services

ServicesAWSAzureGCP
RDBMSAmazon Relational Database ServiceSQL DatabaseGoogle Cloud SQL
NoSQL: Key–ValueAmazon DynamoDBTable StorageGoogle Cloud DatastoreGoogle Cloud Bigtable
NoSQL: IndexedAmazon SimpleDBAzure Cosmos DBGoogle Cloud Datastore

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Storage Services

ServicesAWSAzureGCP
Object StorageAmazon Simple Storage ServiceBlob StorageGoogle Cloud Storage
Virtual Server DisksAmazon Elastic Block StoreManaged DisksGoogle Compute Engine Persistent Disks
Cold StorageAmazon GlacierAzure Archive Blob StorageGoogle Cloud Storage Nearline
File StorageAmazon Elastic File SystemAzure File StorageZFS/Avere

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Networking Services

ServicesAWSAzureGCP
Virtual NetworkAmazon Virtual Private Cloud(VPC)Virtual Networks (VNets)Virtual Private Cloud
Elastic Load BalancerElastic Load BalancerAzure Load BalancerGoogle Cloud Load Balancing
PeeringDirect ConnectExpressRouteGoogle Cloud Interconnect
DNSAmazon Route 53Azure DNSGoogle Cloud DNS

AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud: Key Cloud Tools

Currently, there is too much competition among the three cloud providers. In accordance with the latest trends and customer demands, all three providers have begun to offer these services and are likely to expand them in the future.

AWS Key Tools

Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning

From its list of diversified AI-oriented services, AWS offers DeepLens, an AI-powered camera for developing and deploying machine learning algorithms to use them for optical character recognition and image or object recognition. AWS has announced an open-source deep learning library called Gluon, which can be utilized by developers and non-developers to quickly build neural networks without any knowledge of AI.

SageMaker to Severless

AWS has a long list of services in the areas of machine learning and AI. AWS’s list of services also includes AWS SageMaker, which is used to train and deploy machine learning models. It also has the Lex conversational interface that powers Alexa services, AWS Greengrass IoT messaging service, and Lambda serverless computing service.

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Azure Key Tools

Cognitive Services

Heavily investing in the fields of machine learning and AI, Microsoft offers machine learning and a bot service on Azure. Apart from this, it also has cognitive services that include Bing Web Search API, Text Analytics API, Face API, Computer Vision API, and Custom Vision Service. Furthermore, for IoT, Microsoft has several management and analytics services, and its serverless computing service is known as Functions.

Supporting MSFT Software

Azure has several tools that help in supporting on-premises Microsoft software. Azure Backup is a service that links Windows Server Backup, in Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016. Visual Studio Team Services hosts Visual Studio projects on Azure.

Google Cloud Key Tools

IoT to Serverless

Out of all the advanced technologies, Google Cloud has offerings in APIs for natural language, speech, translation, and more. In addition to these offerings, it offers IoT and serverless services but beta previews.

Big On AI

Google Cloud is currently the leader in AI development. The credit of which goes to TensorFlow,  an open-source software library for building machine learning applications. TensorFlow is highly popular among developers.  

VendorAL/MLIoTServerless
AWSComprehend •Lex •Polly •Rekognition •Machine Learning •Translate •Transcribe •DeepLens •Deep Learning AMIs •SageMaker •Apache MXNet on AWS •TensorFlow on AWS•IoT Core •FreeRTOS •Greengrass •IoT 1-Click •IoT Analytics •IoT Button •IoT Device Defender •IoT Device Management•Lambda •Serverless Application Repository
Azure•Machine Learning •Azure Bot Service •Cognitive Services•IoT Hub •IoT Edge •Stream Analytics •Time Series Insights•Functions
Google Cloud•Cloud Machine Learning Engine •Dialogflow Enterprise Edition •Cloud Natural Language •Cloud Speech API •Cloud Translation API •Cloud Video Intelligence •Cloud Job Discovery (Private Beta)•Cloud IoT Core (Beta)•Cloud Functions (Beta)

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AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud: Hybrid and Multicloud Options

All three vendors are not yet significantly into hybrid and multi cloud offerings, but offer different tools to give customers more flexibility.

AWS Hybrid and Multi Cloud

  • AWS Snowball
  • AWS Snowcone
  • AWS Outposts
  • AWS Local Zones
  • VMware Cloud on AWS
  • AWS Wavelength
  • Amazon ECS Anywhere
  • Amazon EKS Anywhere

Azure Hybrid And Multi Cloud

  • Azure Arc
  • Azure Backup
  • Azure Active Directory
  • Azure Security Center
  • Azure Blob Storage
  • Azure Stack
  • Azure Centinel

Google Cloud Hybrid and Multi Cloud

  • Anthos
  • Traffic Director
  • Looker
  • Cloud Build
  • Operations
  • Cloud Run for Anthos

AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud: Pricing

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

Machine TypeAWSAzureGCP
Smallest InstanceIn 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 percent cheaper rate. So, it will cost you around US$52/month.
Largest InstanceThe 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.

Another point to note here is that AWS recently started offering pay-per-minute billing. Azure already offers pay-per-minute billing, while Google Cloud offers pay-per-second billing models which let users save way more than using AWS or Azure. Google also offers various discounts to help customers save up to 50 percent in some cases when compared to AWS. According to Gartner, ‘Google offers deep discounts and exceptionally flexible contracts to try to win projects from customers.’

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AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud: Pros and Cons

AWS: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Extensive service portfolio: AWS offers a wide range of cloud services and solutions, including computing power, storage, databases, analytics, machine learning, and more. It provides comprehensive tools to meet various business needs.
  • Scalability and flexibility: AWS enables businesses to scale their resources up or down based on demand. It offers flexible options for compute power, storage capacity, and network resources, allowing organizations to optimize costs and meet fluctuating workloads.
  • Global infrastructure: AWS has a vast global infrastructure with data centers located in multiple regions worldwide. This allows for low-latency access and the ability to deploy applications closer to end-users, improving performance and user experience.
  • Security and compliance: AWS prioritizes the security of its cloud services and provides a wide range of security features and compliance certifications. It offers tools and services to help users secure their applications and data.

Cons:

  • Complexity: The wide array of services and features offered by AWS can make it complex for beginners or those without prior cloud experience. The learning curve can be steep, and proper understanding and management of AWS resources may require dedicated training and expertise.
  • Pricing model: While AWS provides flexible pricing options, the complexity of the pricing structure can be challenging to navigate. Organizations need to carefully plan and monitor their resource usage to optimize costs effectively.
  • Support limitations: The level of support provided by AWS varies depending on the chosen support plan. Some users may find that the support options available do not align with their specific requirements, which may require additional resources or expertise.
  • Vendor lock-in: As with any cloud provider, there is a risk of vendor lock-in when heavily relying on AWS services. Migrating applications and data to another cloud platform can be complex and time-consuming.

Microsoft Azure: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Broad service offerings: Azure provides a wide range of cloud services and solutions, including virtual machines, databases, AI and machine learning, analytics, and more. It offers comprehensive tools to address diverse business needs.
  • Hybrid cloud capabilities: Azure supports hybrid cloud deployments, allowing organizations to seamlessly integrate on-premises infrastructure with the cloud. This flexibility enables businesses to leverage existing investments while taking advantage of the scalability and innovation of the cloud.
  • Integration with Microsoft ecosystem: Azure integrates well with other Microsoft products and services, such as Windows Server, Active Directory, and Office 365. This integration simplifies management and allows for seamless collaboration across the Microsoft ecosystem.
  • Global presence: Azure has a significant global footprint with data centers distributed across multiple regions worldwide. This enables businesses to deploy their applications closer to end-users, ensuring low-latency access and improved performance.

Cons:

  • Complexity: Like other cloud platforms, Azure can be complex, especially for beginners or those without prior cloud experience. Understanding and effectively managing Azure resources may require dedicated training and expertise.
  • Cost management: While Azure provides cost optimization tools, understanding and managing costs in a dynamic cloud environment can be challenging. Organizations need to monitor resource usage and implement appropriate cost-management practices to avoid unexpected expenses.
  • Documentation and support: While Azure offers extensive documentation and resources, some users may find the documentation complex or overwhelming. Additionally, the level of support may vary depending on the support plan chosen, and users may need to rely on community forums for assistance.
  • Service availability: Although Azure strives for high availability, occasional service outages or disruptions can occur. It’s essential to have appropriate disaster recovery and business continuity plans in place to mitigate any potential impact.

Google Cloud: Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Scalability: Google Cloud provides scalable infrastructure, allowing users to easily scale resources up or down based on demand.
  • Global Infrastructure: It offers a vast global network of data centers, ensuring low latency and high-performance services across regions.
  • Big Data and Machine Learning: Google Cloud provides robust tools and services for big data processing and machine learning, enabling advanced analytics and insights.
  • Security: Google Cloud prioritizes security and offers advanced security features to protect data and applications.

Cons:

  • Cost: While Google Cloud offers flexible pricing options, the costs can add up, especially for resource-intensive workloads or storage requirements.
  • Support: The level of support may vary, and some users may require additional assistance or documentation for complex scenarios.
  • Service Outages: Like any cloud service, Google Cloud is susceptible to occasional service outages, which can impact business operations.
  • Competition: Google Cloud faces strong competition from other cloud providers, and users may need to evaluate and compare features before choosing a platform.

Check out this video on the AWS Course to enhance your knowledge:

AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud: What is Best for You?

Now, let’s wrap up this Azure vs AWS vs Google Cloud blog and take a look at the most significant pros and cons of these three cloud giants. So which cloud provider would be claimed as the winner for all the factors that have been discussed above?

  • Establishment: With a head start of 5 years, the winner here is AWS.
  • Availability zones: With a greater number of regions and availability zones, the winner here is AWS.
  • Market shares: With around one-third of the market shares in its name, the winner here is AWS.
  • Growth rate: Having a growth rate of almost 100 percent, the winner is GCP.
  • Who uses them: With various high-end customers using all three cloud platforms, it’s a tie!
  • Services:
    • When it comes to the number of services, the winner is AWS.
    • Regarding the integration with open-source and on-premise systems, such as MS tools, that are mostly used in almost all organizations, the winner is Azure.
  • Pricing Models: With more customer-friendly pricing models and discount models, the winner here is Google Cloud.

Learn about the difference between AWS and Google Cloud in our comparison blog on AWS vs Google Cloud.

With AWS scoring more points in this cloud battle of Azure vs AWS vs Google Cloud, it easily comes out on top of all the major cloud providers, today. However, it’s hard to say for how long AWS will wear the crown of the leading cloud provider, given that Azure and GCP are relentlessly working their way up on the top cloud providers list. Even though AWS has the added advantage of being the first one of its kind, Azure and GCP also have their own set of strengths. Using Azure cloud makes more sense to several organizations that use MS tools since it’s easy to integrate MS tools with Azure cloud. And, GCP offering the best pricing model for the infrastructure, on which Google Search engine and YouTube run, is the only reason customers need to go for GCP.

So, all things considered, it would be better to say that it’s not about choosing the best cloud providers, rather it’s about choosing the best-suited cloud provider as per your needs.

With this, you have come to the end of this blog on AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud. Hopefully, you found this blog informative. If you want to pursue AWS, Azure, and GCP in-depth, then do check out Intellipaat’s Azure Training, Microsoft AWS Master’s Program, and Google Cloud Training.

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