Cloud Computing has come a long way since its inception. 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. In this Azure vs. AWS vs. Google Cloud blog, you’ll be taken through the following topics:
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Without further ado, let’s get started.
AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud: Establishment
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, 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
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 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.
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 the reported quarterly earnings for 2021, Microsoft’s Azure cloud revenue has been observed to, once again, outperform both AWS and Google Cloud combined.
In spite of the Goliath-like stature of Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft’s Azure cloud outperformed its competitors with its US$17.7 billion (50% revenue growth over the previous quarter) in commercial-cloud revenue as per the fiscal earnings report. While Amazon’s AWS reported US$13.5 billion in cloud business revenue for the quarter (revenue grew 32% in the quarter), Google Cloud had a modest US$4.05 billion.
Reports by Canalys mentions that as of April 2021, the global cloud market grew 35% this quarter to $41.8 billion. AWS covers 32% of the market, followed by Azure at 19% and Google at 7%.
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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.
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. 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.
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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:
|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|
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|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|
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Learn about the difference between Azure and AWS in our comparison blog on Azure vs AWS.
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
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.
|AWS||•Comprehend •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
- Traffic Director
- Cloud Build
- 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:
|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 percent 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.|
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.’
AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud: Pros and Cons
AWS: Pros and Cons
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
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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!
- 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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