AWS v/s Azure v/s Google Cloud – Which is the Best Cloud Services Platform?

Introduction

With the growing scope for cloud computing, the use of cloud infrastructures for efficient resource management, workflows, and productivity with reduced and optimized cost is no longer a question. Organizations know that they can essentially create their brand value and lead business growth with the use of cloud services. However, as they consider their move to cloud, the question is which cloud services provider?

There are a number of platforms where you can leverage the cloud computing technology. And this can highly get you torn for the choice to make, especially when you are talking about platforms like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

Over the years, these three platforms have managed to retain the top 3 positions in the cloud space and with their surprisingly similar features and functionalities, it’s very difficult to determine which platform would work the best for your business.

The choice is definitely difficult, however, here is a comparison that will help ease out the decision making.

Comparing AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud

Statistics come as one of the best ways for comparison and decision making. When you have clear numbers before your eyes comparing different platforms on different parameters, you are somehow able to form your opinions. So, let’s talk numbers regarding the market share and growth rate about all these three cloud services platforms.

Market Share Owned by Top Cloud Services Platform

  • AWS – 32%
  • Azure – 19%
  • Google Cloud – 7%
  • Others (IBM Cloud, Alibaba Cloud, GoDaddy, Salesforce, etc.) – 42%

Azure_ aws_ Google Cloud

The statistics clearly reveal that AWS has been the dominant platform in the market and it has maintained that for years now, which highly show the efficiency of the platform and make it certain that it shall be a best choice for it’s preferred by the major market players. 

However, just the market share does not work for the right decision, since the choice of cloud platforms more depends on the business specific requirements which makes it important to look into the functionality and features of each platform. Moreover, most businesses follow the trend of using multi cloud platforms, so a business which is using AWS Cloud, might also be using Azure and Google or any other platform for that matter. 

Basically, the numbers could be deceptive for making the perfect decision, and that’s why you need to dig in deeper. Let’s do that.

Comparing Cloud Platforms Based on their Functionalities and Features

Compute

This is what deals with the computing workloads and provides the ability to scale the capacities over the cloud and users look for platforms where they can easily expand the compute capacities to several nodes in a matter of minutes.

Let’s have a look at the capabilities each of the platform has to offer.

AWS Cloud

AWS provides compute capabilities with its EC2 instance. It’s a service that allows the users to securely resize their compute capabilities within the cloud environment. EC2 has amazing capabilities to expand the compute power with a number of instances, resizable capacities, and auto-scaling. Also, it offers support for both Windows and Linux based operating system which make it very flexible to use. Additionally, the users can have 750 hours per month for up to 1year for use as a free-tier.

Besides that, you can also have container services with the EC2 compute with support for Docker and Kubernetes, as well as its own container services, Fargate that has the capabilities for the automation of containers. Moreover, you can also deploy it for your batch computing jobs with the virtual private cloud options as well as use it for running web applications along with scaling them using the Elastic Beanstalk.

Microsoft Azure

Azure provides its compute services with its Virtual Machines which have more or less the similar features, functionalities, and capabilities of AWS EC2 Instance. It has a huge set of instances which are also optimized for AI and machine learning. Besides that, it has wide support for a number of operating systems and enhanced security features as well. Also, just like EC2 instance, Virtual Machine also offers free-tier of 750hours per month for 12 months, however, that’s available only over Windows and Linux B1S Virtual Machines and not the other supported operating systems.

Talking about additional services, it also provides container services with support for Docker and Kubernetes and has support for running and scaling web applications as well as batch services. Additionally, it has a special offering by the name of Service Fabric. This is especially for the microservices architecture and comes as a great addition to the cloud services.

Google Cloud

Google Cloud offers a Compute Engine that has custom offerings with pre-defined machine types that support Windows and Linux and bill per second. Also, its free tier includes one micro f1 instance per month for up to a year. With all of this the offerings of Google Cloud fall much shorter in comparison to AWS and Azure.

Even with its additional services, Google Cloud has its focus over Kubernetes and it offers Kubernetes Engines instead of containers and also has support for microservices.

Storage

Businesses majorly shift to cloud in order to have bulk storage capabilities which forms this as yet another important feature in a cloud. Below are the comparisons for the storage capacities offered by each of the platform.

AWS Cloud

AWS has different storage services for different kind of storage requirements. You can use the Amazon S3 instance for object storage, Elastic Block Storage is available to store data in blocks as you use the EC2 instances, and for your files, you have the Elastic File System. These different types of storage availability not only provide vast storage option, but also the ability to manage your data in a better fashion. Additionally, there are other products like Storage Gateway which provide for storage in hybrid cloud environments and a hardware device called Snowball to facilitate easier data transfers in offline environments since transfer of huge volumes of data online is not very practical.

Microsoft Azure

Azure has similar storage services to AWS with a Blob Storage for object data storage, queue storage to store huge volumes of workloads, and other file and data storage. Additionally, it has a separate File Lake Storage to support big data applications. However, the availability of hardware device and other storage for hybrid environments lacks in Azure.

Google Cloud

Just like Compute, the list for storage service too is much smaller in Google Cloud with a single, unified storage option. However, it does have a hardware device like Snowball that facilitates transfers along with the capability for online transfers.

Database

As you manage your workflows, you need to look into the database workload that make database comparison essential.

AWS Cloud

AWS supports wide range of database storage services. It has Aurora that supports SQL compatible database, relational database services, DynamoDB NoSQL Database, and a lot more along with database migration services. Additionally, it supports huge archival capacities with Glacier while you can also use its Storage Gateway for the archives and backups.

Microsoft Azure

Azure has particularly extensive database options with support for three SQL compatible database, along with data warehouse facilities. Moreover, it also offers an actual backup service for the database in addition to the site recovery and archive storage services.

Google Cloud

Similar to AWS and Azure, it GCP has SQL-based and relational database storage options. However, it lacks the backup and archive services.

Pricing

Pricing is very crucial to consider and compare when you are deploying a cloud, because you obviously have budgets to manage and maintain.

AWS Cloud

AWS is the first to support a pay as you go pricing model. This means that you pay only for the services you are using over the cloud platform. However, this model itself makes determining the pricing of AWS Cloud difficult and complex and while there is a cost calculator offered by the platform itself, the variables fluctuate and do not give a very correct estimate. This makes it important for you to use other cost management tools with AWS to keep your costs optimized.

Microsoft Azure

The pricing model of Azure is difficult and complex as well, as there are situation-based discounts available and other complicated options for software licensing. The understanding of all these discounts and options requires experience and expertise which make other help in the form of cost management tools or professionals important.

Google Cloud

This is where Google Cloud creates its differentiation. The pricing models are user-friendly and very easy to understand. There are deep discounts as well which make the platform more affordable.

Availability Zones

You use cloud platforms to enhance your availability and accessibility to resources, so more the availability zones, better the platform. Thus, this comparison cannot be avoided. Here are the number of regions where each of the platform offers availability.

AWS Cloud

AWS has been the oldest to leverage cloud computing technology and has had much more time to drive expansion which makes it to have more availability zones than any other cloud platforms. It offers its services in 66 availability zones spread over 165 countries.

Microsoft Azure

Azure has not been much behind the race and has availability in 140 countries with 54 availability zones.

Google Cloud

Google Cloud is still developing and has a shorter availability with 20 regions at present. However, it’s continuously evolving, coming with more availability zones.

Conclusion

The above comparison clearly shows that not just the market share which makes AWS lead the cloud space, but even the features and functionalities make AWS the best platform. However, Azure is not much behind the race, and GCP is also developing, moreover, both Azure and GCP have amazing growth prospects which make them good competitors too.

The bottom line is, it all comes down to your specific business needs and demands which supports the choice and decision. So, compare, evaluate, analyze, identify, and then choose the best platform that you can see as supporting your goals and objectives into driving business growth and scalability.

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