Cloud computing services are taking over the business world. However, AWS vs Azure vs GCP is the buzzing question for every business that is thinking about adopting the cloud as a server.
Therefore, this blog aims at helping businesses make the right decision by briefly describing the three cloud service providers, the services offered by them, and the differences they have between them.
But let’s start with the basics first. Shall we?
Table of Contents
What Are On-Premises And Cloud Computing?
The contemporary IT environment has changed the way businesses store and also work data and software. While some companies have taken the leap of faith into cloud infrastructure, others have stuck to their traditional way of keeping and maintaining the data and applications on-premises.
Let’s begin by looking at the difference between the two ways.
On-premises is an IT infrastructure method that involves systems, hardware applications, and software applications that are stored on-site. Hence, the software is locally hosted, installed, and runs on privately owned and maintained hardware infrastructure.
On-premises software is reliable and secure, and in addition, offers organizations a level of control. Although, it involves huge installation, administrative and maintenance costs, however, since the entire instance of software stays within an organization’s premises; it is a safe and secure option.
Cloud computing, on the other hand, makes data storage and software accessible from anywhere, over the internet, through a web browser, or any other interface. Additionally, these types of software are hosted by a third-party provider.
Cloud computing gives ease of use and maintenance, flexibility, agility, and also scalability. It is a more cost-effective and low-maintenance option than on-premises.
And owing to these extensive benefits of cloud computing, it’s rising at an unprecedented rate. In fact, as per a report by Fortune Business Insights, the global cloud market is expected to reach USD 791.48 billion by 2028, up 300% from USD 250.04 billion in 2021.
Cloud computing and optimization solutions would grow in demand at a CAGR of 17.9% during the forecast period 2021-2028.
While enterprises are still going for the tried and tested, control-driven, secure on-premises hosting of software, more and more startups are investing in cloud computing.
Why Are Startups More Inclined Toward Cloud Computing?
Cloud infrastructure offers startups the benefits of lower infrastructure and space expenses, initial and cost-effective support, flexibility to scale as per business growth, and capital allocation to core business operations.
To reap these benefits, contemporary startups around the globe are relying on cloud computing to kick-start their operations.
As a third-party provider leases IT resources, owned and managed by it, to businesses for use on a subscription basis, with full responsibility to maintain it, startups and some enterprises are focusing on crucial business operations, whilst completely relying on cloud computing.
Now, cloud computing is the practice of utilizing a network of different servers that host, store, manage, and process data online. These servers/ services are offered by multiple companies with different cloud computing service models.
There are three main categories of cloud computing or cloud computing service models namely:
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): With the help of IaaS products, organizations are allowed to manage their business resources on the cloud. These resources include business networks, servers, and data storage.
PaaS (Platform as a Service): PaaS products give on-demand access to businesses and developers to host, develop, deploy, and maintain consumer-facing apps.
SaaS (Software as a Service): SaaS products are commonly used by both consumers and businesses to access cloud-based tools and applications for daily use.
These three cloud computing services are not mutually exclusive. While mid-sized organizations may make use of more than one, large enterprises use all three to meet their cloud requirements.
These client computing services are provided by three giants that dominate as the cloud service providers or cloud platforms. The top three cloud platforms are AWS, Azure, and GCP. And hence, AWS vs Azure vs GCP is always trending.
Let’s learn about these three briefly and look at their differences.
AWS (Amazon Web Services)
Amazon Web Services or AWS is the oldest and at the same time, leading cloud service provider worldwide. It is a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. It offers on-demand computing resources and services that facilitate the development of applications in minutes on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Launched in 2006 for public use, AWS offered services such as Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), etc.
By 2009, more services such as Elastic Block Store (EBS) were made public, and services such as Amazon CloudFront, and Content delivery network (CDN), joined the AWS Cloud Computing Service offerings.
‘Without a doubt, the market leader, AWS often wins on developer functionality, due to the breadth of its services because of its first mover advantage. AWS has also done a good job at translating its scale into economic benefits for customers‘, says Nick McQuire, VP at CSS Insights.
With 99 availability zones in 31 regions, AWS is built with a combination of IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS and offers more than 200 services. In fact, it has a global market share of 31% currently.
Database services offered by AWS:
Database Migration Service
The platform also offers AI/ML services such as Amazon SageMaker, Amazon Comprehend, Amazon Lex, and Amazon Polly.
Furthermore, AWS Security Hub ensures the security of an application or software, and compliance is ensured through AWS CloudHSM.
Big brands like Netflix, BBC, Facebook, Spotify, LinkedIn, Coca-Cola, and Airbnb use AWS for their cloud computing needs.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of this platform:
A vast variety of services are available, ranging from networking to robotics
Oldest and also the most mature platform
Global reach and standard for reliability and security
Large compute capacity in comparison to other platforms
Support for large organizations
Offers distaste recovery services
No free Developers/Enterprise support; instead it must be purchased
It is an overwhelming platform for newcomers due large number of services offered
Microsoft Azure is a public cloud platform that offers solutions for analytics, virtual computing, storage, networking, and also other services.
Ray Wang, founder, and principal analyst at Constellation Research, says ‘Microsoft is a strong number two to AWS, thanks to its combination of Azure, Office 365, and Teams’.
Launched in 2010, Azure is currently one of the fastest-growing cloud platforms with over 200 products and services.
The platform was renamed ‘Microsoft Azure’ in 2014, however, Azure is still widely used. In fact, it has a global market share of 11% currently.
Azure too provides IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. This platform enhances or replaces businesses’ on-premises servers accordingly, as per requests.
Furthermore, it offers support to open-source languages, technologies, and platforms, giving users the flexibility to develop and support any application.
Database services offered by Azure are:
Database for MySQL
Database for PostgreSQL
Server Stretch Database
The cloud platform further offers AI/ML services such as Machine Learning, Azure Bot Service, and Cognitive Services.
With the help of Azure Security Center, a business application is secured, while Azure Trust Center looks after compliance.
Names like the Centre of Disease Control (CDC) – US, National Health Service (NHS) – UK, HSBC, Starbucks, Renault, etc., trust Microsoft Azure for their cloud needs.
Let’s dive into the pros and cons of Azure.
Easy integration and also migrations with Microsoft tools and software
Many modern services offered and broad feature set, including emerging technologies such as AI, ML, and analytics services
Relatively cheaper for most services in comparison to other cloud platforms
Hybrid cloud strategies are also supported effectively
Supports mixed Windows/Linus environments
Supports open sources
Ideal for startups and also developers
Fewer service offerings than AWS
Inclined toward enterprise customers
Cloud services might have glitches; extra costs to fix them need to be invested accordingly
Doesn’t provide any long-term data archiving and retrieval choices
Google Cloud Platform or GCP was established in 2008 by Google and offers IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS to enterprises across the globe. It basically offers services needed to build, deploy, scale, monitor, and operate a cloud.
With services offered in 35 regions with 106 operational zones, GCP offers over 100 services. The smallest of the three leading cloud service providers, GCP still offers a vast and strong set of cloud services to power and manage multiple kinds of applications.
In fact, it is often believed that GCP is the market’s fiercest challenger.
‘What tips the scales in its favor is its engineering muscle and in particular the way customers gain access to and engage Google engineers, particularly for co-development’, says McQuire.
Database services offered by GCP:
AI/ML services offered by the cloud platform are Cloud Machine Learning Engine, Dialogflow Enterprise Edition, Cloud Natural Language, Cloud Speech API, Cloud Translation API, Cloud Video Intelligence, and Cloud Job Discovery (Private Beta).
Cloud Security Command Center ensures the security in GCP, whereas, compliance is taken care of by Google Cloud Platform Security.
Brands like Toyota, The Home Depot, PayPal, Twitter, Target, etc., use GCP for their business needs.
Looking at the pros and cons of GCP:
Compatibility with other Google services and products
Designed for businesses that are cloud-native
Great support for containerized workloads
Open-source and also portable
Cost-efficient with resource pooling, rapid elasticity, on-demand self-service, instance, and payment configuration
Offers global fiber network
Flexibility in contracts
Comparatively limited services and lesser features
Support limitations for enterprise use cases
Doesn’t offer any disaster recovery
No offerings without charges beyond the free tier
While these were the backgrounds, pros, and cons of the three cloud service providers that dominate the cloud environment, let’s look at the key differences between them to help you choose which fits your business needs.
AWS vs Azure vs GCP:The Key Differences
2006; Amazon Inc.
Per-second pricing with a 60-second minimum
VM (Compute Instance)- EC2 (Elastic Compute) PaaS- AWS Elastic Beanstalk Container- AWS Elastic Container/Kubernetes Service Serverless Functions- AWS Lambda
VM (Compute Instance) – Azure Virtual Machine PaaS- App Service Container- Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) Serverless Functions- Azure Function
VM (Compute Instance) – Google Compute Engine PaaS- Google App Engine Container- Google Kubernetes Engine Serverless Functions- Google Cloud Functions
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
Best in class
AWS vs Azure vs GCP: Which one should you choose for your business?
All the above options are robust and thus, are capable of helping businesses optimize their operations. However, they all have their own set of features, advantages, and disadvantages.
AWS offers scalability, high stability transfer, and minimum loss of information during the server and storage transfer process. Furthermore, it offers better BI and analytical tools and a simpler licensing method. However, too many services and products make the process overwhelming and require some level of technical know-how.
Azure, on the other hand, offers better hybrid cloud support and provides inbuilt tools such as Azure Stack that allow businesses to deliver Azure services from their own data centers. However, the cloud services might give errors that need extra investment and lacks future data archival services. This cloud platform is best suited for startups and additionally, is popular among C-level executives that share long-running relationships and goodwill with Microsoft.
Lastly, GCP offers broader network access and a comparatively better UI that enhances the user experience. However, this platform is relatively new and offers fewer features when compared with the other two.
Therefore, a business needs to consider these points while choosing its cloud partner. A cost-benefit analysis as per business needs and uniqueness needs to be undertaken to come to the best choice.
Following are the use cases that would help businesses decide as per requirements:
If your business requires an in-depth feature portfolio, then AWS is the right cloud platform choice.
Azure is most suitable for organizations that are primarily operating with Microsoft products.
GCP, on the other hand, is better suited for businesses seeking optimal innovation and low costs.
And if you want to get an expert’s advice/ guidance on the same or have chosen a cloud platform and need to optimize it, then you have landed on the right page!
How BigOhTech can Help?
BigOhTech assists businesses with tech and IT consultation. Our experts give the most suitable suggestions and recommendations as per the nature of your business, its needs, and the support it demands.
Moreover, in any cloud platform, a business goes for, its optimization is of utmost importance. BigOh realizes that and hence, offers services like tailor-made, flexible, and cost-effective cloud solutions.
Our cloud optimization solutions help businesses contain sky-high cloud bills, eliminate miscellaneous or unnecessary charges and also optimize the cloud services for maximum results.
Optimize your cloud services today!
Q1. What are the major differences between AWS vs Azure vs GCP?
AWS vs Azure vs GCP are differentiated on the basis of the compute and storage services provided by them as well as the quality of documentation in each cloud platform along with the price variations. While AWS offers a greater number of services than the other two, GCP is the most cost-efficient option out of the three. Azure, on the other hand, is the cheapest option in terms of individual services out of the three and is ideal for startups and developers.
Q2. Which cloud platform is best suited for my business needs?
All three cloud platforms namely AWS, Azure, and GCP come with their own features, strengths, and also shortcomings. While AWS enjoys first-comer benefits and has multiple services and features, Azure and GCP are catching up at a rapid pace. While AWS offers business scalability and a plethora of powerful tools, and features, the pricing of it is a bit too casual and businesses often struggle with understanding the metrics. Azure, on the other hand, enjoys the reputation earned by Microsoft. It offers integration with Microsoft tools and services and one-click, easy migrations. However, errors and glitches in cloud services are common issues. Lastly, GCP stands out due to its proficiency in open-source technologies, and its broad network capabilities and access. However, the features offered might be fewer in comparison to the other options available. Therefore, a business needs to carry out its own cost and benefit analysis and see which of the three best suits its needs.
Q3. How do the pricing models of AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud compare?
The pricing of the 3 cloud services provider are as follows: AWS – 1. An instance with 2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB RAM will cost you around USD69/month. 2. Largest instance that includes 3.84 TB RAM and 128 vCPUs will cost you around USD 3.97/hour.
Azure – 1. An instance with 2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB RAM will cost you around USD70/month. 2. Largest instance that includes 3.89 TB RAM and 128 vCPUs will cost you around USD 6.79/hour.
GCP– 1. Instance with 2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB RAM will cost you around USD52/month. 2. Largest instance that includes 3.75 TB RAM and 160 vCPUs will cost you around USD 5.32/hour.