AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud Platform: Comparison for 2017

“I don’t need a hard disk in my computer if I can get to the server faster… carrying around these non-connected computers is byzantine by comparison.” – Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.

The concept of network clouds once became a safe and convenient solution to store any amount of information. Instead of creating their own infrastructures to support internal systems and applications, businesses and individuals now use cloud services and share one common infrastructure.

Cloud computing becomes more and more popular. Now companies can focus completely on the product they’re creating without any worries on the infrastructure issue. If we learn carefully the situation on the market, we’ll see how many large companies have already taken the advantage of using cloud platforms. As for startups, they also prefer managing on the cloud to get rid of extra work and devote more time to the new product or service.

After realizing the importance of Internet services, the next step should be choosing the cloud that is just right for you. Newcomers may look at the price, but this is hardly the only important feature to consider.

Presently, there are three main market players that will take your attention: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google. These projects are competing with each other all the time, and their fierce battle has established low prices and an excellent set of features.

Getting to Grips with Each Other

This is the basic information about three platforms we’re going to compare:

Basic information about three platforms

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the oldest and most experienced player on the market – it has 11 years in operation (established at the beginning of 2006). AWS has an extensive list of computing services with functions of deployment, mobile networking, and others.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) started their journey on October 6. 2011. For now, they’ve had 5 years during which they’ve managed to create a good presence in the industry. Initially, the push was done to strengthen their own services such as Google or YouTube. But they went further and created enterprise services – now anyone can use their cloud platform.

Microsoft Azure was presented in February 2010, and since then it has shown a great promise among its rivals. This platform can easily be associated with AWS – both of them provide their custom with a full set of services.

Basic Services in Comparison

Before going into details, let’s examine some basic cloud services for the “Azure vs. AWS vs. Google” battle in 2017.

Azure vs. AWS: these two market players are tied closely when it comes to their main features and services. Both of them manage basic elements of a public cloud:

  • Self-service;
  • Instant provisioning;
  • Autoscaling;
  • Security;
  • Compliance;
  • Identity management features.

Platform's features

But that is not all that these platforms have in common. Both platforms support relational and NoSQL databases. Besides, comparing AWS and Azure we find out that they are investing in new technologies like analytics and containers.

Google Cloud Platform vs. AWS. Today, one of the biggest disputes in the cloud community is the “AWS vs. Google” comparison. It is obvious that AWS wins in the category of size – we’ve mentioned that its product mix is broad and wide. GCP’s toolset is way smaller, but it’s focused on delivering all services quickly and efficiently. Google’s speed of I/O is an advantage as well as the platform’s advancement in BIG Data.

Google Cloud Platform vs. Azure. Regarding the list of services, Azure is an absolute winner as Google’s services are focused ones. But the two companies are equal in storage and database. In its turn, when it comes to an overall speed, GCP is shining brightly taking the first place.

Knowing basic advantages of the three platforms, we can go further examining specifically all significant features.

AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud: Compute

The reason why we have computers is to calculate and process data. If you need whether faster graphics rendering, data analysis or anything you have in mind, there are two options for you. You can buy more hardware or you go on the cloud. This is what cloud services offer you in this regard.

Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is the primary solution of AWS for scalable computing on demand. This offering competes with GCP’s Compute Engine and Azure’s Virtual Machine and Virtual Machine Sale Sets. There is also a solution for web and mobile applications (iOS, Android and Windows platforms). It allows saving money significantly if developers use it instead of EC2 or Compute Engine. If your app fits in the specs of AWS Elastic Beanstalk or Google App Engine, feel free to adapt your work to these tools.

If the main goal for you is to deploy software containers with Docker, pay attention to Amazon’s EC2 Container Service (ECS) and EC2 Container Registry (ECR). Google also has two solutions here: Container Engine and Container Registry. As for Azure, its Container Service has similar features, but the platform is not providing means for private Docker registries. Nevertheless, with Azure, you may deploy Windows client apps with its service RemoteApp.

Now when we know the names of all computing services, let’s turn to numbers.

AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud: Compute

To find out more about the cost of computing services, read the following information:

As you might have noticed, the most comprehensive is Amazon’s service, but at the same time, in the situation “AWS vs. Azure”, pricing can be rather intricate. Google’s offering may be less flexible, but its pricing is much easier to follow.

AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud: Storage

Another key pillar to cloud services is a storage function. To store objects, AWS’s Simple Storage Service (S3) has the longest run among the others. That is why it has an extensive documentation, which includes bunches of sample code and libraries, lots of articles and tutorials. And don’t forget about free webinars and active discussion forums that provide a useful feedback.

Google Cloud Storage and Microsoft Azure Storage along with Data Lake Store are also considered to be respectable and reliable services, but the resources you’re looking for don’t come close to those of Amazon. To read the table below, be sure you know what the abbreviations stand for:

DRA – Durable Reduced Availability

LRS – Locally Redundant Storage

GRS – Geographically Redundant Storage

RA-GRS – Read-Access Geographically Redundant Storage.

AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud: Storage

An archive is sometimes called “a cold storage” because files stored there you’re not going to access on a regular basis. In this case, lower rates will bring you joy, but don’t forget that the speeds are lower too. Comparing the platforms, we’ll see that the archiving characteristics are similar, so your decision will probably depend on the API you’ve implemented on the back-end. For more detailed information, see a table below: In this AWS vs. Azure feature comparison, AWS wins by a wide margin although we’ve mentioned before that these two platforms are quite similar. Even so, Google and Microsoft may have the price advantage in this round.

Comparing the platforms

AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud: Important StatisticsYou should also check out the archiving solutions by AWS and Azure – these are Data Archive and Backup and Archive respectively.

Having different age but a relatively similar set of features, each platform of the “Big Three” has its own admirers and ill-wishers. In November 2016, Clutch surveyed 247 organizations (from solo proprietorships to big enterprises) to gather more information on strong points of the platforms.

Key findings of the report

Azure is mostly used by enterprises, while GSP is chosen by small- and medium-sized businesses.

Azure is mostly used by enterprises

The most important reason why respondents prefer a primary platform is “better selection of tools/features”. “Stronger security” and “familiarity with a brand” are on the second place.

The most important reason why respondents prefer a primary platform

41% of respondents who use AWS as the primary provider, also use GCP. In 2017, “Google Cloud vs. AWS” becomes a combination of the highest use.

Google Cloud vs. AWS becomes a combination of the highest use

Considering the data presented in the report, the next conclusions were made by the authors:

  • If your enterprise requires Windows integration or if you’re seeking a strong PaaS (platform-as-a-service) provider, Microsoft Azure would be preferable for you.
  • If you need a strong emphasis on analytics or if your budget is limited, consider Google Cloud Platform.
  • If you care about a long-lasting reputation of a company, are looking for IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) offerings or a wide range of other tools, Amazon Web Services may be the best solution for you.

Cloud Platforms You Would Trust

Building a strong connection with cloud services is a must for modern business activity. With the offerings of cloud platforms, you can lay aside a huge part of your work with data. Entrusting business information to cloud platforms, you get a set of tools, which will help you to cope with data computing, storing and analyzing. Choosing the right partner would help you to focus on your direct responsibilities and establish the higher performance of all business processes in your organization.

Amazon Web Services were the first to offer cloud services to potential clients. Several years later, two other strong players, Google Cloud Services and Microsoft Azure, asserted themselves on the market. Despite the fact that for now, AWS has the widest range of services, the “Big Three” war is discussed in all cloud circles. Differences in pricing systems and additional sets of tools engender more disputes every year.

Studies show that one cloud solution may be the best for small startups but not enough for experienced enterprises. Concentrating on one cloud feature or on the budget, a decision can be made in the favor of one platform or another. So, the first step an entrepreneur should make is to meet his own expectations. When it’s done, the market would be ready for negotiations.

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