The public cloud computing universe has witnessed a fierce battle in the last few years. There are several players in the sector, but AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud are the Big three cloud computing services. While AWS is particularly dominant, the others are quickly catching up to its standard of service and technology.  

If you're on the lookout for an exemplary cloud service, your first instinct may be to check its features. However, there's a lot more that goes into making a cloud service work for your business. This article will give you a holistic view of AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud.  

AWS vs Google Cloud vs Azure: Overview

Let us first look at each platform’s history and capabilities. 

AWS

Amazon introduced the AWS cloud platform in 2006 and was the first such service at the time. In terms of market share and customer portfolio, it leads the roost. It is considered a benchmark for cloud services. 

AWS offers Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) that includes computing, database, storage, and networking. It also allows for flexible data collection through serverless services like AWS Lambda Functions and Amazon Kinesis Streams. In addition, companies have various options to choose from – operating system, database, programming languages, web application platform, and more. 

AWS is the most mature and feature-rich cloud platform to date. However, while it has been a market leader for more than a decade, its share has declined in the last few years. 

Microsoft Azure

Azure arrived in the cloud services market much later in 2010. However, they took the time to distinguish themselves from AWS and Google Cloud. 

Azure focused on software and platform first, instead of infrastructure like AWS. The platform itself was designed to build, deploy, and manage several services and applications. Azure also offers computing, database, networking services alongside performance. It's backed by a massive network of Microsoft datacenters which help offer Zone Redundant Storage for multiple regions. 

Initially, the brand offered services to developers but later expanded to IaaS. Microsoft Azure also has more capabilities and power for enterprise development. 

Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Google Cloud launched in 2008, two years after AWS. It's small- and medium-business friendly with affordable costing for a range of services. 

It offers Big Data, analytics, machine learning (ML), and load balancing and scaling. It also uses full-scale encryption of data transfer and communication between data centers. Overall, it competes with AWS and Azure in pricing, privacy, traffic security, and ML. Although services offered are few, GCP has one of the best capabilities in mobile app development.

Cost-efficiency is one field that Google Cloud makes the most of. While all three platforms provide significant discounts for a one-year commitment, GCP also gives sustained user discounts. These discounts translate to more cost savings for businesses.  

AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: Features

While each service has several features, we’re looking at six key ones for cloud service comparisons. 

FEATURE

AWS

Azure

GCP

Compute

  1. Amazon EC2
  2. Amazon EC2 Auto-scaling
  3. AWS Beanstalk
  4. Amazon Serverless Application Repository
  5. AWS Batch
  6. AWS Lambda
  7. AWS Fargate
  8. Amazon Elastic Container Registry
  9. VMware
  10. Cloud for AWS
  1. Cloud Service
  2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  3. Azure Container Service
  4. Virtual Machines Compute Engine
  5. Service Fabric
  6. Function as a Service (FaaS)
  7. Container Instances Batch
  8. Virtual Machine Scale Sets
  1. Compute Engine
  2. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
  3. App Engine
  4. Instant Groups
  5. Docker Container Registry
  6. Functions

 

Storage

  1. Storage Gateway
  2. Simple Storage Service
  3. Elastic Block Storage
  4. Snowball
  5. Snowmobile
  1. Blob Storage
  2. Queue Storage
  3. File Storage
  4. Disk Storage

 

  1. Cloud Storage
  2. Transfer Service
  3. Transfer Appliance

Database

  1. Aurora
  2. Neptune
  3. Redshift
  1. SQL Database
  2. Data Warehouse
  3. Cosmos DB
  1. Cloud SQL
  2. Cloud Spanner
  3. Cloud Bigtable

Networking

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud

Azure Virtual Network

Cloud Virtual Network

AI/ ML

  1. Machine Learning
  2. Translate
  3. Transcribe
  4. Comprehend
  5. Rekognition
  1. Azure Bot Service
  2. Machine Learning
  3. Cognitive Service
  1. Cloud Machine Learning Engine
  2. Cloud Natural Language
  3. Cloud Speech AI
  4. Cloud Video Intelligence
  5. Cloud Translation API

Also Read: Top Azure Interview Questions to Prepare

Google Cloud vs AWS vs Azure: Availability

All three cloud services are present across the globe in different locations. Since AWS is the oldest in the space, it has a more expansive network than others. But there are differences when it comes to availability. 

  • AWS has 77 availability zones. These zones lie within 24 geographic regions. 
  • On the other hand, Azure has a presence in more than 60 countries in close to 140 countries globally. 
  • Google Cloud is available in 61 zones and 22 countries

AWS vs Google Cloud vs Azure: Market Share

Canalys, a leading global market analyst in technology, releases figures for AWS vs Azure vs Google. 

If we consider the numbers from 2018 onwards, AWS owned about a third of the cloud market. Microsoft Azure followed it with 15 percent and Google Cloud at just 5 percent.

In 2019, the overall cloud infrastructure market grew by 42 percent over the previous year. AWS remained at the top with the most significant revenue growth of US$2.3 billion YOY. However, Azure and GCP had a higher percentage increase in sales. 

As of April 2021, AWS continued to have the largest market share, but only 35 percent overall. Azure and Google were close with 19 and 7 percent, respectively. The above numbers indicate that although AWS has the highest market share, other players are quickly catching up owing to their services and client portfolio. 

Google Cloud vs AWS vs Azure: Customer Portfolio

All three services have a robust list of clients. You'll get a better idea of AWS vs Azure vs Google from their respective customer base. 

Since AWS has been here for a longer time, it boasts a larger community and client base. Some of its high-profile users are:

  1. Netflix
  2. Airbnb
  3. Unilever
  4. BMW
  5. Samsung
  6. Coca Cola
  7. Pinterest
  8. LG

Azure’s customer base includes:

  1. Siemens
  2. Rolls Royce
  3. Toyota
  4. Zeiss
  5. L’Oréal
  6. Asos
  7. Marks & Spencer
  8. Sega

Google Cloud’s diverse client portfolio has:

  1. Twitter
  2. Deutsche Bank
  3. P&G
  4. PayPal
  5. Etsy
  6. Target
  7. Goldman Sachs
  8. Pizza Hut

Additional Read: 21 Best AWS Interview Questions and Answers

Google Cloud vs Azure vs AWS Price

Perhaps one of the most essential considerations when choosing a cloud service is the pricing structure each provider offers. 

When it comes to AWS vs Azure vs Google in cloud computing, knowing the machine type will assist your purchase decision. 

  • AWS

2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB RAM costs about US$69 per month. In comparison, 128 vCPUs and 3.84 TB RAM will cost you about US$4 per hour. 

  • Azure

For a similar package like AWS, 2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB RAM is priced at about US$70 per month. 128 vCPUs and 3.84 TB of RAM costs around US$6.8 per hour. 

  • GCP

The same smaller package under Google Cloud – 2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB RAM – has the lowest cost among the three at about US$52 per month. For 3.75 TB RAM and 160 vCPUs, you'll be charged US$5.3 per hour.  

Another point worth noting between Azure vs AWS is that both offer pay-per-minute billing options. In contrast, Google Cloud is more progressive with a pay-per-second option alongside better discounts and flexible contracts.

Given that AWS is a mature player in the cloud market, its service commands a higher price. With similar services and demographics to AWS, Microsoft Azure also has a similar costing structure. Google, however, is more geared towards small and medium enterprises with more affordable pricing. 

GCP vs AWS vs Azure: How they Rank

Let's conclude this AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud comparison with quick takeaways from all the sections above. Here are the key pros and cons of all three platforms. So, which one wins the battle?

  1. Legacy: AWS was the first to launch its cloud service, which gives it a longer time in the market. It's the winner here. 
  2. Features: AWS has a lot more features that are technologically advanced. But if your focus is on AI and ML, Google will win your vote. 
  3. Availability: Again, AWS has many more zones and regions under its belt, which gives it the upper hand.
  4. Market Share: AWS has the largest market share, no doubt. While it wins this leg of the battle, it's important to note that others are catching up – specifically Azure. 
  5. Customer Portfolio: AWS and Azure both have a reputed client list. But GCP isn't far behind. It could be a three-way tie if GCP keeps adding more well-known clients to its portfolio. 
  6. Pricing: While AWS is a market leader, its pricing model suits larger businesses. Azure follows AWS's footsteps here. However, Google Cloud is small business friendly. The winner here depends on the type of business you own. 

This battle of AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud teaches you one thing - the correct way to select a cloud service provider for you is to choose not the best provider but the best-suited one for you. AWS may lead the roost, but Azure and GCP are not far behind. So, here's hoping this article helps you on your cloud journey!

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Armin Vans
Archer Charles has top education industry knowledge with 4 years of experience. Being a passionate blogger also does blogging on the technology niche.

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