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Cloud has become one of the leading markets in the IT industry. More and more business, as well as professionals, have shifted their work over to the cloud. Why shouldn’t they? There are many advantages of relying on cloud technology.
Typically, public cloud services are used as:
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
- PaaS (Platform as a Service)
- SaaS (Software as a Service)
As per the Gartner Survey Report, the market of public cloud is estimated to hit a total worth of $411 bn by 2020. Cloud technology is used for making backups, storing data, working in co-op, and whatnot.
At present, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure are the big three of the cloud technology. Which one is the best? Well, there is no definite answer.
However, here is a comparison between these three biggest names in public cloud computing to help you decide the winner for yourself.
Google Cloud vs. AWS vs. Azure: The Battle for Cloud Dominance
Any efficient cloud provider flaunts the ability to scale thousands of nodes in a mere couple of minutes. Amazon uses EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) to provide users with computing services for configuring VMs using custom as well as pre-configured AMIs.
Other than the total number, power, memory capacity, and size of VMs, users can also choose among the various regions and zones available. Additionally, EC2 also provides support for auto-scaling and ELB (load balancing) features.
The former feature allows distributing loads across instances, while the latter feature enables automatic scaling of the VM capacity. While Azure offers VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) for configuring VMs, Google comes with the GCE (Google Compute Engine) for doing the same.
A VHD can be predefined, by Microsoft or third-parties, or user-defined. With each VM from Microsoft Azure, users also need to specify the number of cores and amount of memory required.
Like AWS, Google allows users to pick from available regions. Launched in 2013, GCE is available with a multitude of features, such as faster persistent disks, load balancing, varied OS support, live migration, and additional cores.
Amazon Web Services offers ephemeral storage. It is allocated as soon as an instance is started and destroyed when the instance terminates. AWS offers Block Storage, which is equivalent to hard disks, and, hence, can be attached to any instance or used separately.
For object storage, AWS offers S3 Service, while it comes with Glacier for archiving services. AWS completely supports NoSQL databases, relational databases, and big data.
Microsoft Azure relies on the D drive and Page Blobs for VM-based volumes. While the former is the temporary storage option, the latter is Microsoft’s block storage option.
With Windows Azure Table and HDInsight, Microsoft Azure provides support for relational and NoSQL databases as well as big data.
Google Cloud platform also offers temporary as well as persistent disk storage. Google Cloud Storage is available for Object Storage. The cloud provider offers support for Big Query, Big Table, and Hadoop.
Google Cloud supports relational databases via Google Cloud SQL and offers inexpensive archiving with no latency on recovery via Google Cloud Nearline. Normalized databases are used by all the big three of public cloud computing.
In addition to offering cloud services, cloud providers also cater to development tools requirements. Such tools help in building, debugging, deploying, diagnosing, and managing multi-platform scalable apps and services meant to be used as a cloud service.
Google Cloud offers Cloud Test Lab and Cloud Source Repositories for App Testing and Git Repositories, respectively. However, it doesn’t offer DevOps, Developer Tools, and Media Transcoding, which Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure deliver.
Amazon Web Services comes with Elastic Transcoder, Device Farm, and CodeBuild for Media Transcoding, App Testing, and DevOps, respectively. Microsoft Azure offers Media service for Media Transcoding, DevTest Labs for App Testing, and Visual Studio Team Services for DevOps.
Management and Monitoring
Management and monitoring are very important aspects of Cloud Computing. Each of the three top cloud providers offers a wide range of monitoring and management services.
In terms of Administration, AWS has 3 options:
- Application Discovery Service
- Personal Health Dashboard
- System Manager
Microsoft Azure has 4 options in terms of Administration, namely:
- Operations Management Suite
- Resource Health
- Storage Explorer
Google has the Cloud Console for Administration. Each of the big three cloud providers come with a billing API. Cloudwatch, Management Console, and X-Ray are available Cloud Advisor capabilities for AWS. Azure has Application Insights, Monitor, and Portal for the same.
Cloud Advisor capabilities of Google Cloud platform include CloudShell, Debugger, Error Reporting, Stackdriver Monitoring, and Trace.
Amazon Web Services single-handedly owns 62% of the total cloud market share. While Microsoft Azure owns 20% of the same, Google Cloud owes 12% of the cloud market.
Mere 6% of the market share is what cloud providers other than the Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud have. Hence, these are the biggest cloud service providers on the basis of market ownership.
Networking and Content Delivery
Different cloud service providers depend on different types of virtual networks. While Amazon Web Services rely on the Virtual Private Cloud network, Microsoft Azure works on the Virtual Network. Google Cloud services are made possible using the Subnet network.
In order to enable end-users to group VMs into isolated networks in the cloud, Amazon, and Azure respectively make use of VPCs (Virtual Private Clouds) and VNET (Virtual Network).
These technologies allow creating subnets and defining a network topology in addition to creating and defining route tables and network gateways. AWS offers the unique Route 53, which is a DNS web service.
For extending the on-premise data center into a public or hybrid cloud, both AWS and Azure offer a number of solutions.
Each instance of the Google Compute Engine belongs to an individual network. The address range and gateway address depend on the selected network. It is possible to allow Firewall rules to an instance and assigning it a public IP address.
In order to cater to the wide-ranging requirements of users, the leaders of cloud services offer a straightforward pricing structure. There is a pricing model for each of the big three cloud services. You don’t need to buy the cloud solution, instead, you will pay as you go.
The payout that you need to spare to the cloud service provider depends on the number of services that you will use. Amazon Web Services charges based on the total number of hours used. There are three types of cost models available with the AWS:
- On-demand – No upfront cost, pay for what is used
- Reserved – reserve instances for 1 or 3 years with an upfront cost based on utilization
- Spot – Customers pay for the extra capacity available
While the minimum chargeable duration for an AWS user is 1 hour, it is 10 minutes for Google Cloud users. Unlike AWS, Google Cloud offers a flexible payment scheme for reserved instances.
Microsoft Azure users are charged on the basis of total minutes consumed. The cloud provider also offers short-term commitments as well as discounts.
Security is taken very seriously by all three big players of the public cloud computing services. Both AWS and Microsoft Azure rely on Fortinet for delivering powerful safety features. However, there is some difference in using the same technology by the 2 cloud providers.
AWS’s Fortinet offers security measures for Amazon VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) in several availability zones on an on-demand basis. In the case of Microsoft Azure, the Fortinet provides optimized security for data and apps while removing extra security overhead required during migration.
Google Cloud relies on the FortiGate Next-Generation Firewall for advanced security as well as critical firewalling.
Amazon Web Services offer long-running storage services. Storage services offered by Microsoft Azure as well as Google Cloud are also reliable and powerful.
For Object Storage Service, AWS offers S3 (Simple Storage Services), Azure offers Block Blob Storage, and Google offers Cloud Storage. There are 3 types of Archive Storage available with AWS, namely Data Archive, Glacier, and S3 Infrequent Access.
Azure and Google both offer 2 types of Archive Storage; Cool and Archive for Azure and Nearline and Coldine for Google. In terms of Hybrid Storage, AWS offers Storage Gateway, Azure comes with StorSimple, and Google Cloud has Egnyte Sync.
It is very difficult for any other cloud service provider to challenge any of the big three, namely Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Each of them is great for using as the cloud backbone of your enterprise.
The major distinction that lies between these three cloud providers is based on the user’s preference and specific requirements. Other than that, all three are almost equal in all respects.