AWS vs GCP vs AZURE — How they Stack Up.

Samuel Okediji
May 21 · 6 min read

The battle of who dominate the Cloud Space has been a contested hot topic for a while now especially with the teeming number of IT Operations and DevOps Engineers looking to use the best Cloud service providers in scaling their companies workloads. The Question of “Who really is the best ?” often comes to fore though the answer can be relative.

Before now the storage of data were done in hard drives on a computer. Cloud Computing services have replaced such hard drive technology. Cloud Computing service is nothing but providing services like Storage, Databases, Servers, networking and the software through the Internet.

Few Companies offer such computing services, hence named as Cloud Computing Providers”. They charge its users for utilizing such services and the charges are based on their usage of services.

Let’s talk about the their History shall we?

CLOUD COMPUTING HISTORY

AWS STORY — Amazon Web Services is the oldest Cloud Service Providers among the Big Three. The AWS Journey started far back 2006 with Cloud Service Provision in Application Deployment, Database Management, Networking, Storage and Security.

MICROSOFT AZURE — Presented in Februray 2010, the Microsoft Azure Cloud Service went Enterprise while showing great promise among it’s competitors in delivering expert services in Compute, Storage, Database Management, Networking, and Security as its primary service delivery,

GOOGLE CLOUD PLATFORM — The GCP being the youngest of the three started their Cloud Compute Service on October 6, 2011 and since then they have pushed to create a significant stand in the Cloud Computing Industry. They started out as a Cloud provisional services to support the Google Search and YouTube which was then having multi-million traffic hits and numerous use-cases, before moving fully into Enterprise Cloud Solutions provider in 2011.

WHAT IS THE DISPARITY BETWEEN THE BIG THREE

Availability Zones

These are the isolated locations within their data center regions from the Public Cloud Service where they originate and operate in. The Regions are the geographical location of their Data Centers. Business who leverage on Enterprise Cloud service providers in scaling their applications are dependent on the proximity of these Cloud regions in relation to where the most traffic and data generation of their users. Availability zones and decrease in latency are KPI’s Business owners prioritize when choosing a Cloud Service Provider.

AWS Availability Zones: One of the things going on for AWS is the fact that it is hosted across multiple locations worldwide. AWS as at December 2018 has 55 availability zones worldwide with more regional zones on it’s way, allowing for it to be the biggest Cloud Service provider that fosters high Availability features.

AZURE Availability Zones: Azure on the other hand has about 44 availability zones with over 12 more on its way.

GCP Availability Zones: The GCP has 20 availability zones with two more on its way, which is no doubt the least of the Big three Cloud Solutions Providers in assuring availability features for her customers.

HOW THEY STACK UP — MARKET SHARE

AWS has the larger market share with a whooping 62% coverage of the Cloud Service Market. Azure on the other hand is the first runner up with 20% of the Cloud Solutions Market. While newbie GCP is playing catch up with a 12% coverage of the Cloud Market while other Cloud solution providers jointly share the remaining 6% of the Global Cloud Business Market.

HOW THEY STACK UP — CUSTOMERS

Azure and Google Cloud are doing a lot in engaging many developer communities on the adoption of their Cloud services which has helped a great deal in reaching more Business Clients. Google Cloud most especially are doubling their effort to be the future leader in delivering Cloud Computing solutions to businesses, thereby positioning themselves to allow for more customers to see no other cloud computing providers with their custom solutions. Google has won the heart of many with the sheer engineering prowess the Google Cloud Platform has to offer, with industry changing innovations such as Kubenertes (Google Kubernetes Engine), App Engine and Cloud Functions (Serverless Way), Cloud Run and now Anthos (A multi-cloud tool that helps Enterprise companies manage their workloads that's in their data center as well as with VM’s that can be portable across multi-cloud.service providers) While Companies like AWS are leveraging on the fact that they’ve become an House-hold name in the Cloud computing space.

AWS CUSTOMERS — NETFLIX, SAMSUNG, UNILEVER, AirBnB, BMW and more.

AZURE CUSTOMERS — HONEY WELL, APPLE, HP, and large percentage of Fortune 500 companies.

GCP — TWITTER, PAYPAL, BLOOMBERG, 20TH CENTURY FOX, HSBC, LG, EBAY to mention a few.

So it is obvious AWS are enjoying the dominant market share in Public Cloud Service Enterprise but there is no doubt about how feisty the competition is becoming as Azure and the GCP are fast growing and giving AWS run for their money.

HOW THEY STACK UP — SERVICES

There are so many Cloud services the BIG three do tend to offer, but I am going to limit it down to primary cloud service provision.

COMPUTE

AWS — AWS Compute is called the EC2, it takes about 1 minute to launch VMs.

AZURE — Azure Compute service takes more than 1 minute to launch a compute instance.

GCP — The Google Cloud Compute service known as Compute Engine takes about 30 seconds to get a compute instance running.

DATABASE MANAGEMENT

AWS — Relational Database or Mysql

Azure — SQL object. Application code must be compatible with Sql database.

GCP — Support SQL database, MYSQL, and PostgreSQL. (Show off ?)

STORAGE SERVICES

AWS — Storage service called the AWS S3 Bucket.

Azure — Their Storage Service is known as the Azure Blob.

GCP — Simply called Cloud Storage.

MONITORING

AWS — Manage, control and monitor activities on AWS is done with the Cloud Watch.

AZURE — Logging activities are being done with Azure Application Insights.

GCP — Stackdriver allows you to store, search, analyze, monitor, and alert on log data and events from Google Cloud Platform.

DOWNTIME

AWS — The maximum downtime faced by AWS in 2014 was about 2hours and 69 minutes.

Azure — Azure faced a huge downtime of about 39 hours and 77 minutes as of 2014.

GCP — Whereas the Google Cloud Platform face a downtime of just 14 minutes in 2014 which shows the sheer Engineering prowess of the Google Cloud as compared to her predecessors.

PRICING AND BILLING

AWS — Provisioning for 2 -vCPUs 8GB RAM will cost you 69 USD/Month

Azure — Provisioning for 2-vCPUs 8GB RAM will cost you 70 USD/Month

GCP — Provisioning for 2- vCPUs 8GB RAM will cost you 52 USD/Month

From the above we can see that GCP provides you better discount billing rates as compared to Azure or AWS.

WHICH SHOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?

AWS

Choosing AWS would be choosing a Cloud Service provider with a comprehensive Global Reach, a Cloud Service Provider that prioritize with more Open source tools in scaling your applications. AWS are more Enterprise friendly as they are built to proffer cloud services to business from the on start.

CONS

  1. AWS is Costly and quite difficult to use.

AZURE

Choosing Azure will be choosing a Cloud service providers with better integration with Microsoft products and services. Azure has invested a lot in building Hybrid Cloud Services. Azure also ranks number one in providing Application testing tools.

CONS

  1. Azure is less Enterprise ready.

2. Azure has less efficent management Tooling.

GCP

The GCP has domain expertise for building for DevOps environment. They provide second to known and highly flexible discount rates. The GCP is specifically designed for Cloud base Business.

CONS

  1. Since they have just started they have fewer availability zones due to few Data Centers around the Globe.

Faun

The Must-Read Publication for Aspiring Developers & DevOps Enthusiasts

Samuel Okediji

Written by

Back-end web developer| Linux fanatic |Ensuring Automation on the GCP| Pro-Distributed Systems| Tourist

Faun

Faun

The Must-Read Publication for Aspiring Developers & DevOps Enthusiasts