AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud, which one you'll select? Enterprises and businesses around the world are now moving to cloud computing from self-hosted infrastructures. Cloud computing essentially refers to a computing environment that delivers software, infrastructure, and platform services to any enterprise. According to LogicMonitor’s Cloud Vision 2020: The Future of the Cloud Study, 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. The study also showed that on-premise workloads are predicted to shrink from 37% today to 27% of all workloads by 2020. Moving to Cloud computing an organization ends up eliminating the challenges that come with local power grid interruptions, physical data loss because of tragic events and hostile on-site attacks to the IT infrastructure within an organization. Once enterprises move to the cloud, they only have to maintain and update their existing physical infrastructure, hence leaving more resources and time to work on product development. A cloud framework provides a favorable environment for safer, faster and cheaper delivery of any services. Cloud computing spending is expected to grow at better than 6x the rate of IT spending through 2020, according to IDC.
In today’s time and age, where businesses and their environment is constantly changing, cloud computing also delivers web services, that enables enterprises to have access to components that can be easily combined to create web applications to meet the ever-changing and evolving needs of a business. The cloud infrastructure spending surpassed $80 billion in 2018, the basis of a report by Canalys.
Additionally, there are three major types of cloud services available, namely-IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. SaaS stands for Software as a Service and allows people to use cloud-based web applications. Platform as a Service aka PaaS is a cloud platform that provides runtime environments for developing, testing, and managing applications, and lastly, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a cloud platform that hosts infrastructure components that are ideally present in physical data centers. In other words, IaaS is a virtual data center.
As companies race towards moving their functions and structure to cloud, there are more and more cloud platform providers in the market. While there are multiple cloud platform providers in the market, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform take up the majority of the market share. Picking out the right platform for your enterprise may seem like a complex decision, however, read on to understand which of these platforms can cater to your enterprises’ needs and uses.
Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud platform, provided by Amazon. It was launched in 2006 and was one of the first companies to introduce a cloud computing model that was pay-as-you-go and that provided users with computing, storage or throughput as required. The Amazon Web Services portfolio has more than services, including compute, databases, infrastructure management, application development, and security. AWS cloud computing is a good choice of a scalable and extremely reliable infrastructure platform in the cloud.
AWS provides a plethora of features on its platform. They offer many products under various different categories, and it makes for a durable and secure technology platform. From analytics to the storage, AWS also has new-age technologies such as AR, VR, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Machine Learning, etc, under its umbrella. It also offers developer tools, management tools, mobile services, and applications services, along with Robotics, Media Services, Storage and Customer Engagement.
AWS offers a number of features under the category of Compute including but not limited to Amazon EC2, Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling, VMware Cloud on AWS, etc. As per the Amazon website, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) provides scalable computing capacity in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Using Amazon EC2 eliminates an enterprises’ need to invest in hardware, so a business can develop and deploy applications faster. It allows you to control your computing resources completely.
Management Tools (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)
AWS provides features and services that could be either IaaS or PaaS. EC2 belongs to Infrastructure as a Service. On working with EC2, Amazon takes care of the storage, servers, networking, and virtualization whereas a business is expected to be responsible for choosing OS or patching, data and application. Likewise, some other AWS offerings are Elastic Beanstalk, AWS Lambda, RDS (Database), DynamoDB, IoT are PaaS.
AWS provides the flexibility of consuming only as much storage or computing power as required by an enterprise. It also provides services such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) that provides scalable storage in the cloud. It provides you the freedom to scale-up or scale-down as required. AWS also offers Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) and a set of cloud-based disaster recovery services.
According to AWS, their capabilities are built optimized for machine learning. They provide ML Services, AI Services, Learning Tools, etc. However, Azure seems to be the clear leader in Cognitive Services.
Due to the highly variable and flexible pricing offered by AWS, it is often referred to as complicated. It provides a cost calculator of how it is often difficult to get accurate estimates. It offers a pay-as-you-go approach, meaning you pay only for the individual services you need, for as long as you need them.
A cloud computing software was launched by Microsoft in 2010 and was formerly known as Windows Azure. It provides a large range of cloud services, including those for compute, analytics, storage, and networking. Microsoft Azure Cloud offers a large range of products and solutions, similar to AWS. Unlike AWS, Azure focuses on data centres and in turn, the Azure platform works hard to interoperate with data centres.
Azure offers over 100 products and features are a part of its portfolio, however, some of the most popular ones are Virtual Machines, SQL Database, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Blockchain service, etc. It offers developer tools, DevOps, Media, Management, Internet of Things to name a few. The five-key enterprise-grade Azure features are Data resiliency, Security, BCDR integration, Capacity planning, and Single-pane operability.
Azure features Virtual Machines (Windows of Linux servers). These services will enable an enterprise to deploy and manage virtual machines (VMs), containers and batch processing, as well as support remote application access. Azure offers auto-scaling per app, or as a part of platforms that manage certain groups of apps.
Management Tools (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)
Microsoft Azure has offerings of both Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). It offers the Azure Cloud Services for PaaS, Azure Virtual Machines for IaaS. However, it is particularly strong in SaaS.
Azure’s basic storage services include Blob Storage for REST-based object storage of unstructured data, Queue Storage for large-volume workloads, File Storage and Disk Storage. It also offers Data Lake Store, which is essentially for big data applications. It also has a Data Warehouse service. Microsoft offers backup service, Site Recovery service, and Archive Storage.
Microsoft developed Cognitive Services to solve the problems in the field of AI and ML. The idea is to democratize AI by packaging it into separate components that are easy for developers to incorporate in their own apps. Microsoft offers a machine learning service and a bot service on Azure. It also offers Cognitive Services that include API, Bing Web Search, Face API, Text Analytics API, Computer Vision API, and Custom Vision Service. For IoT, it has several management and analytics services, and its serverless computing service is known as Functions.
Similar to AWS, Azure’s pricing is also complicated because of the flexibility and because of Microsoft's complicated software licensing options and use of situation-based discounts. The pricing structure is difficult to understand without outside help and/or considerable experience. Azure, like AWS, uses a pay-as-you-go pricing model that charges based on usage.
Google Cloud Platform
Google Cloud Platform is a suite of cloud computing services, offered by Google, that functions on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally, such as Google Search and YouTube. It was launched in 2008. Google Cloud Platform specializes in offerings like big data, machine learning, and analytics. It also offers considerable scale and load balancing – Google understands data centres and fast response time.
GCP offers an extensively large number of services for developers. It offers app developers the options to create without having to deal with servers. It also allows enterprises to perform high-level computing, storage, networking, and databases. GCP offers a higher level of security, with a team of over 500 employees dedicated to security protection.
GCP offers Compute Engine as a virtual server. GCP offers auto-scaling only within the context of its Managed Instance Groups platform and has no Virtual private server support.
Management Tools (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS)
Google Compute Engine is an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering that provides users with virtual machine instances for workload hosting. Google App Engine is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering that gives software developers access to Google's scalable hosting.
As with compute, GCP has a smaller menu of storage services available. For a unified object storage service, it has Cloud Storage. It also has a Persistent Disk option. Additionally, GCP also offers a Transfer Appliance and other online transfer services.
GCP puts a big focus on AI and machine learning. Google is a leader in AI development due to TensorFlow, an open-source software library for building machine learning applications. The TensorFlow library is popular and well regarded. A testament to its popularity is that AWS recently added support for TensorFlow. Google Cloud also has strong offerings in APIs for natural language, speech, translation and more. Additionally, it offers IoT and serverless services, but both are still in beta previews.
Google uses its pricing as a point of differentiation. It aims to offer customer-friendly prices that beat the list prices of the other providers. Google is known to use deep discounts and exceptionally flexible contracts to try to win projects from customers that are currently spending significant sums of money with cloud competitors.
Each of these platforms provides its own unique features and pricing, however, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the leader in the market. Each of these cloud platforms has their own sets of strengths and weaknesses, each of these strengths and weaknesses makes them ideal for different kinds of enterprises, with diverse uses.
So, AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud? This will depend on your needs and your workloads. In fact, the best vendor for some of your projects might not be the best vendor for others of your projects.