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AWS vs. Azure vs. GCP: A Comparison Guide
"If someone asks me what cloud computing is, I try not to get bogged down with definitions. I tell them that, simply put, cloud computing is a better way to run your business."

– Marc Benioff, Founder, CEO, and Chairman, of Salesforce
Cloud computing has experienced rapid growth since its inception. In the nowadays fast-changing and challenging business environment, the question is not whether to use the one, but rather which cloud platform to choose. AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform are the top three cloud services providers, and this blog will give you a clue about the main features, and functions so that you can decide which one to choose.



AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: General overview

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a branch of amazon.com, which was launched in 2006 and provides cloud computing services to individuals, organizations, and governmental institutions. It is the oldest player in the market and has aggregated the biggest number of customers based on trust and reliability.
Azure was initially launched in 2010 by Microsoft and renamed "Microsoft Azure" in 2014. It is the second largest cloud platform, providing more than 100 services, a wide range of which are Microsoft-centric, so the switch to a cloud or hybrid-cloud environment is very easy. More than 95% of Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft Azure.

Google cloud platform (GCP) is a suite of cloud computing services that uses internal Google infrastructure. It was established in 2011 with the initial intent to strengthen their products, but over time they presented large-scale enterprise services, so the biggest players in various sectors around the globe are using the Google Cloud Platform



AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: Availability Locations

Since AWS was the earliest in the cloud domain, now they are hosting in the biggest number of locations throughout the world. Azure and GCP have also established their presence, but the number of their availability areas is smaller. Currently, AWS is available in 66 zones with 12 more on the way, Azure – in 54 regions or 140 countries, while GCP is available in 20 regions with plans to add three in the nearest future.



AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: Market Shares and Growth Indexes

According to the 2021 Q1 market data, Microsoft Azure cloud gained 17.7 billion USD in revenue outperforming its rivals AWS and GCP, which reported 13.5 billion USD and 4.05 billion USD in revenue respectively. At the same time market analyst Canalys reported in April 2021 that AWS covered 32% of the market, followed by Azure with 19% and Google at 7% share.



AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: Services

AWS offers more than 200 services, whereas Microsoft Azure has 100+ services followed by GCP with 60+ services. The services are covering a wide range of domains, like compute, storage, AI/ML, database, backup services, serverless computing, and networking.

Compute. AWS offers the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) that encompasses all compute services by using virtual machines and can be configured by the users as required. Azure offers Virtual Machines and Virtual Machine scale sets, while GCP provides the Google Compute Engine (GCE) which has the same functions.

Storage: Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is an excellent choice for storage with well-developed documentation and tested technology with proper support. Microsoft Azure Storage and Google Cloud Storage also offer reliable storage services.

Databases. Multiple tools and services related to databases are offered by all three major providers. Amazon's Relational Database Service (RDS) supports databases such as Oracle and PostgreSQL. Azure SQL Database offers SQL database handling features for Azure, while GCP uses Cloud SQL.

Machine learning. AWS has machine learning processors called AWS Trainium and ASIC Inferential for machine learning inferences. Azure has virtual machines to manage machine learning, which are based on FPGA (Field-programmable gate array). On the other hand, GCP provides a machine learning optimized TPU (tensor processing unit) to process machine learning workloads, which were specifically developed for neural network loads.



AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: Pricing

Google Cloud and AWS pricing are almost similar for systems operating on general purpose and instance types of memory-optimized cloud.

The price difference between AWS and Azure is negligible for their compute optimized cloud instances, but Google Cloud Platform has the highest prices in this service because of its scalable processors and all-core turbo performance.

Three leading cloud service providers compete closely with one another and have set very similar price ranges for storage services, with Azure as the most cost-effective alternative. However, you need to check out the costs for the services which will meet your goals the best.



Discounts

Furthermore, all three providers offer price discounts if you commit to using their services for at least one year with a full upfront payment. This approach is called Reserved Instances in AWS, Reserved Savings in Azure, and Committed use discounts in Google Cloud.



AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: Kubernetes

GKE: Google Cloud Platform Kubernetes Engine

GKE is an orchestration solution for container cluster management on Google Cloud services, which employs Kubernetes to manage clusters, enabling organizations to deploy and manage applications as well as monitor workloads.

AKS: Microsoft Azure Kubernetes Service

AKS uses Kubernetes environment and makes it easier to deploy and manage containerized applications in the Azure cloud. It includes various features like automated updates, scaling, and self-healing.

EKS: Amazon Web Services' Elastic Kubernetes Services

Using Amazon EKS organizations can easily employ Kubernetes on-premises and in the AWS environment for the management of containerized applications.

GKE vs. AKS vs. EKS: When is best to use?

• If you want to choose the most widely used Kubernetes service, then Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) is the right choice.
• At the same time, Google Kubernetes Engine has the most features and automated capabilities.
• On the contrary, Azure Kubernetes Service may be the most cost-effective option and integrates well with all Microsoft services.


Conclusion:
If you need a vast service portfolio, AWS could be the best fit. For organizations seeking a bit lower price point and innovation, GCP may be a better choice. If you operate primarily using the Microsoft family of products, Azure may be the right choice.
Andrii Bigdan, CEO at Netframe
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