AWS vs MS Azure vs Google Cloud: Feature Overview, Pros and Cons

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MARYNA DEMCHENKO

Published: 21 Jul 2021

DevOps

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In recent years, cloud solutions have become an essential strategy for companies looking to accelerate innovation. Leaving traditional infrastructure models behind, more and more organizations opt in for cloud services aiming to adopt one (or a mix of) solutions, including the three most popular ones, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure (MS Azure), and Google Cloud Platform (Google Cloud). 

Choosing between such market leaders as AWS, MS Azure, and Google Cloud can be problematic. Even when the question of price is off the table, each cloud solution comes with a wealth of features to be thoroughly considered before moving forward. In this post, we dive into the comparison of features of the three platforms that dominate the field to give you more insight and help you make an informed decision considering cloud services. 

AWS vs MS Azure vs Google Cloud: Background

Let's start at the beginning and outline some background. 

Founded in 2006. Amazon was one of the pioneers in the aggregation, compilation, and processing of Big Data. AWS currently provides IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS platforms as its core services 

MS Azure saw the light of day back in 2010. Its current services are conditioned by the fact that Microsoft was historically one of the early innovators and suppliers of software providers for a wide array of industries. Today, the platform offers a wide range of tools, programming languages​​, and frameworks running in Microsoft and Linux environments. 

Launched in 2011, Google Cloud is the youngest among the three solutions, offering IaaS, PaaS, Serverless, Big Data, Analytics, and IoT services.

In 2021, AWS, MS Azure and Google Cloud combined, accounted for 58% of total cloud spending, with AWS being the largest contributor that most recently ramped up its share up to 32%. At the same time, Azure boasts 19% and Google Cloud takes up 7% of the cloud solution market. 

Now that we have outlined the solutions in broad strokes let's dive into more detail. To make the right choice, you should keep both the pricing models and tech capabilities of each solution in mind. Below we take a look at the key characteristics of AWS, MS Azure, and Google Cloud.

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Computing power

AWS boasts Elastic Compute Cloud, a virtual machine management solution with customization capabilities. In addition, Elastic Computer Cloud includes additional services, such as AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon EC2 Container Service, and other valuable tools that enable in-depth business analysis.

MS Azure has scalable virtual resources, such as Azure Virtual Machines that users can set up, manage, deploy and maintain themselves. In addition, Windows client applications are deployed using RemoteApp. 

Google Cloud offers Google Compute Engine that functions similarly to AWS’s Elastic Compute Cloud. 

AWS has the largest CPU limit of 40, while MS Azure and Google Cloud offer a maximum of 32. 

Storage

AWS: Amazon Simple Storage Service offers high scalability, extensive documentation, and high-end community support. When it comes to capacity, Amazon claims that the total volume of data you can store is unlimited. Individual Amazon S3 objects can range between 0 bytes to 5 TB. AWS also allows uploading up to 5 GB in one go. 

MS Azure: Blob Storage is an elastic storage solution from MS Azure for storing unstructured data in Microsoft platform. It allows uploading up to 5 TB in one go and can be easily integrated into other applications. 

Google Cloud: Using Google Cloud Storage, users can get the most of its capabilities, such as resumable data uploads, excellent interoperability with other cloud storage services, and high consistency of backbone control for all uploads. Google Cloud is a good solution for storing unstructured data. You can add objects of any kind and size, up to 5 TB.

Analytics

AWS: Amazon offers AWS Elastic MapReduce (a data processing service), Data Pipeline (a data orchestration tool), Kinesis Streams (a real-time data streaming service), Kinesis Firehose (a tool for large-scale data ingestion), and Quick Sight (a breakthrough analytics service). 

MS Azure comes with Azure Synapse Analytics, an analytics service that includes data integration, enterprise data warehousing, and big data analytics. Other data analysis tools include HDInsight, Power BI, Azure Machine Learning, Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Data Factory, to name a few. 

Google Cloud Platform boasts a unique offering, such as BigQuery (a fully managed enterprise data warehouse for storing and querying massive datasets),  as well as Cloud Data Fusion, Cloud Dataflow, Cloud BigTable, and Cloud Dataprep.

Databases 

AWS: Amazon Relational Database Service supports commonly used databases, including Oracle, and PostgreSQL. 

MS Azure: The cloud solution has Azure SQL and Cloud SQL, both being fully managed relational databases based on SQL servers.

Google Cloud: Google comes with cloud SQL, a managed MySQL database. Other options include Cloud Datastore and Bigtable used for NoSQL databases.

Pricing

AWS: Amazon offers three payment options:

  • Pricing based on used resources;
  • Amazon EC2 Reserved Instance pricing model that offers significant discounts in the long run;
  • A pay-per-hour model: Amazon Web Services users are billed per hour of use.

MS Azure bills per minute, rounding up per minute. There are also discounts provided based on the volume of services used.

Google Cloud works on the same principles as Azure, except that the final cost is rounded up per every 10 minutes of use.

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Specialists availability 

Cloud migration is a critical aspect of any business. Thus, it's a good idea to hire the right kind of specialists to implement a cloud-based architecture and provide quality cloud services, for example, AWS native services

As a company that builds teams of software engineers in Ukraine, we can say that hiring a skilled cloud solutions architect is crucial for companies looking to benefit from the cloud model. 

An outsourcing destination for many Western companies, Ukraine has validated its worth in providing skilled software engineers, including certified AWS, MS Azure, Google Cloud, DevOps, Docker, and Kubernetes specialists for companies worldwide. 

Ukraine boasts a vast repository of cloud solution talent. According to LinkedIn data, Ukraine has 8,000+ MS Azure developers. In addition, over 6,000 Ukrainian specialists list Google Cloud among their key skills, and a whopping 16,000 specialists are specialized in AWS native services

With 19,000 Docker specialists listed on LinkedIN, Ukraine is more than ready to bridge the talent gap you may have in your location. Another popular cloud technology, Kubernetes, is represented by 5,000+ Ukrainian specialists. It means that you can rely on Ukraine as a powerhouse of certified cloud specialists. 

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Pros and Cons of AWS, MS Azure, and Google Cloud

Amazon Web Services pros

  • High levels of scalability that lets you add a vast amount of users;
  • Flexible pricing based on used resources;
  • A variety of pricing options based on a storage volume, which can be tailored to the user's needs;
  • Flexible support pricing based on used resources;
  • Possibility to integrate an ecosystem of third-party services;
  • Compliance with many industry standards, including HIPAA, ISO 27001, SOC 2, 3, to name a few. 

Amazon Web Services cons

  • AWS requires significant technical expertise, especially when it comes to AWS cloud native services
  • As you scale up, the pricing can increase drastically, in particular, the cost of infrastructure support services;
  • Enterprise support is a separate feature that’s not included in the initial package;
  • A formal agreement is needed for the enterprise.

Overall, AWS is a good solution for processing a vast amount of data and has a small-business friendly pricing policy where users only pay for used resources. 

List of AWS services

List of AWS services

Microsoft Azure Pros

  • User-friendliness, including simple set up and out-of-the-box features;
  • Easy integration into the MS ecosystem;
  • Suits all companies, no matter the size;
  • Flexible pricing based on used services volume;
  • MS Azure bills rounding up per minute;
  • Tech support is available on a fixed price model.

Microsoft Azure Cons

  • Data transfer costs can be high;
  • Creating support requests requires a paid Support account;
  • Data collection and transfer requires deliberate investigation of local regulations; 
  • Although cloud computing is easy to access, customization and scaling may not meet your needs. 

MS Azure is a robust SaaS cloud solution with many integration options for other Microsoft products, including Windows and Linux support. As a result, Azure is a strong candidate for small and large companies, especially as a hosting solution for SAP systems.

List of MS Azure services 

list of Azure services

Google Cloud Platform pros

  • Excellent data analytics and storage capabilities;
  • Can be seamlessly integrated with other Google services;
  • You can save cost with a sustainable use option that doesn’t require downpayment;
  • Advanced machine learning services;
  • Price offers can help you save in the long term;
  • Contract conditions are more customer-friendly. 

Google Cloud Platform cons

  • Most of the functions are based entirely on Google technologies;
  • The choice of programming languages is limited;
  • It can be challenging to switch to another platform;
  • Storing data has regional restrictions, with lack of coverage across Europe and Asia;
  • Lack of IaaS functions compared to other solutions. 

Overall, Google Cloud is mostly appreciated for excellent data analytics, machine learning, and IoT capabilities.

List of Google Cloud services

list of Google Cloud services

Considering the features of AWS, MS Azure and Google Cloud before opting for one is essential, but it’s equally important to hire the right kind of team to assess your current infrastructure and implement your chosen solution. 

We at nCube can build a team specialized in AWS cloud native services, including DevOps, cloud architects, Docker and Kubernetes specialists. We’d be happy to answer any questions regarding building a Ukrainian AWS native services team, so feel free to contact us. 

 

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