AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: What’s the best cloud platform for enterprise?

Category: Google Cloud Platform Posted:Oct 13, 2020 By: Ashley Morrison

The adoption of Cloud computing has quickly become an essential driving force for businesses today, as applications are moved to on-premise data centers in a bid to innovate, reduce expenses, and increase agility.

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is a framework where a third-party provider hosts and maintains core infrastructure, consisting of hardware, software, servers, and storage on behalf of the customer. This typically includes organizing applications in a scalable environment, where customers are only charged for the framework they use.

Early concerns over security and data integrity have mainly been resolved by the ‘large 3’ public cloud providers– Amazon Web Solutions (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform– with only the most heavily regulated organizations continuing to step meticulously when it comes to adoption of cloud services.

This has fuelled a crowded IaaS market, pegged to be worth a total amount of $64.3 billion in 2021, up from $50.4 billion in 2020, according to research firm Gartner’s latest numbers.

It is a market that has been dominated by AWS since day one when it entered the market in 2006. Now, Harmony Study Group’s numbers for Q3 2019 have AWS as the clear market leader across the world for public IaaS and PaaS market share at 33 percent, followed by Microsoft at 16 percent, Google at 8 percent, and Alibaba at 5 percent.

Regardless of AWS’s dominance, Microsoft has made way under the management of “cloud-first” CEO Satya Nadella, building a substantial international cloud network of its own.

Then there is the internet giant Google, which has been active with its public cloud services and IaaS business under the Google Cloud System (GCP).

” There has been a substantial arms race in cloud computing over the past one year, but we are now starting to see some actual differences between the cloud service providers in regards to the deals they are winning in the market,” claims Nick McQuire, vice president of enterprise research study at CSS Understanding.

What is it, then, that distinguishes each of the American ‘big three’ cloud service providers? And how can you start to determine which IaaS platform is the best fit for your organization?

Key Strengths

Choosing one cloud provider over the others will boil down to the needs and requirements of the individual customer and the workloads they are running. It is often the case that organizations will use multiple providers within different parts of their operations, or for various use cases, which is called a multi-cloud approach.

However, there are a variety of key separating variables that separate the techniques of the three companies, which can help end-users consider which is right for them.

Beginning with AWS, the key toughness for the market leader remains to be the breadth and depth of its services, with greater than 175 across compute, storage, database, analytics, networking, mobile, developer tools, management tools, IoT, security, and enterprise applications, finally, count.

” Without doubt, the market leader, AWS typically wins on designer functionality, because of the breadth of its solutions as a result of its very first action advantage. AWS has actually also done a great task at converting its range into financial advantages for customers, although there are times where cloud can be cost excessive,” as McQuire at CSS Understanding places it.

Ray Wang, founder and senior analyst at Constellation Study identifies comparable strength with the AWS proposition, but does highlight that “one obstacle is pricing on AWS, where several companies do not completely understand the metrics and the impact on architectural decisions and the prices to support specific solutions.”

Microsoft, on the other hand, tends to be a popular option with C-level execs that have long-lasting partnerships with the provider and know that they can consume a good deal of their enterprise computing needs all in one location, from performance and enterprise software all the way to adaptable cloud computing sources for their developers, with one hand to shake.

Wang also positions Microsoft as “a strong number two to AWS”, thanks to its combination of Azure, Workplace 365, and Teams. “Microsoft is often seen as the safe global bet however most clients have greater than one cloud vendor,” he included.

Naturally, all 3 vendors are strong in machine learning as they can use deep wells of internal r & d insights, but this is one location where Google typically stands out as customers aim to tap into the magic that powered the search giant at an unprecedented range over the past few decades.

Google also often attracts attention for its deep competence around open source technologies, especially containers, thanks to its central role in the development of Kubernetes for orchestration and the Istio service mesh, which are quickly becoming industry-standard technologies.

McQuire is bullish on Google Cloud, placing the vendor as “the market’s fiercest opposition,” under the new management of Chief Executive Officer Thomas Kurian: “What tips the scales in its favor is its engineering muscle and specifically the way customers gain access to and engage Google engineers, especially for co-development. The company has also greatly embraced open source and its culture of development lends itself to clients that prioritize these locations most importantly in the digital transformation”.

Wang adds: “Those organizations that seek good AI and machine learning capacities, along with a translation, search, and security have been gravitating towards Google Cloud Platform.

” The arrival of Thomas Kurian has actually put a product and roadmap discipline in a position that lines up much better with the needs of enterprises. This has opened up possibilities for more competitors in the cloud duopoly of Azure and AWS.”

Features and solutions

At their core AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform deal largely basic capabilities around versatile compute, storage and networking. They all share the common elements of a public cloud: self-service and immediate provisioning, autoscaling, plus security, compliance, and identity management functions.

All 3 vendors have launched services and tools targeted at cutting edge technology areas like the Internet of Things(IoT) and serverless computing (Lambda for AWS, Features with Azure and Google), while clients can tap either cloud to variously build a mobile app or even create a high-performance computing environment depending on their demands.

Artificial intelligence has also been a booming area in the great cloud computing arms race as of now.

AWS released SageMaker in 2017 as a way to simplify the adoption of artificial intelligence by uniting a hosted environment for Jupyter note pads with integrated model management, automated spin up of training environments making use of EC2 circumstances, and HTTPS endpoints for organizing capabilities with Amazon S3. The vendor also has a wide collection of off-the-shelf machine learning solutions for use cases like image recognition (AWS Rekognition), text to speech deep learning models (Polly), and the engine that powers Alexa (Lex).

Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning enables developers to write, test, and deploy algorithms, in addition, to gain access to a marketplace for off-the-shelf APIs.

Google provides a one-stop-shop AI platform, which helps machine learning engineers to build and deploy models based on its prominent open-source TensorFlow deep learning library.

The current buzz around containers is catered for as well, with all 3 providers offering managed services around popular container solutions like Kubernetes.

Ultimately, for UK customers worried about data integrity, AWS launched its UK region in December 2016, with Microsoft and Google quickly doing the same.

Compute, storage, databases, and networking.

For computing, AWS’s primary offering is its EC2 circumstances, which can be customized a lot of options. It also provides related services such as Elastic Beanstalk for app release, the EC2 Container solution, ECS for Kubernetes (EKS), AWS Lambda, and Autoscaling.

At the same time, Azure’s compute offering is centered around its Virtual Machines (VMs), with other tools such as Cloud Providers and Source Manager to help deploy applications on the cloud, and its Azure Autoscaling service.

Google’s scalable Compute Engine delivers VMs in Google’s data centers. They are quick to boot, come with consistent disk storage, guarantee consistent performance, and are extremely customizable depending on the requirements of the customer.

All 3 providers support relational databases– that’s Azure SQL Database, Amazon Relational Database Service, Redshift, and Google Cloud SQL— as well as NoSQL data sources with Azure DocumentDB, Amazon DynamoDB, and Google Bigtable.

AWS storage includes its Simple Storage (S3), Elastic Block Storage (EBS), Elastic File System (EFS), Import/Export huge volume data transfer solution, Glacier archive back-up, and Storage Portal, which integrates with on-premise settings.

Microsoft’s offerings include its core Azure Storage solution, Azure Blob block storage, along with Table, Queue, and File storage. It also uses Site Recovery, Import-Export, and Azure Backup.

All 3 usually use outstanding networking capacities with automated web server load balancing and connectivity to on-premise systems, which brings us to …

Hybrid Options

One growing trend amongst the hyper-scale public cloud providers in the past year or two has been an increasing focus on helping to serve client’s hybrid and multi-cloud needs.

This tends to apply where customers are deploying across multiple vendors’ infrastructure and also require to maintain some applications on-premise. Vendors have also responded with a range of solutions to assist these clients that aren’t prepared to leap all-in on a public cloud right now, which is obviously the majority of large enterprises.

Microsoft has long been the go-to option for hybrid deployments among the big 3 with its well-established Azure Heap. This provides clients with software and hardware required to deploy Azure public cloud services from a regional data center with a shared management site, code, and APIs for easy interoperability.

AWS signified its first serious move into hybrid deployments at its redevelop seminar in 2018 with the launch of Outposts, a completely managed solution where the vendor provides pre-configured slacks on their premises, where AWS solutions can be run as though it remained in their data center.

Google then made its own push into a hybrid in 2019 with the release of Anthos, which is efficiently a rebranding of the Google Cloud Services system and brings together a combination of the existing Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), GKE On-Prem, and the Anthos Config Management console. This guarantees unified administration, policies, and security across hybrid Kubernetes deployments.

Speaking about Anthos at the Google Cloud Next Conference in April 2019, new CEO Thomas Kurian claimed: “Lots of huge companies genuinely want to educate individuals once on a set of technology that they can deploy anywhere. None of the other cloud providers is solving that. Today, if you talk to Azure they will say you can run Azure Heap on-premise and on the cloud, Amazon will say you can run Outposts on-premise and in the AWS cloud. They are great companies, but they’re not fixing the multi-cloud issue.”


Pricing can be a huge attraction for those taking into consideration a move to the cloud, and with a good reason: there has been a continued downtrend on costs for a long time now as the big providers compete.

In general terms, prices are generally comparable, specifically, since AWS moved from by-the-hour to by-the-second pricing for its EC2 and EBS services in 2017, bringing it into line with Azure and Google.

Nevertheless, making a clear comparison can be challenging as all three deal slightly different price models, discounts, and make constant rate cuts. Obviously, not all customers will pay the sticker price either, specifically at the enterprise level volume discounts can be negotiated with sales reps.

AWS gives a cost calculator below, Microsoft below, and Google here.

All suppliers provide complimentary initial rates, allowing clients to attempt their solutions prior to they buy, and also commonly supply debts to bring in cutting-edge startups onto their platforms and ‘constantly cost-free’ rates with strict use limitations.


A top-level user base might not be the primary reason for choosing your cloud service provider, but it can help more cautious organizations comprehend how the public cloud is profiting others in their field.

This is clearly a strong point of AWS. It has actually progressively tackled huge customer deals. For instance, although the US Central Intelligence Agency eventually signed a contract with IBM, it awarded AWS an agreement to develop its personal cloud in a one-off deal in 2013, which could be seen as a symbolic moment for prospective buyers.

A longstanding AWS customer is Netflix, which ultimately made a decision to close all of its data centers in the last transfer to the cloud in 2016. But other than web pioneers, AWS has been really effective in encouraging more traditional businesses to relocate to the cloud.


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