AWS vs Google Cloud vs Azure: Comparing the ‘Big 3’ Providers

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Yuliia Podorozhko
Market Researcher

Recently, the cloud market has grown tremendously, covering a wide range of complex technologies, products, and customer services. By 2028, it's expected to be worth US$1.3 billion. Naturally, more and more players are appearing, including Digital Ocean, Alibaba Cloud, IBM Cloud, and so on — all offering a wide range of high-quality business services.

In this article, though, we're discussing the three leading cloud vendors. MadAppGang has plenty of expertise and experience developing cloud-native applications and transferring existing projects to the cloud. To help you choose the right cloud vendor for your product, we'd like to share some information and observations about the ‘Big 3’ cloud vendors.

But before we try to understand who wins the AWS vs Azure vs Google cloud battle, let's learn more about each provider.

What is AWS?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc., and it’s the leading provider of cloud computing platforms. AWS began as an internal cloud service in the early 2000s. Over the years, it has become the most mature, comprehensive, and widely adopted cloud platform, providing more than 200 fully functional services. 

In 2021, AWS offers storage, computing, databases, application services, machine learning, deployment, and tools for mobile development and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others. AWS caters to any demand and serves millions of users: individual developers, large enterprises, and even governments. Prominent AWS customers include: 

aws customers list
famous customers of AWS

AWS customers. Source: OurTechPlanet

What is Google Cloud?

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a set of cloud computing services offered by Google. Started as an internal tool for Google projects in 2008, GCP was introduced to the public in 2011. Since then, both its popularity and its range of services have grown. Today, Google Cloud offers over 100 products to tens of thousands of customers worldwide.

GCP tools help resolve some of the toughest business challenges including the modernisation of infrastructure, data services management, the unification of data across a company, and more. Its key services include, but are not limited to data storage (Cloud Storage, Cloud Datastore, Cloud Spanner), cloud-based artificial intelligence (Cloud Vision API, Cloud AutoML), big data (BigQuery, Cloud Dataflow), networking, management, and so forth. 

There is a Google Cloud solution for almost any case and purpose. GCP can help a business improve its efficiency and agility, reduce costs, participate in new business models, and capture new market opportunities. No wonder there are many startups and huge corporations alike among its customers: 

google cloud clients
google cloud benefits

Source: Google Cloud

What is Azure?

Azure is a Microsoft cloud platform that was introduced to the public in 2010. It's particularly relevant for enterprise customers as few companies offer the same enterprise background and level of support as Microsoft. Hybrid cloud is Azure’s real strength as the Azure team works hard to integrate with enterprises' data centres.

However, Azure has much to offer to young companies too. If you’re part of a startup, for instance, you can profit from a year of free cloud computing services — a great deal when you need to build and test your idea! The company’s services include storage (Table Service, Blob Service), communication, data management (Azure stream analytics, StorSimple, Cosmos DB), virtual machines, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and more.

There are Azure services for all businesses, verticals, locations. Its customers include: 

azure famous customers

Azure’s biggest customers. Source: Microsoft

What is the difference between AWS, Azure and Google Cloud?

Even though the ‘big three’ offer the same cloud services, there are some differences between them. To see these, an AWS vs Google Cloud vs Azure comparison based on key characteristics is helpful:

Computing resources

AWS' main computing product is Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which is highly customisable and supports both Windows and Linux auto-scaling, high-performance computing, and more. AWS also provides Fargate, a service that automates server cluster and container management, and support for Docker and Kubernetes. Other offerings include Lightsail, a virtual private cloud, Elastic Beanstalk for web application scaling, and so on.

In Azure, computing is focused on Virtual Machines (VMs), along with Cloud Services, Resource Manager, and Azure Auto Scaling. As well as AWS, Azure supports Windows and Linux, Kubernetes and Docker. A few of Azure's differences from AWS include its hybrid cloud capabilities, an enhanced security model, and integrated support for Microsoft software.

Compared to its competitors, Google Cloud offers a smaller list of computing services, this is, however, growing rapidly. Compute Engine, GCP's primary service, offers virtual machines that have persistent storage, provide consistent performance and are highly customisable to customers’ needs. Like AWS and Azure, GCP is set up for containers and microservices. For organizations interested in deploying containers, it offers the Kubernetes Engine. Additionally, Google is deeply involved in the Kubernetes project and has deep expertise in this area.

big three clouds comparison

Storage

The ‘Big 3’ offer object, persistent block, and file storage services. In addition, each platform provides a hybrid storage environment and hardware devices that help organisations move petabytes of data locally if internet transfer isn't feasible. With regard to storage, we can conclude that AWS, GCP and Azure all offer the same services. Still, there is a difference. AWS has a Storage Gateway for backup and archive processes, while Azure and Google Cloud don't offer this.  

Key cloud tools

Today, AWS has the most services on offer. The company offers machine learning (SageMaker) and IoT (Greengrass) messaging services, as well as serverless computing (Lambda). AI-based projects can be developed and deployed using an AWS camera for image and object recognition (DeepLens), and a deep-learning library for constructing and training neural networks (Gluon).

Microsoft Azure offers ML and bot services that allow developers to develop, test and deploy algorithms, as well as access to off-the-shelf APIs. The Cognitive Services include Text Analytics API, Bing Web Search API, Face API, Computer Vision API, and Custom Vision Service. Also, the company provides analytics and management services for IoT, as well as Functions, a serverless computing service.

Google Cloud Platform focuses heavily on AI and ML. Vertex AI, its data science and machine learning platform, is a fully managed, end-to-end platform for building, deploying, and scaling AI models, and optimising their costs. A variety of tools are available, including tools to convert speech to text (and vice versa), translation, and the training of virtual agents. There are IoT and serverless services available, too.

Mobile services

AWS provides a set of tools and services (Amplify) for designing full-stack native iOS and Android apps, and cross-platform and web applications. AWS Amplify supports popular programming languages, frameworks, and platforms such as React, JavaScript, Vue, Angular, and Next.js for web apps and iOS, Android, Ionic, React Native and Flutter for mobile apps.

Azure App Services lets you create cross-platform and native apps for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac. Using App Services, customers can store app data in the cloud or on-premises, authenticate customers, send push notifications, and add custom backend logic. Additionally, Azure Hybrid Connections allow businesses to access data stored in on-premises data centres around the world.

Google's Firebase is a platform dedicated to mobile app and IoT development. It comes with a fully managed tailored backend infrastructure, a broad array of client software development kits (SDKs), detailed analytics, A/B testing software development kits, and more. Firebase provides everything you need to build a new mobile app, expand an existing app with new features and grow an audience.

Availability zones

Each of the three vendors provides services in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. However, there are some regions where some or none of the Big Three are unavailable, or their services are limited. For example, there is no Google Cloud or Azure service in Africa (except for South Africa). 

Cloud provider location map. Source: Atomia

Pricing

When you compare AWS vs Google Cloud vs Azure, you'll find that their prices are roughly equivalent. All of them provide pay-per-minute pricing at similar rates. Despite the close price points, it can be difficult to make a quick comparison between the three as they all offer different service packages, discounts, and promotions. 

Discuss the options with your team if you want to make a smart, cost-effective decision. At MadAppGang, we always look for ways to reduce costs without compromising the end product's quality. However, for a rough estimate, you can check the price calculators for AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

cloud vendors pricing comparison

Aws vs Azure vs Google Cloud: Pros and cons

Every cloud provider we’ve discussed has its own unique way of delivering solutions. It's critical to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each of the ‘Big Three’ before choosing one, only then can you select the most suitable option for your project. To help with that, here’s a table with pros and cons for Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud:

big three clouds pros and cons table

Summing up the Big 3

AWS is currently the market leader in terms of service, capacity, and coverage zones. However, Azure and Google Cloud are gaining ground and competing with AWS. With its strong emphasis on enterprise, Azure is right on AWS' heels. Google Cloud keeps up with the competitors, too, as it continues to expand its presence by integrating its application with third-party services and open-source projects.

Based on our experience with cloud vendors, we should state that there are no winners in AWS vs Azure vs Google cloud battle. Every solution has its perks and downsides, only by knowing these and with consideration of all your project’s requirements can you make the right choice. The best option is to get advice from specialists before you migrate to the cloud or create an app. 

By entrusting your project to MadAppGang, you'll get the essential assistance and expertise with cloud services you need. Our team will thoroughly study your requirements and business needs, and help you choose the most efficient solution. Drop us a line to discuss your idea, and we’ll work on it together to deliver a stable, scalable and smart software product to the market.