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Best Cloud Providers
2019-03-07 /

Cloud Computing: AWS vs Azure vs Google

Which is the best? If you were hoping for a straightforward answer, think again! Each of the three has its own set of advantages and your best will depend on your particular needs.

Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are the three dominant players in public cloud computing for good reason; they are the best cloud computing providers around. We’ll make the comparisons to help you decide which is the best for your particular situation.

AWS vs Azure Vs Google: Current Standing and Market Revenue

Amazon Web Services: The first of the three on the market, they have the widest offering of products and services and saw $25.7 billion in revenue in 2018. Amazon has dominated the cloud computing market for the past decade and its cloud experience is second to none.

Microsoft Azure: Microsoft’s key advantage is that many businesses already use their services (Office, SharePoint, Windows/SQL Server, etc). This familiarity and compatibility make Microsoft Azure a very attractive option for companies with a pre-existing reliance on Microsoft products. They have posted $23.2 billion in commercial cloud revenue in their 2018 annual report.

Google Cloud:  Google hasn’t reported its cloud revenue this year but CEO Sundar Pichai called it “a fast-growing multibillion-dollar business,” and research firm Canalys estimated Google’s revenue at $6.8 billion in their cloud market share report for 2018. Google’s cloud services are priced quite competitively (they advertise themselves as the leader in price/performance). They are noted for their commitment to open-source, their track record with innovative cloud-native businesses, and their data and analytics offerings.

AWS vs Azure vs Google: Compute

The main computing services in the battle of AWS vs Azure vs Google are AWS’s Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Microsoft Azure’s Virtual Machines, and Google Cloud’s Compute Engine.

All three boast scalability, top security, flexibility, per-second billing, a wide variety of supported operating systems, and high speed! Each offers trial versions and free-tier products and services. Let’s see what makes each unique.

AWS Compute:

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud web service provides scalable compute capacity in the cloud. You can easily increase and decrease capacity in minutes and can commission thousands of server instances simultaneously. AWS Auto Scaling monitors your apps and automatically scales capacity to maintain optimal performance at the lowest possible cost.

Amazon EC2 is integrated with a vast majority of AWS services, providing better compatibility and flexibility than ever. Amazon servers are highly reliable and their SLA commitment has 99.99% availability for each EC2 Region.

Amazon’s other computing products:

  • Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling
  • Amazon Elastic Container Service
  • Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes
  • Amazon Elastic Container Registry
  • Amazon Lightsail
  • AWS Batch
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk
  • AWS Fargate
  • AWS Lambda
  • AWS Serverless Application Repository
  • VMware Cloud on AWS
  • AWS Outposts
  • Elastic Load Balancing

Microsoft Azure Compute:

Virtual Machines virtualize a wide range of computing solutions including development and testing, running applications, and data center extension. Its open-source software supports a full range of Linux distributions, Windows Server, SQL Server, Oracle, IBM, and SAP.

Virtual machines can be created for both on-premises servers and on the cloud and can be integrated to provide global load balancing. It’s easy to deploy Microsoft enterprise apps on your virtual machines.

Its other compute products are:

  • Virtual Machines
  • Virtual Machine Scale Sets
  • Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
  • Azure Functions
  • Service Fabric
  • App Service
  • Container Instances
  • Batch
  • Azure Batch AI
  • SQL Server on Virtual Machines
  • Cloud Services
  • SAP HANA on Azure Large Instances
  • Web Apps
  • Mobile Apps
  • API Apps
  • Azure CycleCloud

Google Cloud Compute:

Google Compute Engine creates virtual machines that run in its data centers and worldwide fiber network. It supports instances with up to 160 virtual CPUs, 3.75 TB of memory, and persistent SSD and HDD disks up to 64 TB in size.

Google automatically discounts prices for long-running workloads, and its environmentally friendly global network of data centers consumes 50% less energy than the typical data center.

Compute Engine offers a wide range of features including:

  • Container Orchestration with Google Kubernetes Engine (Kubernetes was originally developed by Google)
  • Predefined and Custom Machine Types
  • Local SSD

AWS vs Azure vs Google: Storage

Data is stored differently based on type, use case, and requirements. A popular YouTube video, your class photos, and classified homeland security documents have different security, access, and availability requirements. Object storage is best for large quantities of unstructured data, while block storage is optimized for structured data.

AWS Storage:

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is Amazon’s primary scalable object storage service. Any amount of data can be stored and protected. Amazon S3 is designed for 99.999999999% of durability, and stores millions of applications from companies all around the world. Its use cases include: backup and restore, disaster recovery, archiving, data lakes and big data analytics, hybrid cloud storage, and cloud-native application data.

Other storage products for more specialized use cases are:

  • Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS)
  • Amazon Elastic File System (EFS)
  • Amazon S3 Glacier
  • AWS Storage Gateway
  • AWS Snow Family
  • Amazon FSx for Lustre
  • Amazon FSx for Windows File Server
  • AWS Backup

Microsoft Azure Storage

Azure Storage is Microsoft’s all-encompassing data storage service. It includes the following storage types:

  • File – Simple cross-platform file system
  • Disk – persistent and high-performance disk space for any type of workload
  • Blob – for unstructured data
  • Data Lake Storage – made specifically and optimized for data analytics
  • Archive – specifically for rarely accessed, hardly used data

Google Cloud Storage

Google Cloud Storage is Google’s unified object storage. Google’s approach to storage is the most simple and convenient of the three.  It has a single API for all storage classes. Object Lifecycle Management helps you automatically optimize price/performance across classes.

It has four storage classes:

  • Multi-Regional –  for geo-redundancy and end-user latency
  • Regional –  for higher performance local access
  • Nearline – for data typically accessed less than once a month
  • Coldline – for data typically accessed less than once a year  

AWS vs Azure vs Google: Security

There is absolutely no doubt that Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are some of the best when it comes to data security. They all offer expert security guidance and assistance. We are not going to tell you that one is more secure than the other; instead, we’ll highlight some of their awesome services and features!

AWS Security

  • AWS partners offer hundreds of industry-leading security solutions that complement the existing AWS services.
  • Amazon Inspector automatically assesses your applications for vulnerabilities and deviations from best practices
  • With permission, you may perform penetration testing on or from your EC2 and RDS instances, but of course, there are terms and conditions.

Microsoft Azure Security

  • Microsoft boasts a team of more than 3,500 global cybersecurity experts working day and night to help safeguard your assets and data.
  • Azure Security Center offers a unified view and control of security for all of your on-premises and cloud workloads.

Google Cloud Security

  • Google data centers feature laser beam intrusion detection and biometrics. Fewer that one percent of Google employees will ever step inside of a data center.
  • Data stored in Google’s cloud infrastructure is automatically encrypted at rest and distributed to maximize availability and reliability.

AWS vs Azure vs Google: Pricing

When it comes to price comparison, things can get very messy. Each provider offers unique services and special pricing and discounts based on a lot of different factors and situations. Also, prices change all the time! Without a very detailed use case, it is difficult to get an accurate and fair comparison.

Google generally offers the lowest prices as they are competing with the two most established cloud providers, however, AWS does offer better deals on some of their long-term commitments. We’ve also noticed that Microsoft and Google tend to advertise how much you will save if you choose them over AWS.

Here are the price calculators for the three, plus a bonus public cloud cost comparison calculator by UNIGMA.

  • AWS
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • AWS vs Azure vs Google


There is no perfect cloud provider, that’s why we have hundreds of them. Here are some of the other top cloud providers:

  • IBM – If we were comparing the top four cloud providers, IBM would be the fourth; they have one of the world’s most powerful AIs (Watson) in the cloud and recently bought Red Hat
  • Alibaba – China’s leading cloud provider
  • Oracle – The top SaaS provider with an awesome cloud database
  • Salesforce – The top service cloud provider and the #1 CRM platform

Which one is right for you?

Now that you have a better understanding of the similarities and differences of the top three cloud providers, it’s time for you to decide who won the battle in this AWS vs Azure vs Google matchup.

If you haven’t read the article and are just scrolling to the bottom to find the answer, or if you’d just like a quick summary, here are our top 4 tips:

  • Amazon is the most mature and has the widest array of products and services
  • If you are highly reliant on Microsoft technologies and products like Office and .NET, you should consider Microsoft Azure
  • Google is often the cheapest option
  • They are all extremely secure, but if laser beam data center security is a top priority, go with Google

Once you’ve selected a cloud provider, you might need help managing your cloud. We can help you with that; we’ve got AWS and Azure experts here at Full Scale.

We also have highly skilled teams that can do web and mobile development, testing and quality assurance, project management, graphic design, content writing, and SEO. Contact us today!

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