AWS vs Azure vs GCP | Amazon Web Services vs Microsoft Azure vs Google Cloud Platform

Today’s Top three tech giants i.e., Amazon, Microsoft and Google have their own cloud platforms out there and their names are Amazon web services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. In this article we are going to compare 3 of these cloud giants and discuss which one to choose? So, without any further delays, let’s get started. Let us just start from the basic and discuss each service in a brief.


Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the oldest and the most experienced player in the market,as it was established at the beginning of 2006. AWS has an extensive list of computing services with functions of deployments, mobile networking, databases, storage, security and many more.

Whereas Microsoft Azure was presented in February 2010, and since then, it has shown a great promise among its rivals. This platform can easily be associated with AWS and both provide their customers with a full set of services in the domains of compute,storage, database, networking and many more, just like AWS.

On the other hand, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) began their journey on October 6, 2011 and by this time, they’ve managed to create a good presence in the industry. Initially, the push was to strengthen their own services, such as Google or YouTube. But now, they have moved further, and they also have created the enterprise services, so now anyone can use their cloud platform which shares the same infrastructure that of Google Search and You Tube.

But still, the question remains, how are these 3 cloud services different and what are the factors that we need to focus on while comparing Amazon web services, Azure & Google Cloud Platform? Well, we’re about to discuss that, as we move forward.

Ist Factor

let’s just start from the first factor, that is the availability zones. Before discussing this factor, let me give you a brief introduction to Availability Zones. Availability zones are the isolated locations within data centre regions from which public cloud services originate and operate and the regions are geographic locations in the data centres of public cloud service providers reside. Basically, businesses which are using cloud choose one or multiple worldwide availability zones for their services depending on their business needs. So, they select the availability zones fora variety of reasons, including compliance and providing proximities to end customers. Cloud administrators can also choose to replicate services across multiple availability zones to decrease latency as well as to protect their resources. Admins can move resources to another availability zone in the event of a blackout. Certain cloud services may also be limited to particular regions or availability zones. So now, we are all aware of their establishments,we all know that AWS was the first one of its kind. Right? Which means, AWS is hosting in multiple locations world-wide, and of course, it’s true for Azure, as well as for Google. But here also, the difference occurs in the numbers of regions and availability zones.


Talking of numbers, AWS has 55 availability zones world-wide with 8 more on its way.

Azure is having 44 availability zones with a whooping number of 12 more on the way.

Whereas, google is having 18 availability zones with 3 more on the way. Which is no doubt, is quite lesser than AWS and Azure.

2nd Factor

Now let’s move forward and talk about next factor, which is the market share. AWS is leading with 40% of public cloud market share worldwide on its name, whereas azure is on 2nd place with 30%of the market share and google cloud, which is not that behind is on 3rd place with 10% of the market share and other cloud providers combines at 20% of it. And guys, let me tell you an interesting fact here, that according to a recent report by Key Banc, Amazon lost almost 6% share while Microsoft Azure moved from 26% to 30% and Google successfully jumped its share from 8% to 10% in the cloud business. Also, if you check the google trends and compare their popularity, there are the stats, where you can easily figure out that how interest for AWS has been surpassing with azure on the 2nd place and google cloud on the third, worldwide in the past 12 months.

According to Areas

Also, if we check their search results and trends according to USA. Same case is here as well, where there is more interest for AWS than azure and Google cloud.

In case of India, here are the results, still AWS is more trending. These are the results of past 12 months and have been varying and relatively increasing with AWS on 1st and azure on 2nd google cloud on 3rd from a past decade.

We are All aware about the establishment of AWS as a first cloud provider. Right? And with the more experience and implementation in the cloud domain, it obviously has a bigger community support and trust across its clients. And with Azure and Google Cloud, well they’ve been able to cope up trust across their multiple clients successfully. So, let’s check what type of companies are using them.

Usage By Companies

AWS is having more high-profile customers like Netflix, Airbnb, Unilever, BMW, Samsung, MI, Zynga, etc. And, Azure is also not that behind as almost 80% of the fortune 500 companies have put their faiths in azure recently. Some of its major clients are Johnson Controls, Polycom, Fujifilm, HP, Honeywell, Apple etc. Since google shares the same infrastructure that of Google Search engine and You tube, that is why many huge companies are having faith on them and some their major clients are HSBC, PayPal, 20th Century Fox, Bloomberg,Target, Dominos etc.

No doubt, AWS IS dominating public cloud over Microsoft Azure and google in this race, but they both are growing continuously to be at the top. So guys, don’t you think it’s quite impressive for azure and google cloud to be on the top runner list, even after being a late comer in the cloud domain? Right? Now after discussing their establishment in the market, let’s talk about what each provider has to offer in terms of services. The services, which I am going to compare here are very primary and comes under the following domains: Compute Database Storage Troubleshooting and Monitoring .

So, AWS covers like 200+ services and Azure covers 100+, whereas Google cloud have been catching up with it, with a number of 60+ services. Now let us compare their primary services in each of these domains, I am not covering all of the services since there are so many services in each of these domains. So, in the compute domain, the primary service offered by AWS is EC2, in Azure, it’s Virtual Machine and Cloud Engine for google. So basically, all these three services help you in launching instance on cloud, like if you want to run a virtual machine or an operating system without an on-premise infrastructure, you can do so with any of these services, they all have the same idea, same working with a same functionality, just the names are different.


But, there is one major difference, that is the speed of launching an instance, well, if you try to launch an instance in 3 of them, AWS will take around a minute to launch an instance, in case of azure, it takes more time to do so, but guys, in case of Google cloud platform, it takes seconds to launch an instance, this is where compute engine comes out to be a preferable choice.

Now another service comes under Database domain. The Primary database service provided by AWS is RDS, that is the relational database service where the databases like MySQL, MariaDb, Oraclewhich can be managed automatically, like backups, security patches and updates are done automatically by RDS. In case of Azure, there is a primary service called as SQL Database service, well in this service, you cannot choose any like MariaDBor Oracle or MySQL databases, you can only choose SQL database and you need to change your application code to be compatible with SQL Database if you’re using Azure. Even you have to configure everything on your own, no automated updates facility is here. Now in case of google, we have the service named as SQL database, where in you don’t have the provision of choosing any other databases apart from MySQL database.

Storage Domain

Let’s discuss the next domain, that is the storage domain. The primary service in AWS storage is S3,that is simple storage service, which is an object-based file system. So, whenever you store files on these systems, these files can be treated as an object and s3 consists of buckets which further consists of root folder and one can store their objects inside these root folders. And azure implemented the similar idea, its primary storage service named as Blob storage which is an object-based file system, where the files are stored as an object. Well, in case of Google, Cloud storage is the service and again which provides you the similar kind of object-based storage system.


Let’s move forward to another domain, that is Troubleshooting. The primary service provided by AWS is CloudTrail. CloudTrail is a logging service, any deployed apps on aws with the API calls, those API calls gets recorded in the logs of aws and can be traced and then it helps you to troubleshoot your application, suppose if there’s an error,you can easily troubleshoot the specific part of that failure in your application. Such operations can be done using the logs which gets stored in your AWS. And in case of Azure, you have Azure operational insights which provides you the similar service that of AWS, if you have your application deployed on Azure with the API calls. Similarly, in case of GCP, we have the Stackdriver Logging, which again, provides you the same functionalities.


Our next and last domain is Monitoring. Well, in case of monitoring, the only service offered by AWS is Cloud Watch service, using this service, you can easily monitor each and every resource or service running in your AWS account. It provides you every basic information like the amount of traffic coming to your instance, what kind of traffic is connecting to your instance, the performance of your instance etc. You can manage, control and monitor all of them using AWS CloudWatch. And Azure provides you a similar service called as Azure application insights which does the exact and same operation. Also, google provides you Stackdriver monitoring service which again performs the same and exact operation that of AWS CloudTrail.

Down time and speed

Now another factor is its down time and speed. Having a matured infrastructure, the maximum downtime faced by AWS in 2014 was of 2 hours and 69 minutes. Whereas, azure even after having a good infrastructure,faced a huge downtime of 39.77 hours. AND, google just faced a downtime of 14 minutes and resumed its services in not-time. Which is actually impressive for a new comer like Google Cloud Platform.

Pricing and billing models

Now let’s move ahead and check their pricing and billing models. In case of AWS, a very basic instance which includes 2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB of RAM will cost you around 69 dollars per month, in case of Azure, it’ll cost you around 70 dollar per month and when compared to GCP with 25% cheaper, it’ll cost you around 52 dollars per month. Now the largest instance offered by AWS is of 3.84 TB RAM along with 128 virtual CPUs which costs you around 3.97 dollars/hour. Azure offers 3.89 TB along with 128 virtual CPUs which costs you around 6.79 dollars/hour. and in case of google, this is where Google takes the lead with a whooping number of 160 Virtual CPUs with a 3.75 TB RAM which will cost you around 5.32 dollars/hour. Which I believe is much cheaper in terms of Virtual CPUs provisioning as compared to AWS and Azure.

Also, in case of billing, AWS provides reserved instances, for example, the companies purchase the instances at contract prices, plus hourly. Instances are available in various levels of compute power. If a company buys Aws instances for a particular year this could be 1 to 3 years contract, then they will get a 70% discount. Previously, AWS used to charge on per hourly basis but recently they launched the minutes per basis billing as well. Because during the hourly billing it didn’t makes sense for the people who were using the instances for few minutes and they were charged for an hourly basis. Right? Now in case of Azure, the same idea is implemented and that is called as Microsoft Enterprise Agreements, just reserve your instances using Microsoft Enterprise Agreements and also, Azure has been following the per minutes basis billing from starting. In google cloud, they have committed use,where in if you reserve your instances for a 1 or 3 years contract, then they provides you better discount rates than AWS and another billing model provided by GCP is sustained use, In sustained use, you get discounts automatically, if you keep using the same instance majority of the time. Also, GCP has been following the per minutes basis billing from starting.

Decision Time

Now let’s move ahead. So, which one you should choose and why? So guys, I am not going to be biased here, I will just discuss the key takeaways for each one of them. If we talk about AWS, well it dominates every cloud service when it comes to features like configuration, monitoring, security, auto-scalingetc. Another important aspect is that, they have mature infrastructure along with the better offerings. Due to more experience, they provide enterprise-friendly services. More open source tools integration availability is here. And no doubt, they have the Global reach. In case of Azure, well it is more reliable when it comes to integrating with Microsoft tools And, also it ranks first in the development and testing tools. It provides Hybrid cloud as well. Now for google, since they are expertise in DevOps, so it integrates with majority of DevOps tools. They provide you flexible discounts & contracts Google have specifically designed them for cloud-based businesses. And now some of the factors on which we should not choose them. AWS is quite difficult to use, especially when you compare it with ease of using in Google cloud. There are like overwhelming options for each domain, which actually ends up confusing the clients. And their cost management is not that good. In case of Azure, they provide less efficient management tooling. They are Less enterprise ready. In google cloud, since they entered late in IaaS market, so they have less data centres across the globe. Their services are good but they have fewer services and features. So, guys who do you think is the winner here? AWS or Azure or Google Cloud? Well, most of you must have figured out from the above stats that how Google cloud is rising at an advanced rate and is always at 3rd place after AWS and Azure. No doubt Google Cloud may surpass AWS and Azure someday which makes it very difficult to declare one of them as the winner. As Google have many advantages over AWS like pricings and speed. Similarly, Azure is also having many advantages over AWS. However, AWS has been a consistent pioneer in the cloud services, its more mature infrastructure causing less downtime each year makes AWS a preferable choice for majority of the users.

Thankx for Reading this Article, Hope it would have helped you. Please give your Reviews on which service according to you is the best.

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