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Finding the right cloud provider can be a tricky affair. For the most part, this market is dominated by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, each with its set of pros and cons. Most likely, one of these three will also be the optimal solution for your brand.
In this article, we focus on the main differences between these platforms, putting emphasis on security features, pricing, and specific use cases.
Comparing Azure vs. GCP vs. AWS security should be one of your main priorities when choosing the cloud provider. Ultimately, as a business owner, you need to be certain that your systems are well insulated against outside attacks.
Nowadays, most companies prefer using a cloud service provider than having their own data centers. Not only does this save money and time, but it also removes the need for extensive micromanagement. For example, not having an IT team (or having just a few employees) can significantly reduce your monthly staff spending.
For the most part, relying on cloud computing is much safer than storing relevant data on your hard drive. This is because most outside attacks are caused due to inadvertent employee errors or misuse of physical devices. By circumventing traditional storage, companies can efficiently safeguard their data while making it universally accessible.
Given that the number of malicious web attacks is increasing on a yearly basis, all companies should take their security seriously. Trusting your own procedures is important, but you should also introduce the best external solution to safeguard your sensitive data. Among others, you need to select the right cloud providers for your business.
Comparing AWS, Azure, and GCP security
Data security can pertain to all sorts of things. However, most experts suggest that companies should focus on three critical areas:
- Data access – Basically, companies should select the personnel who should have full or partial access to the data
- Physical security – Refers to protection of data centers but also other physical devices
- Infrastructure security – Pinpoints system vulnerabilities while also monitoring traffic
The last two areas can be fully managed and controlled by the cloud providers. Whether we’re talking about Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, or Amazon Web Services, all three companies do a great job of ensuring their physical locations are well-maintained and secured.
Unfortunately, even if cloud providers do everything right, there’s always a chance that a client will experience a breach due to their own negligence. Irresponsible behavior is one of the most common reasons for data loss, so vendors need to do everything in their power to educate their clients about potential threats.
Amazon Web Services security
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been in this business longer than the other two cloud providers. As a result, they have more veteran experts and better documentation procedures. According to the company representatives, this is how the vendor tackles infrastructure security:
- DoS (Denial-of-Service) attack mitigation
- Firewalls are present at 3rd, 4th, and 7th layer. They are integrated into Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), thus allowing users to access applications and individual instances
- Default traffic encryption that is present between all AWS facilities
One of the focal points of this AWS vs. Microsoft Azure vs. Google Cloud comparison lies in the software. Amazon has a major advantage over the two competitors, ensuring a much more flexible and smoother experience. The company relies on Kinesis Streams, AWS Lambda Functions, and other serverless services to give users more flexibility when choosing programming languages and platforms.
Microsoft Azure security
While this cloud platform isn’t as old as AWS, many companies switched to it because they trust Microsoft. Luckily for the company, Microsoft had the option of utilizing the large global infrastructure to provide excellent service for its users.
These cloud computing services are perfect for users looking for a bulletproof interregional solution. By relying on virtual networks, Microsoft Azure can manage site-to-site connections without a hitch. These are some of the things that the company highlights in regards to its cloud services:
- DoS (Denial-of-Service) attack detection
- Enhanced network access control
- SDL, or Security Development Lifecycle, represents practices that allow developers to create better, more protected software. SDL works by significantly reducing the number and intensity of software vulnerabilities while simultaneously reducing associated costs
Although Microsoft Azure isn’t present on all continents (they don’t have data centers in South America), they are still an efficient network. While they don’t have the most centers, they are the best spread. As such, they can ensure really fast data transfer.
Google Cloud Platform security
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is the youngest of the three cloud computing vendors. The company’s main selling point is its existing infrastructure. In other words, Google boasts that its cloud platform uses the same system as the Google search engine, meaning that your data will be equally protected. Of course, aside from the search engine, Google Cloud is also vital for other associated web programs.
Of course, the other two competitors can brag about something similar. So, for the most part, your choice of platform will come down to who you trust more between GCP vs AWS vs Azure. Another cool thing about this service is that you also get a free trial that lasts for 12 months (something similar to Azure’s sales proposal).
On the flip side, the issue with the Google Cloud platform is that it’s the newest out of the three. That is, the company has the least experienced IT staff out of the three major cloud providers. In this company’s whitepaper, Google explains how the platform can protect sensitive data, with the main emphasis on:
- Use of a global IP network that can reduce the number of public internet hops
- Detailed policy that tackles hardware disposal
- Custom data centers
- Extensive internal network traffic monitoring
When comparing AWS vs. Azure vs. GCP, it’s also worth noting that Google has the lowest number of data centers (although they’re spread on all continents). However, the Google Cloud platform makes up through its high performance. Based on that, GCP is an optimal choice for applications that are latency-sensitive.
As you can tell based on everything we’ve said so far, each service provider has its pros and cons. GCP, AWS, and Azure can be great for any company, and your final choice will likely be based on small nuances or individual preferences.
Although AWS has the biggest number of data centers, they’re not the best spread. Instead, this honor goes to Microsoft Azure Cloud. On the other hand, Google Cloud Platform has the best performance out of the three tech giants, ensuring the best possible experience for low-latency connections.
When making AWS, GCP, and Azure comparisons, it’s vital that you consider the placement of your company. Ideally, you should go with a vendor that has data centers close to your location, and that is well-regarded in your country and/or region.
Comparing networking & security features
The three largest hyperscale cloud providers offer a wide range of features related to cloud and security.
We are frequently asked about these features, so we decided to create a table to compare them and to show how they are named by the respective providers: Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
GCP provides the greatest flexibility in VPC manipulation; it is the only provider that allows a single VPC to span multiple regions and data centers. It’s also worth noting that AWS has the most restrictive IP address range availability. Conversely, GCP does not offer the essential IPAM functionality that is available with AWS and Azure.
Here’s a brief comparison of some of the networking and security features offered by AWS, Azure, and GCP.
AWS vs. Azure vs. GCP cost
Of course, AWS vs. GCP vs. Azure pricing is another major thing you need to consider. No matter the cloud service you want to get, you’ll likely be locked in a multi-year contract. So, don’t think you can simply get the cheapest solution or milk a promotional offer for all its worth and then switch to another vendor.
It’s worth noting that each company uses models based on consumption, where you’ll need to calculate data transfer fees, storage costs, and other elements. While these pricing plans might seem a bit too complex at first, once you figure them out, you can find the right solution according to your business needs.
Among others, businesses need to consider how these costs will scale in the future. In other words, you need to predict the potential payments according to your growth. That way, even if you experience enormous progress in the upcoming years, you can be certain that the vendor won’t hold you back.
Amazon Web Services cost
- AWS provides lots of flexibility to its clients, allowing them to control their usage
- The businesses can choose between different pricing plans that vary in terms of capacity and performance
- Clients are charged for storage based on the access patterns and capacity
- Data received, or ingress, is generally free
- Data sent, or egress, differs for regions and volume. However, you can expect to spend between $0.05 to $0.09 for each GB of data
- Clients can achieve several discounts by taking advantage of AWS Saving Plans and Reserved Insurance
Microsoft Azure cost
- Similar to AWS, Azure uses a pay-as-you-go model
- Clients can take advantage of Reserved VM Instances as a way of saving some money
- Clients are charged for storage based on the capacity and Azure Disk Storage/Azure Blob Storage usage
- If a client has an existing license, they can take advantage of Azure Hybrid Benefit volume discounts
- Once again, like with AWS, Azure offers free ingress
- Egress expenses vary based on region and volume
Google Cloud Platform cost
- GCP works under a pay-as-you-go premise. It utilizes custom and predefined machine types
- Clients data transfer fees are calculated based on received and sent data
- Users will be charged for Google Persistent Disk and Google Cloud Storage based on their access frequency and capacity
- Customers can go with three pricing tears ranging from Basic to Development and Production. Each one of them has a certain level of customer support and expected response times
- Clients can take advantage of Commited Use Contract discounts, which presume a vendor commitment from 1 to 3 years
AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud optimal uses
Your choice of a provider can vary significantly based on what you’re looking for. For example, many users consider Amazon Web Services as the optimal choice if they need global reach. This provider is also popular among businesses looking for a service variety and those who want a flexible vendor.
On the other hand, Microsoft Azure is extremely popular among companies that want to integrate other software and systems with the cloud platform. It’s also a good solution for any brand that prioritizes security measures ahead of performance.
While a newer solution, Google Cloud Platform seems to be optimal for low latency. Its high-performance network makes it perfect for containerized and data-driven applications. Here are the perfect implementations for each one of the vendors:
Amazon Web Services use
Given the vast number of well-spread data centers, AWS is a great choice for any brand that has a presence in different countries and regions. For the same reason, the vendor is a fantastic choice for small and medium businesses that are preparing for future growth and scaling.
Given the large number of unique services, AWS can cover the needs of most companies. Aside from web hosting, this cloud platform also has powerful analytical features, the Internet of Things, and other excellent functionalities.
Amazon Web Services is one of the older, more mature providers on the market. Given a large number of users and a big community, the platform is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a long-term, reliable solution.
Microsoft Azure uses
The cloud provider is a common choice for users who are heavily reliant on Microsoft’s products. Azure is integrated within the company’s ecosystem, allowing for smooth integration with other software. Among others, the provider offers smooth migration and hybrid and multi-cloud deployments.
Microsoft Azure is also a popular choice for companies that have a solid, existing infrastructure. These brands can combine their current systems with the platform for a complete, hybrid approach.
Lastly, the cloud provider is fantastic for highly regulated industries. With its numerous security features and compliance, Azure ensures that you never get in any legal trouble.
Google Cloud Platform uses
One of the company’s main selling points is analytics and data management. As such, Google Cloud is a fantastic choice for businesses that rely on technologies such as machine learning and data processing.
The cloud provider has enormous experience with Kubernetes. If we also consider its containerization focus, the platform can be a fantastic choice for brands that want to use container-based apps. We also can’t neglect the fact that the Google Cloud Platform offers high performance to its clients.
Although comparing AWS vs. Google Cloud vs. Microsoft Azure is a bit tricky, this article should definitely help you out. Keep in mind you can’t go wrong no matter which company you choose; they’re all fantastic for both smaller companies and large enterprises. Ultimately, most people go with a provider according to their preferences and based on specific niche needs.