According to Canalys, in the fourth quarter of 2022, global spending on cloud infrastructure services increased by 23% year-on-year, reaching $65.8 billion, which is $12.3 billion more than in the previous period. For the whole of 2022, total spending on cloud infrastructure services increased by 29% to $247.1 billion, compared to $191.7 billion in 2021.
Cloud services are a way to organize work so that most of the resources for it are on the Internet. Resources can be understood as both ordinary data and computing power (processor time, network connections, memory). Through cloud services, you can access and use a program without installing it on your device. Using the cloud for business is no longer just about remote work or convenient, round-the-clock access to data from anywhere in the world. New business needs are emerging at a breakneck speed, so cloud services are evolving along with their demands.
Most common cloud service provider
Today, the question is no longer whether to choose cloud computing or not but which cloud platform to choose. In a cloud computing market crowded with numerous cloud providers, so, how do you decide which one to choose? Here you can find a table based on popularity and availability zones criteria:
|Amazon Web Services (AWS)||3||27|
|Google Cloud Platform||2||34|
According to the table, the leaders are AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, which are embracing the new digital world with a new barrage of technologies based on remote servers. The public cloud market is fiercely competitive, and in order to choose the most suitable platform for ourselves, we need to understand the differences between these top cloud services, so let's compare them in more detail below.
Biggest 3 providers comparison
Thanks to the provision of services from these companies, even large corporations save a lot of money and space on their premises. Therefore, before analyzing specific cloud servers, let's consider the benefits of cloud migration:
- High availability. Data can be accessed with a login and password, no need to go to the office or work on a specific computer where the software is installed or the data is located.
- Cost-effectiveness. It is much cheaper to place data in the cloud and access it from different devices than to buy a lot of devices and synchronize their work.
- Flexibility. You can use the cloud from your computer, phone, and tablet.
- Comfort. You get a service that needs to be administered. You pay only for what you need now.
- Mobility. You can work from anywhere in the world.
- Technology. Many technological solutions can be organized much easier using cloud technologies.
Returning to our top three cloud services, it's worth recalling a few words about the history of their origin and their main features:
Amazon Web Services is the first cloud on the market, which began its existence in 2006, and for two years, had no competitors, thus capturing a significant portion of the market. Amazon continues to invest heavily in its data centers and development. The cloud supports a wide range of services and has the largest network of data centers worldwide. That is why AWS is currently the most popular cloud.
Microsoft Azure was developed and launched in 2010, 4 years later than AWS. It is the main competitor to the AWS cloud, as it provides services in such categories as computing, data storage, networking, development tools, and others, which allows organizations to grow their business. Microsoft is also actively promoting microservice architecture in the .NET development environment.
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a cloud from Google, which was originally used as a platform for the company's internal products, such as Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Drive, and Google Docs, and is now public. Today, the cloud is one of the most important players in the cloud market and provides ample opportunities for competition with other players.
AWS vs Azure
First of all, let's evaluate the interface from the point of view of users who are familiarizing themselves with the services for the first time. Azure seems simple and straightforward, but when users start working with its services, they are faced with a lot of settings and parameters that they are unlikely to need, and this can lead to confusion. To find the settings you need, you need to spend time researching the system or trying to find a user manual.
In this sense, learning to work with Amazon Web Services is quite painless and simple. When you visit the platform for the first time, you will be immediately offered a short introductory tour of the environment. In general, the interface is much more advanced, but it remains simple and clear. When working with the platform's services, almost every page has a help button that provides visual and textual guidance on your problem. There are also official video instructions on how to set up all services in the public domain.
With cloud computing power, the advantage is that you always have a powerful and scalable tool at your fingertips that you can interact with remotely and scale at any time of the day or night.
In Amazon Web Services, the central computing service is the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service. EC2 has become the main synonym for the concept of "scalable on-demand computing". In order to plan even more carefully and reduce costs when launching projects, the company has introduced new sub-services, such as AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Amazon EC2 Container Service.
The basis of Microsoft Azure computing systems is classic virtual machines and high-performance Virtual Machine Scale Sets. Client applications for Windows can be deployed using the RemoteApp service. Azure Virtual Machine Scaling Sets are designed to support large-scale computing services, such as big data processing and client web or mobile applications, all of which can benefit from processing tasks distributed across multiple virtual machines.
If you choose a leader, AWS and Microsoft Azure are now the most popular cloud platforms. The computing power offered by the companies is almost at the same level, and the list of services offered is also constantly growing.
AWS vs Google Cloud
Google Cloud and AWS are good platforms. So before you make a decision, you need to understand what type of features your organization needs and how much you want to pay for them. Remember, the right cloud service provider will help you achieve your business goal by improving the way your organization functions. Since AWS is the market leader in functionality and reliability, our votes will lean toward them.
The key difference:
- Google Cloud is Google's suite of public cloud computing resources and services, while AWS is a secure cloud service provider developed and managed by Amazon.
- Google Cloud offers Google Cloud Storage, while AWS offers Amazon Simple Storage Services.
- In Google Cloud Services, the data transfer is a fully encrypted format, while in AWS the data transfer is in a shared format.
- Google Cloud volume sizes range from 1 GB to 64 TB, while AWS volume sizes range from 500 GB to 16 TB.
- Google Cloud provides backup services, but AWS offers cloud-based disaster recovery services.
Both platforms offer exceptional security features, so you have nothing to worry about unless you get cautious or make a mistake. They comply with all relevant standards and apply encryption where needed.
Azure vs Google Cloud
Each vendor currently offers more than 100+ cloud products. Even if they offer the same service, their comparison product has a different name.
Let's compare and contrast the Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform setups. At first glance, each provider takes a similar approach to virtual machines, which are a fundamental part of any cloud environment and enable almost every type of client workload you can think of.
Cloud giants use different naming conventions for virtual machines. They are known as Azure virtual machines in Microsoft Azure and Compute Engine in Google Cloud Platform. The main features of GCP are similar to Azure. The Gartner study emphasized the emphasis of the GCP platform on working with Big Data, Machine Learning, and analytics. Google also offers more favorable conditions, which is explained by the desire to attract a part of the market. However, sometimes this creates difficulties for customers. GCP can transfer customers to other tariff plans later while working with the user. The disadvantages include some difficulties in cooperation with enterprise companies. This is more related to the platform's rapid growth and organizational immaturity.
The capabilities of different cloud service providers are similar. The only difference is in the peculiarities of using certain services.
The price of a cloud platform depends on many factors:
- Customer requirements
- Services used
All three platforms offer competitive pricing plans with additional cost management options such as instance reservations, budgets, and resource optimization available to all users. Below are typical pricing agreements with each provider.
Amazon's pricing is particularly inscrutable. Although it offers a cost calculator, many variables make it difficult to get accurate estimates.
Microsoft Azure doesn't make things easy. Due to Microsoft's complex software licensing options and use of ad hoc discounts, its pricing structure can be difficult to understand without outside help and/or significant experience.
In contrast, Google uses pricing as a point of differentiation. It strives to offer "customer-friendly" prices that are higher than the list prices of other providers. Gartner notes: "Google is using deep discounts and extremely flexible contracts to try to win projects from customers who are currently spending significant amounts of money on cloud competitors."
Here is the annual cost of such a deployment from the 3 largest public cloud service providers, namely Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP):
|Virtual machine (2 cpus, 4 gib ram, EU region)||Database (EU region, 250gb)||Website hosting (B2 tier, EU region)|
|AWS||535.2 $/y||302.5 $/y||432 $/y|
|561 $/y||294.3 $/y||518.4 $/y|
As the oldest player in the cloud market, Amazon Web Services has a wider user base and community support than other cloud providers. Among the high-profile and well-known clients of this platform are:
|Airbnb||$6 million||United States|
|Kellogg’s||$4 million||United States|
|Netflix||$30 million||United States|
|McDonald’s||$23 million||United States|
|Pfizer||$28 million||United States|
|Twitch||$65 million||United States|
|The Guardian||$30 million||United Kingdom|
|$1 billion||United States|
|Epic Games||$6 billion||United States|
|Nordstrom||$15 million||United States|
Over time, Azure is also gaining its share of well-known customers. The platform currently has almost 80% of Fortune 500 companies as customers. Some of its major customers are:
|Bing||$10 million||United States|
|Cargill||$134 million||United States|
|Coca-Cola||$40 million||United States|
|Delta||$29 million||United States|
|$42 million||United States|
|Adobe||$40 million||United Kingdom|
|Intel||$39 million||United States|
Although Google's cloud platform is the youngest among those presented, this does not prevent it from having many high-end companies on its client list. Some of GCP's well-known clients include:
|Verizon||$80 million||United States|
|Twitch Interactive||$64 million||United States|
|CenturyLink||$62 million||United States|
|NewsCorp||$41 million||United States|
|Yahoo||$47 million||United States|
|Marriott International||$36 million||United Kingdom|
|$40 million||United States|
What to choose
Storing data in the cloud is not just a way to avoid significant investments in new software platforms, but also to generate additional revenue through useful functionality. Firms using cloud solutions save money while continuing to support business needs in the most flexible and efficient way possible. This is a trump card that can determine the course of the entire game in the field of small and medium-sized businesses both during and after the crisis. In summary, choosing one cloud provider over another will depend on current workloads. Whether you need to start a new project or expand an existing program, the above сloud service providers comparison will help you find an effective database for your needs.