Cloud Vs. AWS: Who Wins The Cloud War?

The Google Cloud Platform vs. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been on for years. Cloud computing service users always want to know the better of the two platforms. There are mixed opinions from users on which service they consider better.

This article takes an unbiased approach to the debate. It compares the two services vis-a-viz their features. The goal is to present a neutral analysis of the two to enable potential users make an informed decision.

cloud vs. aws

Cloud Vs. AWS:

1. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

AWS is an Amazon product. This company specializes in retail. So, it uses a wide range of data tools that allow it to offer serverless computing. This is unlike Cloud, a Google-owned cloud computing service.

While Amazon focuses on retail, Google deals with machine learning and artificial intelligence. So, Google keeps creating better Artificial Intelligence chip, the Tensor Processing Unit.

Through the TPU, Google is empowered to provide superfast neural network computation. The result is a more accurate and faster training of its Machine Learning models. The tech giant also powers a huge number of its services with TPU. Google search and Gmail are the beneficiaries of this processing unit.

Amazon doesn’t have the TPU’s equivalent. So, it can’t outperform Google Cloud in some areas where the tech giant uses the power of its processing unit.

For instance, Google leverages the power of the TPU in cybersecurity. It hopes to fix some security issues in that area. AWS is far behind here.

2. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a global menace. Google and Amazon respond differently to this problem, which is quite understandable. The tech company seems to be one of the most frequently attacked companies. It has turned its exposure to a series of attacks into strength.

Its GCP security control has an easy learning curve. Anyone can use it with ease. By default, GCP is designed to encrypt all data between the company and its customers. The same goes for its data centers and data in its Cloud services. It stores the data in persistent disks. These are high performance and durable block storage designed for the Google Cloud Platform.

AWS takes a different approach. Although it also supports data encryption, it is not a built-in feature. That’s a big minus for the company. It exposes its vulnerability to attacks. Misconfigured cloud servers cause some of the most successful cloud cyber-attacks in history.

Google Cloud also empowers developers to boost their data security. It allows them to encrypt cloud applications in their works at the application stage. This ensures that their applications won’t have data security issues.

It also has a Cloud DLP tool. This is another weapon in its arsenal to fight security issues. Users can use the DLP to identify sensitive information and manage them properly. They can perform a variety of operations with the tool. This includes logs generation and analysis performance. The tool also allows them to edit sensitive data they collect from text stream. The goal is to make them error-free and credible before writing them to disk.

You will recall that Google creates its servers for personal use. This gives it absolute control over their security.

While AWS is a big player in the industry, Google Cloud is the clear winner in the cyber security category.

3. Market Share

Their market share also speaks volumes of the differences between the two services. AWS recorded revenue of $6.2 billion in Q2 2018. This represented 31% of the total market share in that year. In the same year, Google Cloud recorded 8% market share.

A report by Canalys shows that AWS’ market share is higher than the combined shares of its four leading competitors.

The global technology market analyst firm’s report is a clear sign of who is the real boss here.

This is not surprising, though. AWS has been in the business for a couple of years before Google joined the race. AWS started providing cloud services since 2006 while Google joined officially in 2010. The 4-year head start pays off as evident by the huge difference in their market shares.

It is noteworthy that Cloud is gaining ground on its more established competitors. In Q2, AWS grew by an impressive 48%. Not to be outdone, Google Cloud’s growth was an incredible 108% during the same period. So, while AWS is still leading the pack, it should watch its back. Google is ready to give Amazon a run for its market share and customer base.

4. Pricing

Pricing is another critical area where these two providers differ. It is also a factor that determines their reach.

Businesses have a knack for cost-effective solutions and services. They are always looking for opportunities to maximize their profits by cutting costs. How do these providers fare?

Google has budget-friendly pricing. This is in sharp contrast to AWS’ expensive plans. Take a look at their free trials first.

Both services offer free trials. You can enjoy their services for a whopping 12 months without paying a dime.

The AWS free trial includes 5GB storage on Amazon S3 and 750 hours compute on Amazon EC2 instances every month. It also offers an equal number of hours monthly on its relational database service. These are in addition to several other features in the trial. Google provides each user $300 worth of credit that they can use across all their services for 12 months.

Where Cloud outperforms AWS is its wide range of services that is always free. That’s a generous and irresistible offer for many users. For instance, Google Cloud offers 1 GB storage for users on NoSQL database. 28 instance hours plus 5 GB storage is always available for free on Google App Engine too. Every month, 5GB storage is available for use on Google Cloud Storage. You can also use the 1 f1-micro instance every month and enjoy 30GB HDD. These are free offers Google Cloud users can enjoy freely every month.

What happens after your free trial expires? You can move on to the paid services. Google Cloud offers cheaper price than AWS. It achieves this through the Google Cloud Platform Committed Use and Sustained Use Discount. It also offers its subscribers discounts for their long-term patronage.

Cloud Health waded into the debate too. It explained that there is always a clear winner when comparing the pricing of the two providers. It drew a comparison between two of their services. The first is Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Reserved Instances. The second, Google Compute Engine and Committed Use Discounts.

The website that focuses on cloud computing wrote that “over one year, Google Cloud is 28% cheaper than AWS and 35% cheaper than AWS over 3 years.”

It is quite clear that Google Cloud is more cost-effective than Amazon Web Services.

5. Storage

Cloud and AWS use different storage devices. To its credit, AWS uses several storage services to store a variety of objects. It stores objects in Simple Storage Service (S3). Elastic Block Storage (EBS) handles persistent block storage. It combines EBS with ECU for this purpose.

For file storage, the company uses Elastic File System (EFS). The company looks out for the most efficient storage device for different objects.

AWS also offers some innovative storage products. First on the list is Storage Gateway that supports hybrid storage. This is a type of storage system that has both mechanical disk drive and flash-based solid state disk. This special design offers a high-performance storage solution at an affordable price.

Another one is Snowball. This physical hardware device is great for huge data transfer. It is useful for Organizations that want to transfer data in petabytes. It will come in handy in locations with poor Internet connectivity.

Another storage option is database. On this side, Amazon has Aurora. This is a SQL-compatible database. It also has other great alternatives. DynamoDB NoSQL database and Relational Database Service (RDS) are two of them. Others are Redshift data warehouse and ElastiCache in-memory data store.

Database Migration Service is another storage service it offers. AWS uses it to make seamless database migration to Azure data platform possible. Downtime is kept to the minimum during the migration.

AWS has several storage provisions for its users. From hardware storage to a relational database, it makes provision for easy storage. Can the same be said of Cloud?

GCP can’t boast of the same collection of storage devices as its competitor. It banks on its Persistent Disk and Cloud Storage. Its Transfer Appliance shares some similarities with AWS Snowball.

In the database category, it offers SQL-based Cloud SQL. This is aside from Cloud Spanner. This is a relational database that can handle critical workloads.

Google claims that Cloud Spanner “is the first scalable, enterprise-grade, globally-distributed, and strongly consistent database service built for the cloud.”

This is to “combine the benefits of relational database structure with non-relational horizontal scale.”

Its other database services are:

  • Cloud Bigtable: This is a sparsely populated table. It can increase to thousands of columns and billions of rows. This enables users to store huge volume of data. Users can store petabytes of data in the table with ease.
  • Cloud Datastore: Google Cloud Datastore has Google’s Megastore and Bigtable to thank for its existence. It is a NoSQL database service that is fully managed and highly scalable. Google offers it on its Google Cloud Platform.

Cloud doesn’t offer archive and backup services. This is a clear distinction between the two. Here, the clear winner is AWS with its wide range of storage devices and options.

6. Features

The general features of the two services offer another point for comparison. Although AWS is a bit more expensive than Cloud, it offers more services. Google Cloud users are only offered 50 services. That’s just a quarter of what AWS offers.

AWS is not all about figures only. Its services are more feature-rich than that of its competitor. If you are running a larger enterprise, you will appreciate the extra features available on AWS. They give it an edge over Cloud that is ideal for a wide range of services. Another difference is that Cloud is not as efficient as AWS for large enterprises.

What about the flexibility of service? Google Cloud is the ultimate champion here. It allows users to customize compute instances. These are virtual machines that are hosted on Google’s infrastructure. Cloud users can tweak the machines to meet their needs. AWS doesn’t offer this feature. Without the customization feature, users are limited to what the company offers them.

Both platforms provide some predefined instances. These are meant to meet the business needs of its users. That’s where the similarity ends. Google Cloud Platform takes a step further. It allows users to create custom virtual machines. That is, if the available instances don’t meet their compute needs. So, users only pay for the services they use.

Sizewise, Google Cloud Platform also triumphs. In the words of Cloud Health quoted above, “Google Cloud Platform also currently beats AWS in terms of the size of virtual machines on offer, with its largest offering having 160 CPUs and 3.75 TB of RAM, a significant increase from the 96 CPUs and 1.4TB of RAM that was offered before May 2018.”

Does this imply that AWS is losing the battle? Far from it! Its maximum capacity, according to the source, stands at 128 CPUs and 4TB RAM size.

7. Compute

The compute service is a web service that provides resizable and secure compute capacity. Its primary obligation is to make web applications easier for developers in the cloud.

Amazon offers Elastic Compute Cloud, EC2, as its major compute service. The retail giant describes the compute as “a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud.” It provides users with complete control of their computing services. So, they can run without hindrance on Amazon’s computing environment.

To give users the full control, EC2 offers AWS users several options.

For instance, it supports both Linux and Windows. It also offers them a huge collection of instances. High-performing computing, bare metal instances, and auto scaling are other options provided by EC2. As a part of the compute, AWS enables its users to use EC2’s free tier that comes with 750 hours per month for 1 year.

An integral part of the compute is Amazon’s container services. With increasing popularity, it supports Kubernetes, Docker, and Fargate. Fargate is Amazon’s property that automates cluster management and server. It is available only when using containers.

The container service also offers Lightsail, a virtual private cloud solution. For batch computing jobs, Batch solution is available. Developers can scale and run Web applications with Elastic Beanstalk. It is another service offered by the container.

So, depending on users’ needs, AWS offers a wide range of services they can choose from.

Cloud, on the other hand, offers little compute services. Compute Engine is its primary service. It offers per-second billing and automatic discounts. It also supports both Windows and Linux to appeal to users on both platforms. On its list of services are carbon-neutral infrastructure and automatic discounts. Its free tier includes an f-1 micro instance. It is a monthly offer for 1 year.

Like its competitor, organizations that are interested in its containers can use its Kubernetes Engine too. An edge over AWS here is its involvement in the Kubernetes project.

In a nutshell, AWS offers the following compute services:

  • Elastic Beanstalk.
  • EC2.
  • Lightsail.
  • Auto Scaling.
  • Elastic Container Registry.
  • Elastic Container Service.
  • Elastic Container Services specifically for Kubernetes.
  • Batch.
  • Elastic Load Balancing.
  • Fargate.
  • VMware Cloud.

While Google Cloud’s compute offers:

  • Compute Engine.
  • Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).
  • App Engine.
  • Functions.
  • Knative.
  • Container Security.

Cloud V AWS: Pros And Cons

Cloud V AWS: Pros And Cons

These services have their pros and cons. Starting with AWS, their strengths and weaknesses are listed below:

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Pros:

  • Support for large organizations.
  • Global reach.
  • Extensive training for users.
  • Larger market share.
  • More storage and database devices.
  • An abundance of helpful resources.
  • Opaque pricing.
  • Over 200 cloud services to choose from.
  • Data centers in over 32 countries.
  • Compliance with several industry standards.

Cons:

  • More expensive than Google Cloud.
  • Options can be overwhelming.
  • Difficult to use.

Google Cloud

This is a list of the service’s strengths and weaknesses.

Pros:

The following are some of the benefits of using Google Cloud Computing service:

  • Flexible contracts.
  • Cost-effective pricing.
  • Portability guaranteed.
  • Open-source commitment.
  • Ideal for cloud-native businesses.
  • Pay-per-use billing.
  • It allows Big Query

Cons:

  • Fewer features.
  • Late entry into the industry.

The argument of which service is better will continue for years. As discussed in the article, each platform has its strengths and weaknesses. Potential cloud computing users must understand their business needs. This will help them to determine what’s best for them.

Large enterprises and multinational companies with branches in different parts of the world may go for AWS. It offers excellent support and availability. Most businesses can use Google Cloud. It offers them affordable pricing and greater flexibility.

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