Public Cloud Services Compared

February 3, 2021


In this article we'll compare 3 major public cloud providers: Azure, AWS and Google Cloud. For each type of service you'll find links to the corresponding cloud provider offer.  Let's start.

Compute / virtual machines on public clouds

AWS: EC2, Amazon Elastic Compute. 6 different types of machines from general purpose to GPU, Memory and CPU optimized
Azure: Azure Virtual Machines. 6 different types of machines from general purpose to GPU, Memory and CPU optimized
GCP: Compute Engine. 3 different types of machines, but custom configurations are optional

Machine type pricing/billing options for AWS, Azure & GCP

AWS: On-Demand, Spot Instances, Reserved Instances, and Dedicated Hosts
Azure: On-Demand a.k.a. Pay as you Go, and Reserved Virtual Machine Instances
GCP: Pay as you Go, Preemptible, and Commitment. However, pricing will always be based on resource (vCPU and memory) consumption

Load Balancing / Auto scaling on public clouds

AWS: Elastic Load Balancing, Auto Scaling
Azure: Azure Load Balancer and Auto Scale, VM Scale sets, Application Load Balancer
GCP: Cloud Load Balancer, Instance Groups

Kubernetes / Docker AWS vs Azure vs GCP

AWS: ECS, EC2 Container Service, Firecracker, Fargate
Azure: Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Container Instance
GCP: Kubernetes Engine, Container Registry

How Serverless is managed on each cloud?

AWS: Lambda
Azure: Azure Functions
GCP: Cloud Functions

Cloud Management, monitoring, and automation

AWS: AWS Management Console, CLI, API, CloudWatch, CloudTrail, CloudFormation (YAML, JSON)
Azure: Resource Manager, Cloud Shell, API, Azure Monitor, Log Analyses, Network Watcher, Application Insights, Automation (JSON)
GCP: Cloud Console, Cloud Shell, API, Google Cloud Operations suite (Monitoring, Logging, Diagnostics), Cloud Deployment Manager (YAML, JSON)

How Authentication / authorization works on public clouds?

AWS: Identity and Access Management, Active Directory
Azure: (Azure) Active Directory, Active Directory Premium
GCP: Cloud Identity and Access Management, Cloud Identity aware Proxy

What is the equivalents of object based storage?

AWS: S3 (Buckets), Simple Storage Service
Azure: Object based Blob Storage
GCP: Cloud Storage Buckets

What Block based storage to choose?

AWS: EBS, Elastic Block Storage
Azure: Storage Disk Page Blobs, Premium Storage Disks
GCP: Persistent Disk - various Compute Engine HDD and SSD options

What is the best File based storage?

AWS: Elastic File System, FSx hybrid Windows file storage
Azure: Azure Files, NetApp Files, Filestore
GCP: Cloud Filestore

Archive storage in public clouds

AWS: S3 Infrequent Access, Glacier, Data archive
Azure: Cool Storage, Storage (Standard Archive)
GCP: Nearline and Coldline Storage

What Hybrid storage options I have?

AWS: Storage Gateway
Azure: StorSimple, Data Box
GCP: Egnyte Sync

How Data encryption works on public clouds?

AWS: Server and Client-side encryption options (key managed), EBS Volume Encryption (Disk), TLS/SSL
Azure: Server and Client-side encryption options (key managed). BitLocker (Disk), Azure Storage Service Encryption, TLS/SSL
GCP: Server and Client-side encryption options (key managed), Encryption by Default (Disk), TLS/SSL

What are the Bulk Data transfer options on AWS vs Azure vs GCP?

AWS: Snowball (Edge (GPU) and Mobile), Import/Export Disk, CLI, PowerShell, Rsync, Transfer Acceleration, DataSync, partner options
Azure: Azure Data Box (Disk), Import/Export Disk, AzCopy, PowerShell, Azure CLI, plus various partner options
GCP: Cloud Data Transfer, Transfer Appliance, Cloud Storage Transfer Service

How can I implement Disaster Recovery / backups on public clouds?

AWS: Various best practices and setups: Back-up & Restore, Pilot Light, Warm Standby, and Multi-Site. Partner options available
Azure: Azure Site Recovery, plus various partner options
GCP: Multiple best practices and white-papers available – Google Cloud Disaster Recovery Planning Guide

What are the Database options for AWS, Azure and GCP?

AWS: SQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, MariaDB, DynamoDB, Neptune
Azure: SQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Cosmos, Table Storage, MariaDB
GCP: MySQL, PostgreSQL, Cloud Datastore, Cloud BigTable, Cloud Spanner, YugaByte DB (Cassandra, Redis & PostgreSQL), Firestore

What options for Data Warehouse / Big data I have?

AWS: Amazon Kinesis (Firehose), Redshift, S3 Data Lake, Athena, EMR, QuickSight, Elasticsearch, and more
Azure: SQL Data Warehouse, Data Lake Analytics & Storage, Data Factory, Analytic Service, Data Catalog & Explorer, HDInsight, Steam Analytics, and more
GCP: BigQuery, Cloud Pub/Sub, Dataflow, Dataproc, Apache Beam & Airflow, Composer, Data Studio, BigQuery ML, TensorFlow, and more

How setup Caching on AWS, Azure and GCP?

AWS: ElastiCache (Redis and Memcached)
Azure: RedisCache
GCP: Cloud CDN and Cloud Memorystore (Redis compatible)

Main Protocol (connection) options on public clouds

AWS: Nice DCV (graphics intensive 3D), RDP (Windows EC2), PCoIP (AWS Workspaces), BLAST (VMware), ICA/HDX (Citrix), Frame Remoting Protocol, SSH/Putty (Linux), PowerShell
Azure: RDP (Windows VM’s), PCoIP/BLAST (VMware), ICA/HDX (Citrix), Frame Remoting Protocol, SSH/Putty (Linux), PowerShell
GCP: RDP & RDP for GCP Extension – for use with GCP Console (Windows Compute Engine), PCoIP, ICA/HDX (Citrix), Frame Remoting Protocol, SSH (Linux), PowerShell

Virtual network options for AWS, Azure and GCP

AWS: VPC, Virtual Private Cloud and subnets, API, NAT, and Transit Gateway, VPN options available, network Peering
Azure: Virtual Network and subnets, API Management, VPN Gateway, Network Peering
GCP: VPC, Virtual Private Cloud and Subnets, Google Cloud Endpoints (API), Cloud NAT, Google Cloud VPN, Network Peering

Firewall options in public clouds

AWS: Web Application Firewall, AWS Shield (DDOS), Firewall Manager, Security Groups
Azure: Web Application Firewall, DDOS Protection. Azure Firewall, Network Security Groups
GCP: Google Cloud Platform Firewall Rules (part of VPC’s), Cloud Armor (Beta), IP Deny/Allow List (Beta)

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