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AWS vs. Google Cloud

Among the tech titans who currently provide cloud services is Google. While they’re far from the biggest, the experience they have with search engines and machine learning makes them viable in the face of Amazon’s prolonged dominance within the field. That said, there are good reasons for picking either one over the other depending on what a client hopes to achieve and what financial resources they have available.

How does Google Compare?

Regarding cloud services available on the market as of writing, Google Cloud sits firmly in third place for size and capacity to complete the job just behind Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon Web Services.  While it’s significantly smaller compared to its competitors now, it’s probably safe to assume that Google Cloud will expand both in terms of what it offers and its popularity with a tech giant such as Google building it.  In the meantime, AWS still has a plethora of services on a sturdy and well-built cloud platform along with a greater market share compared to its smaller, yet slowly catching-up competition.

What is AWS?

For years, Amazon has prided itself on its flexible, stable, diverse, and affordable array of services on the cloud.  Amazon Web Services (AWS) covers multiple industries from storage to analytics and networking with more niche solutions for more specific fields included.  Additionally, Amazon’s services aim to minimize downtime spent on development and allow users to cut down on otherwise extraneous activities in order to let developers maximize the time spent on launching and maintaining an application.  For applications that need to operate at scale, AWS can scale up and down seamlessly to meet demand as traffic fluctuates to not only adjust to individual needs, but to also minimize costs.  If an organization has opted to move away from AWS, Amazon doesn’t have any long-term contracts allowing users to pick up and put down what they’re using whenever they want.

What is Google Cloud?

The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) aspires to accomplish much of what AWS has been building since its launch back in 2011.  Users do have much higher access to innovation via Quick Access for greater overall productivity.  Through Google’s platform, users can also have a choice as to where they work on future-proof infrastructure.  When it comes to learning machines and big data, Google itself is a big pioneer within those fields and has powerful tools on offer to GCP users.  For pricing, Google has long-term discounts on offer and instances can have their payment models configured.  Despite Amazon’s dominance, Google’s offering is a good second pick.

Features and Services

With five years on Google, Amazon has a definite advantage over Google regarding how much diversity they have in services available.  At the time of writing, Amazon has well over twice the number of services Google provides at a meager ninety-five on GCP.  Many of those services are better tailored to specific cloud needs and large enterprises.  That’s not to say these types of clients are beyond Google’s reach.  With the fewer services they provide, the GCP can provide for much broader needs and has greater flexibility with more opportunities to customize compute services.

Global Presence

AWS has already established more availability zones across the globe.  As of 2020, GCP has established twenty-four regions, seventy-three zones, and over one hundred locals with employees in thirty-five countries while AWS has established twenty-four regions, seventy-seven zones, and has over two hundred and forty countries with employees present.  Outside of North America and Europe, AWS might be the more readily available option for companies looking for a cloud solution.  This is not going to change anytime soon as Amazon is outstripping Google’s ability to construct additional data centers.

Free Trials

Google does offer some twenty-four services for free perpetually albeit with some limitation caps.  Additionally, Google does offer a free $300 of in-store credit to use on anything within the GCP portfolio, which isn’t much for larger enterprises.  Comparatively, Amazon offers many more services to try out with its free tier with services categorized by having a single year to try, a few months with some leniency as to when the trial starts, and perpetually free services with some usage caps.  We have got a great article here for those interested in more details about AWS’ free offerings.

Payment Models

This is a fuzzy divide between cloud services with no clear winners in this category.  Comparatively, GCP has lower costs than other industry leaders with sustained use discounts for long-term customers compared to its competition at AWS.  Additionally, data storage costs are 20% cheaper at Google than at Amazon.  Amazon’s pricing is adaptable depending on both customer use and anticipated traffic, but even that has some modicum of difficulty keeping up with GCP’s rewards for brand loyalty.  This has been an ongoing conflict of price-gouging that both services will continue to engage in to remain competitive.

General Downsides

In all fairness, working in the cloud isn’t exactly easy.  AWS services do take a while to set up with simple websites taking as long as twenty minutes to just get started.  At times deployment can be finicky, making launching multiple app instances difficult, and failures to launch won’t show error codes by default.  Generally speaking, AWS is a very tech-heavy service that will take some time to adapt to or will require expertise to successfully launch.

The GCP is composed of smaller components that aren’t easy to start either.  The free trial options are more limited compared to AWS with fewer opportunities to try out Google’s offerings.  As outlined earlier, GCP is just much smaller compared to AWS on multiple fronts.  There are fewer services in total, meaning less specialization.  Additionally, there are fewer locations where Google’s cloud will not be available.

That being said, both are good cloud services with different benefits for different customers.

Dolan Cleary
Dolan Cleary

I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and am now working with AllCode as a web technician. Currently working within the marketing department.

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