• Daniel Bumby

Choosing the right cloud platform is key to transformation success

A question I have been asked many times especially in recent months is 'We want to move to the cloud but not sure which one, what would you advise'. Now that sounds a simple one to answer but with everything in technology it all depends on what you are planning to do with your systems, applications & services.



Simoda have chosen to take a neutral view on the big 3 so that we can advise our customers on the best solution for them rather than our own pockets. This comes from our Technology 1st strategy where our sales BDM's are not commission based, they simply focus on what technology solves issues, addresses challenges or achieves objectives rather than how much GP they are going to make on selling a product, solution or service.



Technology 1st strategy drives successful business outcomes for our customers

AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud


Choosing the Right Cloud Platform

There is a fierce three-way battle to be the dominant cloud among AWS, Azure, and GCP. Many businesses choose a public cloud provider by focusing on pricing, but there are several factors to consider while deciding on a cloud service provider.


Hopefully this blog will shed a little light on the subject and will provide you with a comparison among AWS, Azure, and GCP.


Cloud Computing has come a long way since its inception. It’s no longer a question of whether to opt for Cloud Computing or not; now, the question is which cloud platform to go for.


The number of cloud providers is growing but the big 3 still maintain a hold on the public cloud market place, AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform stand out proudly as the top three cloud providers.


So, how do you decide which one to choose?


How do you conclude the big AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud debate? Well, this blog is how you’ll get answers to all these questions.



Cloud success

Market position


AWS

Amazon Web Services is the oldest and the most experienced player in the cloud market. As one of the oldest cloud providers, it has established a bigger user base, as well as bigger trust and reliability factors.


AWS was publicly launched in 2006 with service offerings such as Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), etc. By 2009, Elastic Block Store (EBS) was made public, and services such as Amazon CloudFront, Content delivery network (CDN), and more formally joined the AWS Cloud Computing Service offerings.


Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure, initially called Azure, was launched in 2010 with the intent to provide a competent Cloud Computing platform for businesses. Azure was renamed as ‘Microsoft Azure’ in 2014, though the name ‘Azure’ is still commonly used. Since its inception, Microsoft Azure has shown great progress among its competitors.


Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform (GCP), which is offered by Google, is a suite of Cloud Computing services that runs on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products such as Google Search engine, YouTube, and more.


Google Cloud Platform began its journey in 2011, and in less than a decade it has managed to create a good presence in the cloud industry. The initial intent of Google Cloud was to strengthen Google’s own products such as Google Search engine and YouTube. But now, they have also introduced their enterprise services so that anyone can use Google Cloud Platform which shares the same infrastructure as that of Google Search or YouTube.



Global availability zones


Availability Zones


It has been already established that AWS was the earliest in the cloud domain which means that they have had more time to establish and expand their network. So, AWS is hosting in multiple locations worldwide. Azure and GCP are also hosting in multiple locations worldwide, but the difference occurs in the number of their respective availability zones.

  • AWS has 84 availability zones within 26 geographic regions

  • Azure has 54 regions worldwide and is available in 140 countries

  • Google Cloud Platform has 73 zones across 24 regions


A.I is driving cloud growth


Key Tools


All 3 cloud providers have these services and are likely to expand them in the future.


AWS Key Tools


Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning

AWS has announced an open-source deep learning library called Gluon, which can be utilised by developers and non-developers to quickly build neural networks without any knowledge of AI. We think this is a fantastic drive from the team at AWS.


SageMaker to Severless

AWS has a long list of services in the areas of machine learning and AI. AWS’s list of services also includes SageMaker, which is used to train and deploy machine learning models. It also has the Lex conversational interface that powers Alexa services, Greengrass IoT messaging service, and Lambda serverless computing service.


Azure Key Tools


Cognitive Services

Heavily investing in the fields of machine learning and AI, Microsoft offers machine learning and a bot service on Azure. Apart from this, it also has cognitive services that include Bing Web Search API, Text Analytics API, Face API, Computer Vision API, and Custom Vision Service. Furthermore, for IoT, Microsoft has several management and analytics services, and its serverless computing service is known as Functions.


Supporting Microsoft Software Stack

Azure has several tools that help in supporting on-premises Microsoft software. Azure Backup is a service that links Windows Server Backup, in Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016. Visual Studio Team Services hosts Visual Studio projects on Azure.


Google Cloud Key Tools


IoT to Serverless

Out of all the advanced technologies, Google Cloud has offerings in APIs for natural language, speech, translation, and more. In addition to these offerings, it offers IoT and serverless services but beta previews.


Big On AI

Google Cloud is currently the leader in AI development. The credit of which goes to TensorFlow, an open-source software library for building machine learning applications. TensorFlow is highly popular among developers.


AWS

It is no brainer that AWS is the biggest player in the cloud computing industry, covering the total market share of about 33 percent. One of the obvious reasons for this popularity is the 250+ managed services offered by AWS and the ease with which they can be used.


In addition to this, there are several other advantages that make AWS a prime market player. It has a massive scope of operations and a comprehensive network of worldwide data centers. With its ease of providing scalability and holistic security to its users, AWS has become the most mature and enterprise-ready provider.


Besides having these advantages, AWS has a drawback in its pricing strategy. While organisations find AWS to be the most suitable cloud service provider, enterprises find it difficult to understand AWS’s cost structure and to manage those costs effectively while running high volume workloads on the service.


Here is where we can help with this, see our previous blog post about


https://www.simoda.co.uk/post/61-of-cloud-admins-admit-they-have-trouble-managing-cloud-usage-costs


Microsoft Azure

Microsoft entered the cloud market by taking its on-premise services, such as Windows Server, Office, SQL Server, Sharepoint, and others, to the cloud. This helps Microsoft to curve out its competitors as Azure is integrated with other applications that are popularly used by a majority of organisations.


Some of the areas where Microsoft falls short is the maintenance required for the platform and the high expertise needed to use Azure. However, the ample advantages of the platform often outweigh its disadvantages, and organisations who are mainly Microsoft focused trust Azure for their on-cloud requirements.



Public cloud pricing can be complicated

Pricing


Smallest instance


AWS

In the case of AWS, a very basic instance that includes 2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB of RAM will cost you around £52 per month.


Azure

For the same type of instance, i.e., an instance with 2 vCPUs and 8 GB of RAM, in Azure, will cost you around £53 per month.


GCP

Compared to AWS, GCP will provide you the most basic instance, containing 2 virtual CPUs and 8 GB of RAM at a 25 percent cheaper rate. So, it will cost you around £39 per month.


Largest instance


AWS

The largest instance offered by AWS that includes 3.84 TB of RAM and 128 vCPUs will cost you around £2.97 per hour.


Azure

The largest instance offered by Azure includes 3.89 TB of RAM and 128 vCPUs. It costs around £5.10 hour.


GCP

GCP takes the lead here with its largest instance that includes 3.75 TB of RAM and 160 vCPUs. It will cost you around £3.98 per hour.


all of the above are subject to change, so this is just a simple guide


Another point to note here is that AWS recently started offering pay-per-minute billing. Azure already offers pay-per-minute billing, while Google Cloud offers pay-per-second billing models which let users save way more than using AWS or Azure. Google also offers various discounts to help customers save up to 50 percent in some cases when compared to AWS. According to Gartner, ‘Google offers deep discounts and exceptionally flexible contracts to try to win projects from customers.’


What is Best for You?


So which cloud provider is the best fit for you and your business ?


well that all depends on what you need, obviously.

The key areas we discussed are


Market position: With a head start of 5 years, the winner here is AWS.


Availability zones: With a greater number of regions and availability zones, the winner here is AWS.


Key Tools: When it comes to the number of services, the winner is AWS however regarding the integration with open-source and on-premise systems, such as MS tools, that are mostly used in almost all organisations, the winner is Azure.


Pricing Models: With more customer-friendly pricing models and discount models, the winner here is Google Cloud.





Final summary


Each offering has lots of benefits & also lots of potential pitfalls if you don't manage the deployment or the environment correctly. Where we have seen issues tend to be where an organisation has implemented public cloud in a lift and shift approach rather than a measured approach.


Question: What do you need to do next if you are considering public cloud for your business ?


This is simple


Talk to us now..............


Thanks for reading


Daniel

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