Comparing the top three cloud platforms – which one is right for your business?

Comparing the top three cloud platforms - which one is right for your business?

Moving your technology stacks on cloud platforms has become essential in a world where cloud storage is an absolute necessity. It is a highly competitive industry with multiple players competing with each other for a greater market share. Here, we will only talk about the top three, namely, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. 

According to a 2020 report, AWS is the current leader with a 32% market share, Microsoft Azure being a close second with 21%. The future of computing lies with cloud services. Cloud platforms can help you scale your business and improve its efficiency. It is also the need of the times as more and more businesses are going through the digital transformation and customers are also becoming more dependent on technology.

The big three cloud service providers possess the expertise to provide a reliable and feature-rich cloud platform. Before selecting a specific cloud service, you must compare each platform to fully understand its capabilities and differences.

But before we delve into our comparison of the big three cloud platforms, let’s shed some light on understanding cloud platforms as a concept and the associated service models.  

What is a Cloud Platform?

A question that is being asked regularly is, what is a cloud platform? Simply put, the cloud is all the data stored over the remote internet server instead of your onsite hardware.

You can store all kinds of information, files, and emails on the cloud and access them through your desktop, laptop, or mobile phone at any time

A cloud data platform provides the user various services such as storing their data, providing security measures for their data, and much more. Cloud platforms also provide computing power as well as access to different tools and services to build and launch all kinds of apps.

Explaining SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS

Now that you know what cloud platforms are, let’s learn about their cloud service models. There are three types of cloud service models.

SaaS or Software as a Service is the most commonly used option or business in the cloud market. SaaS delivers applications managed by third-party vendors to its users. SaaS applications run through the web browser and do not require downloads or installation. Popular examples of SaaS include Dropbox, Google Workspace, and more. 

PaaS or Platform as a Service provides cloud components to software while being mainly used for applications. PaaS provides a framework for developers to build upon and create a customized application. Some examples of PaaS include Windows Azure, Google App Engine, and more.

IaaS or Infrastructure as a Software provides computing resources, networks, and storage to their clients as a service. Here, clients are usually System Admins of businesses who are using the resources to provide better IT services to their operational teams. Popular examples of IaaS include AWS, Google Compute Engine, and more.

Cloud data platforms bring something unique and innovative to the table, so the question is, which cloud data platform is right for you? By comparing these cloud data platforms, we will help you choose the right cloud platform for you. 

AWS:

AWS

When it comes to cloud data platforms, AWS is the current undefeatable champion. Most prominent of the big three, Amazon initially used AWS internally until it decided to go public in 2006. A subsidiary of Amazon, AWS now offers more than 200 features to its current users. It is a robust cloud storage platform providing customers unlimited storage for storing their company data. AWS is the most trusted and used cloud data platform as of now. 

Some of the renowned companies that use AWS are:

  1. Netflix
  2. Coca Cola
  3. Lyft
  4. Coursera

Features of AWS:

The leading house of cloud data platforms, AWS currently offers more than 200  tools and services to its users. AWS is also a primary choice of the developers due to its various developer accommodating features such as:

  • Amazon Corretto tool can be used to run and develop Java applications on operating systems.
  • AWS Trusted Advisor is a tool providing advice regarding saving money, reliability for improving the system, and closing security gaps.
  • AWS Cloud trail allows you to identify all the API calls made against your accounts. API calls made via AWS Management Console, SDKs, and command-line tools are also trackable with it.
  • AWS Direct Connect tool can be used to demonstrate a virtual interface between an on-premise network and your Amazon Virtual PrivateCloud.
  • Security Gap tool can be used to create firewalls to control the outgoing and ingoing traffic at an instance.

There are various other tools provided by AWS, such as blockchain, game tech, robotics, and more.

Pros Of AWS

AWS is among the most trusted and reliable cloud data platforms out there. Here is a list of advantages you could avail if you opt for AWS:

Scalability: AWS provides tremendous scalability. Unlike other cloud platforms that offer a certain amount of data to their customers depending on the package they bought, AWS offers unlimited storage for their users.

Agility: AWS is a robust platform, allowing agility for application. It takes only a handful of seconds to move your application or website set-up to AWS. Its fast speed is one of the reasons why AWS is the number one choice.

Global Availability: AWS has a high global availability rate, something most businesses fail to achieve in a lifetime. 

Cons Of AWS

AWS is far from perfect and needs improvement in a few areas. Here is a list of some of the cons of using AWS:

Legacy System: Organizations operating on legacy systems may experience longer migration times.

Difficulty in Set-Up: It is challenging to move your website from AWS to any of its competitor cloud platforms, such as Microsoft Azure.

Overwhelming options: The wide range of infrastructure options can be overwhelming for traditional enterprises.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is the second-largest cloud data platform after AWS. A subsidiary of Microsoft, Azure was launched in 2011. Like other cloud platforms, Azure is not limited to Window-based services and supports open-source language, technology and platforms as well.

Microsoft Azure provides the tools and freedom to build an application from scratch, a feature highly valued by its users. Some of the companies using Microsoft Azure are:

  1. Starbucks
  2. Renault
  3. Mitsubishi Electric
  4. HP

Features Of Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is robust, interactive, and famous among developers. Some of its features are:

  • AzurePing: It is a monitoring utility extension that runs as a local Windows service. The tool also helps in maintaining Azure Storage resources or Azure-hosted databases.
  • Azure Blob Studio: It is a development tool that helps in managing Azure Blob Storage through the creation and removal of containers, retrieval of URIs, and management of blobs.
  • Azure Developer Portal: This tool is an open-source developer portal with customization, styling, and authoring facilities through a built-in visual editor.
  • Cloud Explorer:  This tool enables you to view your Azure resources and resource group, inspect their properties, and perform developer diagnostic actions from within Visual Studio
  • IoTCloud Combine: The tool enables easier browsing, downloading, uploading, and transfer of files between cloud storage services.

Pros Of Microsoft Azure

Azure is an excellent cloud platform. Let’s take a look at its list of pros:

Global Availability: Azure has a high global availability rate, something most businesses fail to achieve in a lifetime. Microsoft Azure is currently available in 54 regions which amounts to 140 countries. 

App building: Azure allows you to build apps using Java and Node.js and enables you to access tools like Visual Studio. With Azure, IT professionals gain access to multitudes of Microsoft products that have been in use for years.

Artificial Intelligence: Azure provides a set of rich artificial intelligence services.

Cons Of Microsoft Azure

There is always room for improvement, and Microsoft Azure is no exception. Here is a list of cons of using Microsoft Azure:

License Scheme: Azure’s licensing scheme is too complex for average users to understand and navigate. You will need to consult an expert for this. 

Additional Fees: Microsoft Azure services are all subject to outbound data transfer fees that are often the cause of stacked hidden fees.

Backward Compatibility: Azure offers limited backward compatibility and requires considerable platform expertise to resolve a situation like this.

Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform

Launched in 2010, Google Cloud Platform is the smallest of the big three cloud service providers. It is a subsidiary of Google, offering over 100 services, including networking, computing, storing data, and more. Some of the renowned companies using Google cloud platforms are :

  1. Spotify
  2. Toyota
  3. Target
  4. Twitter

Features Of Google Cloud Platform

Google cloud platform is rapidly becoming popular in the developer community. Its features include:

  • BigQuery feature allows you to run SQL-like queries of data and also allows you to load your data directly in bulk from your Google cloud storage.
  • Google Cloud DataFlow tool allows you to create and monitor insights of data processing.
  • The Cloud Trace tool points out what is causing a performance bottleneck and fixes it.
  • Cloud Debugger allows developers to assess and debug codes in production.
  • Cloud Platform HTTP Load Balancing balances the traffic of computer instances across different regions globally.

Pros Of Google Cloud Platform

Google cloud platform is flexible, robust, and agile. Here is a list of its pros

Pricing: The Google cloud platform pricing model is easy to understand and it is comparatively cheaper than other cloud platforms.

Portability: The GCP provides good portability and open source integration for your business applications.

Cloud-Native First:  Google Cloud Platform is designed for cloud-native applications and assists in easy development and maintenance.

Cons Of Google Cloud Platform

While Google Cloud has come a long way, there is always room for improvement. Here is a list of cons of using GCP:

Programming Languages: Google Cloud Platform presents a limited choice of programming languages which can cause a problem for developers.

Complex Transition: The transition from GCP to another vendor is complex and difficult to manage.

Google Proprietary Tech: The majority of the components in GCP are based on Google proprietary tech and provide no real control over Virtual Machines.

Which Platform Is Right For You

Now that we have compared all three cloud data platforms, the question arises, which platform to opt for? Microsoft Azure allows you to build apps and provides a set of rich artificial intelligence services, but AWS is the dominant of the three due to its vast array of tools, global availability, and scalability. The Google cloud platform is the smallest platform of the three, however, it is rapidly closing the distance. The Google Cloud platform offers reasonable pricing, has high durability, and an easy integration process.

The deciding factor when choosing a cloud platform is scalability, UX, pricing, storage, tools and features offered, and more. Choose a platform that provides the tools to cater to your business the best. If you’re still confused, Genetech Solutions provides consultation in cloud platform services. We will do our best to help you choose the cloud platform that will cater to all your cloud platform needs.

 

Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you in comparing the three cloud platforms and assisted you in making an informed decision on the right cloud platform for you. If you enjoyed this article and it was helpful for you, leave a comment below. Feel free to contact us if you have any queries.

Minahil Aijaz

I am a medical student and an avid fiction reader, with a penchant for travelling. I am currently working as a junior content writer at Genetech Solutions, one of Pakistan’s leading Software houses.

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