A Side-by-Side Comparison of AWS, Google Cloud and Azure. Need a cloud service but not sure where to start? Here's a broad overview of what's on offer, from big players to small, and how to choose the right one.
The three main players of business cloud services — Amazon, Google and Microsoft — have an array of products covering all you can possibly need for your online operations. But there are differences not only in pricing but also in how they name and group their services, so let’s compare one next to another and find out what they offer.
We’ll focus on services provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure. We won’t cover all of them, or get into a lot of detail about the infrastructure of cloud computing. However, we’ll survey many of the products on offer and also get familiar with some cloud concepts.
There are, of course, other cloud services we could be covering here. In recent years, companies like DigitalOcean and Linode have made some advances on the big three. But it’s been a new contender that has radically simplified the deployment of cloud infrastructure and is still pushing the DevOps workflow to the next level — Netlify. Netlify also happens to be the company that coined the concept of the “Jamstack”. (See “Introduction to the Jamstack” and “DevOps by Example” for more information.)
Amazon, Google, and Azure (in that order), are still pretty much the only companies that cover all of the spectrum of cloud services. But given how Netlify has simplified the game, they’ve all had to make significant additions to the way in which they present their tools to developers in order to remain competitive.
Google and Amazon introduced Firebase and Amplify respectively, both wrapping a bunch of services from the GCP and AWS to present them in a clear and easy-to-implement way to web and mobile developers. (Strangely, Microsoft just seems to make a conscious effort to leave Azure outdated.)
As I said in my article on “100 Jamstack Tools, APIs & Services to Power Your Sites”:
Google really made a brilliant move with the Firebase family of products by “detaching” them from the GCP, but Amazon went half-way with AWS Amplify. It sure is a dramatic improvement from the regular AWS workflow, especially for novice users, and its documentation hub is superb and way more down-to-earth than the way Amazon usually documents services. But Amplify is still accessed from the same old (horrifically bloated) console. You still need a credit card to just open an account, deployments are still region-specific (no built-in CDN, seriously?), and the workflow isn’t as straightforward when compared to that of Firebase or Netlify.
With an incredibly well-documented framework, an outstanding and fun YouTube channel, and a wide variety of use applications, Google Firebase is way on top of AWS Amplify … but fairly behind Netlify in terms of simplicity.
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