Many businesses, especially those that are enterprise level are migrating to cloud computing. Cloud computing comes with many benefits for businesses, cost efficiency, scalability, improved security and the benefits are only going to become greater.
Two of the main giants in the cloud computing market are Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. As of February 2020, Google Clouds had a market share of 6% and Microsoft Azure has a market share of 17.6%. The battle is on, both cloud service providers look to better their services with the goal of increasing their market share while continuing to report impressive revenue growth.
The beneficiaries? All businesses looking to migrate their business to a cloud service, whatever the type may be: BPaas, PaaS, SaaS, IaaS, or management and security services.
Below, I am going to compare two of these cloud computing giants, Google Clouds and Azure. Breaking down the complexity of all aspects that can influence which provider you choose, or if you decide to choose them at all.
Why Are We Comparing Google Cloud vs Azure?
When only considering cloud computing, the first major player was Amazon Web Services (AWS). In fact, you’ve probably been reading this article wondering why we haven’t brought up AWS yet.
AWS was the first cloud computing giant to launch, has the largest market share (32.4%) and is therefore the most commonly known pick for cloud computing. Google Cloud and Azure were latecomers that were household names for the success of their overall brand rather than their cloud service. The two companies are technological powerhouses and they’ve proven this again with their injections into the market, followed by continual growth. Their innovation and technological expertise is slowly chipping away at the market share of AWS, therefore they’re vitally important for businesses considering migrating to cloud computing to know about.
Google Cloud vs Microsoft Azure
Below we’ll compare the following:
Microsoft Azure: Storage
Azure’s storage services include the following:
- Blob storage for REST-based object storage of unstructured data
- Queue Storage for high-volume workloads
- File Storage provides access to files using standard server message block protocol
- Data Lake Store, which is useful for big data analytics and applications
Azure does come with many database options. Azure has three SQL database options: SQL Database, Database for MySQL and Database for PostgreSQL. Azure SQL Data Warehouse is it’s data warehouse service, as well as Cosmos DB and Table Storage for NoSQL. Cache for Redis is it’s open source-compatible in-memory data service and it’s SQL Server Stretch Database is a hybrid storage service targeted at businesses who use Microsoft SQL.
Something that Azure storage features that Google Cloud doesn’t is site backup and archive services, Azure Backup is also very user friendly.
Google Cloud: Storage
Compared to Azure, Google Cloud has a smaller menu of storage services. Cloud Storage is its collective object storage service. GCP has a Persistent Disk option for the performance it provides is more cost-effective for HDD/SSD than Azure’s Managed Disk option. Its Transfer Appliance System is extremely fast and even offers offline data transfers.
Concerning databases, Google has a SQL-based Cloud SQL and Cloud Spanner, which is a relational database service for both regional and global services. Google Cloud’s NoSQL options are CloudBigtable and Cloud Data store, no backup or archive services are offered.
Storage Summary: Azure has more features and a variety of storage services which can be useful for businesses who need a service that’s slightly more specific. However, Azure has a steeper learning curve and may give non-technical business owners a headache. On the other hand, Google Cloud has less features, but is more user friendly and is more cost efficient.
Microsoft Azure: Compute
Azure Virtual Machines support Linux, Windows Server, SQL Server, Oracle, IBM, and SAP. It also enhances security, hybrid cloud capacity and integrations for other Microsoft services. VM scale sets offer a large volume of available instances (including machine learning and artificial intelligence optimization), with a range of CPU or GPU based computing options.
The Azure free account allows users to use 750 hours of Azure B1S General Purpose Virtual Machines for Microsoft Windows Server and Linux for 12 months.
Azure has two container services:
- Azure Container Service, which uses Kubernetes
- Container Services, which uses DockerHub and Azure Container Registry to manage things
Azure Batch allows largely scalable applications and has a Service Fabric made for applications using microservice architecture. Positively, Azure Batch is very well documented.
Google Cloud: Compute
Similar to its storage services, Google Cloud’s compute catalog is smaller than Azure’s. Compute Engine is Google Cloud’s main virtual machine service and is suitable for both predefined and custom sized machinery types. Compute Engine is cost effective with sustained use discounts and if your workload is predictable, committed use discounts will save you even more. Compute Engine has a carbon-neutral infrastructure, which has become a standard recently. Using Google Cloud’s free tier allows one f1-micro instance each month for up to 12 months.
Google Cloud’s compute services are a great choice for businesses who have invested in container deployment. GCP places a large emphasis on Kubernetes and is very well set up for containers and microservices.
Compute Summary: Azure has a stronger and larger data infrastructure compared to Google Cloud. However, Google Cloud is a better suit for businesses who require efficient Kubernetes and container support. Again Google Cloud’s learning curve is less steep.
Amongst all the technical complexity of cloud services, pricing can actually be the hardest aspect to understand of all. There are so many variables involved, but it is still possible to summarize the two platforms’ approach to pricing. Also, to get accurate pricing it’s recommended you use pricing calculators provided by each platform.
Microsoft Azure: Pricing
Firstly, you can use Azure TCO Calculator to calculate your expected costs.
Azure’s Microsoft software licensing options are complex and many discounts are offered in certain situations. Working out exact pricing can be difficult without external assistance, but take note of the following:
- 1-3 years of commitment to Virtual Machines grants a significant discount
- Running Microsoft software on-premise gives you access to the Azure Hybrid Discount (upto 40%)
- Visual Studio users are offered generous discounts for development and testing of Azure instances
- For enterprise level businesses, having a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement will give you many discounts for cloud computing services
- Azure’s free tier account gives you access to many valuable services, and you’re also given $200 credit to try other paid services
Google Cloud: Pricing
Google Cloud competes with Azure by offering more flexible and affordable pricing across the cloud services it offers, but there’s less to choose from. Take note of the following:
- Using the same instance for a month can make you eligible for a 30% discount
- For tasks that do not require high availability, i.e can be paused and continued at a later point, using Preemptible VM Instances can give you up to an 80% discount
- Similar to Azure, making a long term commitment to a Google Cloud VM will give you up to a 57% discount
- Google Cloud’s free tier gives you access to basic services that are always free and grants your $300 credit to try some paid services
Making a Choice
Microsoft Azure: Obviously, businesses using Microsoft will gain the most benefit from Azure. Your server environment will easily connect to Azure, all .Net code will work seamlessly on Azure and on-premise app migration will be simple. Azure is a great choice for businesses wanting to use a hybrid cloud environment. Azure is highly scalable and has a depth of features that can make operating a legacy data environment very efficient.
Google Cloud: Google Cloud is still in development. If you looked a year ago and didn’t like what you saw—look again! Google Cloud has gained market share by placing an emphasis on scale and machine learning, while providing attractive pricing options for all cloud services. It’s also recommended for non-technical business owners. For web based startups looking to scale quickly, Google Cloud would be your more likely option.
The other thing that can make your decision easier is if you need the services of a cloud consultant. Someone or a team with expertise who can manage your infrastructure on Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, or any other cloud platform service, ensuring your business is secure and has a very limited amount of downtime.
If you’re someone with experience in these platforms, perhaps you are looking for a Software Engineering job? Below, we’ll list a few companies that are hiring right now.
Sunquest Information Systems (India)
Sunquest is a company that has locations in the US and in India. Right now, their Kolkata and Bangalore locations are hiring Associate Software Engineers!
A development company with many locations globally, their Indian branch is currently trying to fill Software Engineer jobs in Kolkata.
Cognizant’s Indian location is also looking for Software Engineers to apply. They work with a lot of different industries, and we’re sure you would get to work on a variety of different projects with them.