AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Platform: A Cloud Services Comparison

December 3, 2020

AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Platform: A Cloud Services Comparison

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are the Big Three in cloud services. It’s important to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each provider so that you have the information to make decisions for your applications. All three providers have grown immensely since their inception. Companies like Adobe, Airbnb, 3M and NBC choose AWS and Azure as their cloud partners while PayPal, Target and Home Depot use Google Cloud. Which provider should you consider? Well, it depends!


Cost is one of the biggest points of consideration for companies when it comes to choosing a cloud platform. How will it affect the bottom line? What’s going to be the return from the overall investment? These are valid questions that should be considered.

The pricing models of cloud services can be overwhelming, to say the least. All three providers offer a free tier, which is great if you want to experiment with the user experience. All providers offer pricing calculators so you can see what you would end up paying based on services used. This tool is extremely helpful to project your overall costs of using a specific provider. We compared the costs of running a general-purpose virtual machine with 4vCPU and approximately 16GB of RAM (all machines are in the same region, operating system):

  • EC2 instance on AWS: $140.16 per month
  • B4MS instance on Azure: $119.57 per month
  • N1-Standard-4 on GCP: $109.35 per month

**Note: Pricing is reflected as of November 29th, 2020 and is subject to change**

Costs can vary considerably depending on adding persistent storage, static IP addresses, data storage, and more.

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The Covid-19 pandemic has really pushed innovation into overdrive. The pandemic has driven Google and Microsoft to scale up their services meant for distributed communication. Google Meet and Microsoft Teams have been a major driving force in virtual conferencing and communication while populations have been working from home over the last eight months. Stay-at-home activities have had to rely on a robust cloud infrastructure to complete daily tasks and keep the workforce moving forward. We have not seen a communication solution from Amazon. However, we have seen innovation from Amazon most recently with tools like a code quality detector, CodeGuru. In their own words, “Amazon CodeGuru is a developer tool powered by machine learning that provides intelligent recommendations for improving code quality and identifying applications’ most expensive lines of code.” If your team is looking for ways to get technical debt in check using the power of machine learning, this is a thrilling tool that no other provider has quite yet.

Where Each Service Excels

AWS excels in its capture of market share. Why? They started before anyone else did. AWS has nearly 175 services spanning solutions in storage, compute, mobile platforms, and analytics. The revolution towards cloud computing began with them and left Microsoft and Google to catch up ever since. However, Microsoft and Google have been steadily catching up over the last few years.

Azure is a popular choice for companies whose infrastructure is heavily Microsoft focused. Enterprises that already use products such as Windows 10 and Office 365 may be more likely to stick with integrating with the cloud services provided by the same vendor.

Google Cloud Platform is really making up ground with their contributions in the world of open-source and containerization. They have leveraged open-source codebases in that realm leading to popular DevOps tools like Kubernetes. We are seeing a large shift towards the portability afforded to us by utilizing containers to house applications. Google’s leadership in this space has really helped drive development processes forward. Developers who like to leverage containerized solutions will love services like Google Kubernetes Engine and Google Container Registry.

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Developer Experience

The ecosystem of AWS is diverse with many options for app developers with all preferences. However, with that diversity comes disadvantages. The number of choices offered by AWS may be confusing to those who come from a non-technical background. Additionally, those diverse options span a great breadth of services that can be overwhelming to those just starting in the cloud space. Azure may be a good choice if you are an enterprise company that already uses Microsoft products such as Office 365. Large enterprise companies may find it easier to integrate with a large array of Microsoft-based products, which happens to also include Azure. Google Cloud Platform projects by default are accessible from every region in their distributed network of data centers. You can have a virtual machine living in Iowa and it can communicate with your storage instance that lives in any of the other 24 regions. There is no extra setup or network configuration required.

Let Us Help

We are cloud services experts and can help you navigate the choice for which cloud provider is best for your solution. Flint Hills Group is fully distributed and operates entirely remotely. Our 100% US-based software developers can give your business what it needs to thrive in a dynamic technology climate. The team has a diverse skillset that can make your custom software dreams a reality. Browse what Flint Hills Group can provide for your business.

When you choose Flint Hills Group, you choose a dedicated team of experienced US individuals whose focus is delivering a high quality and reliable product. We utilize the latest development trends so that your software is up to date and future-ready.

We can provide you with outsourced developers or an entire software team with a project manager. Be sure to read our reviews on Clutch, an independent platform for rating agencies. You can then review our process, and request an estimate for your project.

Chris Gonzalez
Development Enthusiast

Chris is currently a Computer Science student at Western Governors University. He enjoys all aspects of software engineering and web development.

Chris Gonzalez
Chris Gonzalez

Chris Gonzalez
Development Enthusiast

Chris is a currently a Computer Science student at Western Governors University. He enjoys all aspects of software engineering and web development.