Amazon Web Services (AWS) Vs. Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

AWS vs Google Cloud Platform

Cloud platforms have mushroomed in recent times, but Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and Microsoft Azure are the most popular options for both SMEs & Large Enterprise. AWS has a very significant market share having cornered nearly half of the cloud service sector. AWS was also sort of the only cloud player in the market about 5 years ago. GCP arrived late to the show, but considering it’s a Google product, they are giving tough competition to AWS. It can be hard to decide between the two services, given that platforms have strong value propositions. Here is our comparison:

GCP is cheaper

If the price is the main factor for you when choosing a cloud platform, then GCP should be your choice. The service is considerably cheaper than AWS overall. For example, renting 8GB RAM for 2 CPUs for a month would cost only $52 with GCP, compared to $69 with AWS. GCP charges about 2 cents per gigabyte per month for cloud storage, while AWS charges 2.3 cents.

GCP also has a pay-per-minute cost model, while AWS uses a pay-per-hour fee model with minimum charges for 10 minutes of usage. AWS, therefore, rounds up costs by the hour, which ends up being higher when accumulated compared to the minute model. For example, if you use GCP for 2.1 hours, you will get charged for exactly that. On the other hand, AWS will round up the 2.1 to 3 hours, which obviously costs more.

GCP is advantageous especially for those who need cloud infrastructure for the long term. GCP offers discounts based on length of usage. The longer you use GCP, the more discounts you will get. AWS, in comparison, requires users to reserve long usage contracts without any cost relief.

AWS has more service offerings

It’s hard to dispute that AWS is the market leader when it comes to cloud infrastructure offerings. AWS offers many more services for customers compared to GCP. Not only are AWS services many in number, the quality is significantly better as well. For example, AWS offers users who require managed SQL solutions many options including Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL solution, Oracle, Aurora, and Maria DB. On the other hand, GCP only offers managed MySQL solution.

Some of the services on GCP, like PostgreSQL and Cloud Functions, are still in beta stages. AWS offers more fully functional and tested services like the immensely useful Lambda, which allows users to execute code without waiting around.

AWS services are very diverse and thus cater to all sorts of preferences and requirements. Only AWS offers specialized tools like the Streaming managed directory service, remote Windows desktops, media transcoding apps, and NoSQL databases. The sheer number of apps, development tools, analytic tools, databases, and networking services AWS offers is just comprehensive. And the cherry on top of all of this is integration. All AWS services are highly integrated, resulting in a remarkably comprehensive cloud platform. GCP has a long way to go before achieving this level of sophistication.

GCP is better for big data

GCP, understandably, comes out strong against AWS when it comes to Big Data. A cloud platform by the world’s biggest search engine clearly has no trouble allowing users to manage humungous amounts of data. Google offers BigQuery, which is a service to store, sort and analyze big data in a short amount of time. The service is rather complex, but still has perks like real time data set insights. AWS doesn’t have a comparable service.

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AWS has better availability

AWS, as the biggest cloud service provider in the world, has more data centers around the globe than GCP. So users get more global accessibility with AWS. This is important for those who do business in big and censorship-loving countries like China. Higher number of data centers also offer the advantage of having access to files even if some centers are blocked. In China, notably, users are blocked from accessing hosted files on GCP. Google has limited number of data centers in the region, whereas AWS has plenty of offerings providing more advantages in this regard.

Google offers flexible instant configuration

Google allows flexibility for instant configuration that AWS disappointingly lacks. Users can customize the number of processors and RAM usage with GCP instant configuration, whereas AWS lacks a comparable service. GCP instant configuration is great when you need to allocate RAM between a number of machines. Custom machine type also makes the service less costly. Both AWS and GCP, however, offer quickie analyses for small chunks of data.

AWS has larger instances

AWS has better infrastructure than GCP, so this service offers larger instances than others on the market. The largest instance AWS offers is a jaw dropping 2 TB of RAM for 128 CPUs. In comparison, the maximum GCP can manage is 416 GB of RAM for 64 CPUs.

AWS has better documentation

Documentation plays a crucial role when it comes to choosing the cloud platform for your company. Ease of use and learning curve get impacted by the neat and holistic documentation. AWS offers the best documentation (mostly because of its age and community contribution) while GCP documentation has a long way to go to as of 2017.

Takeaway

Choosing between the two is really dependent on the particular needs and requirements of the user. If you are looking for a big cloud platform with plenty of services, then AWS is the best pick. If you are looking for an affordable service with big data perks, then GCP is better. GCP is also recommended for users who are new to the cloud and do not require numerous applications.


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