AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud


Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform are often referred to as the “big three” of cloud computing, accounting for two thirds of the global market as of 2022. And with these three big names often mentioned together, many businesses struggle with making a decision on AWS vs Microsoft Azure vs Google Cloud when looking for a cloud computing provider.


Having worked with all three platforms since their introduction to the market, our OMI team has learned everything about the strengths and weaknesses of each one. While AWS can be the most mature and offers the most services, it can also be harder to navigate than Google Cloud, which also has superior AI and DevOps capabilities. At the same time, Azure can claim supremacy in the storage and networking department. 


In this article, we’re breaking down each platform’s pros and cons and helping you make the right decision for your business – this is the ultimate comparison of AWS, Azure and Google Cloud.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is referred to as an offering of IT infrastructure and resource services distributed through the Internet. Those often include compute services, databases, networking, data storage and analytics, among others. The reasons it has become more popular among SMBs and enterprises alike are plenty, including cost savings and increased productivity, speed, efficiency, performance, and security. 


This type of service has earned its name due to its nature of operating – storing the information remotely in the cloud or another virtual environment. This way, user data and applications are accessible from any device that can connect to the Internet, wherever the user may be.

What is AWS?

Introduced in 2006 by Amazon, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a well-renowned cloud computing platform that gives organizations access to a variety of resource-centered tools and services such as computing, storage, and networking, among others. Since its release, AWS has established itself as a top option for companies looking for adaptable and dependable cloud computing solutions because of its secure global infrastructure and convenient pay-as-you-go pricing system. Such corporate giants as Coca-Cola, AirBnB, and Netflix are known to have used AWS to great effect for a number of years now; and more and more businesses, big or small, are also discovering the possibility of its implementation.

What is Azure?

Looking to challenge AWS, Microsoft Azure launched onto the cloud computing market in 2010, offering a very similar range of services. It has since then become a major player in the global market, accounting for almost a quarter of it as of 2022. It has also made a reputation on its strong networking and storage capabilities as well as integrations with other Microsoft products. 

What is Google Cloud?

Similarly, Google decided to tap into the developing cloud computing industry in 2008 with the introduction of Google Cloud Platform and became one of the most respectable providers in the world. Companies like PayPal, Spotify, and Nintendo have been using Google Cloud to great success, in many ways thanks to its advanced AI and DevOps capabilities on top of user-friendly dashboards.

AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud: Key Differences

Now, for our comparison of AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure, let’s look at what each platform excels at and where one can claim a competitive edge over the other two:

Here’s a table to sum up the above comparisons (when a comparison can be made): 

AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud. Key Differences


The three platforms’ presence on a global scale is increasing every year; as of July 2023, their availability is comprised of: 


Offers a total of 98 availability zones: 32 in Asia, 24 each in North America and Europe, 6 each in Middle East and Australia, 3 each in South America and Africa.


Offers a total of 35 availability zones: 18 in the US, 6 in Asia, 3 each in Canada, Australia and Brazil (three), and as well 1 in Chile and 1 in Mexico.

Google Cloud 

Has 5 availability zones in total, 1 per continent (excl. Antarctica) – Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australia.


Keep in mind that the notion of an availability zone is understood and regulated differently for each platform – it doesn’t mean AWS has almost 20 times better availability than Google. At the same time, AWS is still widely considered to be the service with the most availability.  


Winner: AWS


All three platforms have a proven track record of delivering high-quality cloud services; however, they were introduced into the market at various times: 


First introduced in 2006 and initially included such services as Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).


Created in 2010 to compete with AWS and Google Cloud, with the backing of integrations with other Microsoft products and services.

Google Cloud 

Established in 2008, Google Cloud also uses its other products to its advantage, having the same infrastructure with Gmail, YouTube, Google Search and Google Drive.


Winner: Unclear

Market Share

According to AAG, the market shares of AWS vs Microsoft Azure vs Google Cloud have remained largely unchanged over the past couple of years. As of Q1 of 2023, the global cloud market looked like this: 


Remains the undisputed leader in cloud computing services with 32% of the global market share (dropped from 33% in 2022).


Places second in the market share volume with 23% (in 2022, the share was also 23%).

Google Cloud

Accounts for the least, yet still impressive share of the “big three” with 11% of the global market being their clientele (slight increase from 10% in 2022).


It must be said that the market shares shouldn’t be your decisive factor when choosing your cloud computing services provider. Still, for comparison’s sake, based on sheer numbers, we can deduce that AWS prevails in this category.  


Winner: AWS

Notable Users

There’s no clear comparison of AWS, Azure and Google Cloud to be made here since all three companies have a number of global giants as their clients. Here are some confirmed examples: 


Coca Cola, Netflix, Airbnb, Samsung, BMW, Lyft, Coursera


Starbucks, Daimler, HP, Renault, Mitsubishi, Apple, Fujifilm

Google Cloud

Twitter, Nintendo, Paypal, Spotify, UPS, Toyota, HSBC


Winner: Unclear


User experience can be a very subjective parameter, but the general consensus around the three platforms can be summarized as the following: 


Considered to be a good balance between being feature-rich and user-friendly. Also offers great support documentation – you will be able to access text or video manuals for almost every action in the system.


Often seen as the least user-friendly of the three, it has a slightly overcomplicated interface and offers few tutorials to learn how to navigate it. 

Google Cloud

Matches and even arguably outcompetes AWS in the organization of its interface and dashboards, and the provided user documentation. Relatively easy to use, and you will get help every step of the way.


Winner: Google Cloud


All three platforms have strong cloud tools to provide high-quality services, but AWS seems to beat its competitors through the sheer variety on offer:


AWS has developed Gluon, which is an AI/ML framework that allows both developers and non-developers to create neural networks even without having much experience with AI. Another AI-powered tool called DeepLens develops ML-algorithms for object recognition, optical character recognition and image recognition.


Additionally, SageMaker is a service used to develop and deploy machine learning models. Along with supporting Alexa, Greengrass IoT messaging, and Lambda serverless computing, it also features the Lex conversational interface.


Azure boasts a range of strong cognitive services such as the Face API, Computer Vision API, Custom Vision Service, and Bing Web Search API. It can also be well integrated into Microsoft software that is already installed on a computer – for instance, Azure Backup is connected to Windows Server Backup in Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2016. 

Google Cloud

Google Cloud offers APIs for cutting-edge technologies including speech recognition, translation, and natural language processing, although some of them are still in beta. TensorFlow deserves a special mention – it’s a great open-source software package for building machine learning applications that is one of the best on the market and admired by many developers.


Winner: AWS


In this category, AWS and Azure comprehensively beat Google Cloud, with AWS just about coming out on top with its unparalleled EC2:


Elastic Compute Cloud, or EC2, is what makes a difference in this category. It’s a most powerful computing service that features a broad selection of instances, support for both Windows and Linux, bare metal instances, GPU instances, high-performance computing, auto-scaling, among other things.


AWS also offers multiple container services, which support Docker, Kubernetes, and its own Fargate service, which simplifies server and cluster administration when utilizing containers. AWS has Elastic Beanstalk for operating and scaling web applications, Batch for batch computing tasks, and Lightsail for a virtual private cloud solution.


Azure has Virtual Machines as its main cloud-based computing solution, which offers integrated support for Microsoft applications and support for Linux, Windows Server, SQL Server, Oracle, IBM, and SAP in addition to strong security and hybrid cloud functionality. Similar to AWS, it also provides a wide selection of instances, including instances tailored for AI and machine learning as well as GPU and high-performance computing possibilities.


Container-wise, Azure has Azure Container Service, which runs on Kubernetes, and Container Services, which manages containers using Docker Hub and Azure Container Registry.

Google Cloud

Google’s selection of computing services is a little less extensive than those of its rivals, yet still impressive. Its Compute Engine features bespoke and predefined machine types, per-second charging, support for Linux and Windows, automated discounts, and a carbon-neutral infrastructure that consumes just half the energy of conventional data centers.


For containers, Google has the Kubernetes Engine – it must be also mentioned that Google has an especially strong background in Kubernetes due to its extensive involvement in its development.


Winner: AWS


In this comparison of AWS, Google Cloud and Azure, the last is often considered marginally better for storage than its competitors, but the other two are also very capable:


AWS offers Simple Storage Service (S3) for object storage, Elastic Block Storage (EBS) for persistent block storage (for use with EC2), and Elastic File System (EFS) for file storage. Additionally, you can employ Snowball, a physical hardware device, to move petabytes of data when internet transmission is impractical, as well as Storage Gateway, which provides a hybrid storage environment.


Database-wise, AWS provides Relational Database Service (RDS), DynamoDB NoSQL, ElastiCache in-memory data store, Redshift data warehouse, Neptune graph database, and Database Migration Service, which are all SQL-compatible. 


Azure has Blob Storage for REST-based object storage of unstructured data, Queue Storage for large-volume operations, Data Lake Store for big data applications as well as File Storage, Disk Storage. What makes Azure stand out are its powerful Site Recovery and Archive Storage as great backup services.


Azure also offers three SQL-based options: SQL Database, MySQL Database, and PostgreSQL Database. Also noteworthy are the hybrid storage solution, Server Stretch Database, and its in-memory service, Redis Cache that were created for companies who utilize Microsoft SQL Server in their own data centers.

Google Cloud

Google Cloud falls behind Azure and AWS, but is slowly catching up. Its unified object storage solution, Cloud Storage, offers a Persistent Disk option and features online transfer services that are comparable to AWS Snowball.


In terms of databases, Google offers the relational Cloud Spanner database, which is intended for mission-critical applications, as well as the SQL-based Cloud SQL.


Winner: Azure

Specialized Services

In this category, AWS and Azure both do better than Google, with their range of AI, IoT, DevOps and VR tools being wider:


CodeBuild, CodeDeploy and CodePipeline are just a few of the powerful DevOps solutions AWS offers. At the same time, the aforementioned AI/ML services such as Amazon SageMaker and Amazon Lex are great at building, training, and deploying machine learning models. Lastly, there are services like AWS IoT Core for IoT app development, Amazon Quicksight for business analytics and even a robotics solution in AWS RoboMaker, just to name a few.


Azure Boards, Pipelines, Repos, Test Plans and Artifacts are Azure’s reply to AWS’s DevOps service roster, with Azure Machine Learning, Azure Cognitive Search, Azure Databricks, and Azure Bot Service acting as competition in the AI/ML field as well. 

Special mentions also go to Azure PlayFab, a game dev solution; Azure Mixed Reality for VR, and Azure Power BI for business intelligence.

Google Cloud

Google Cloud IoT Core is almost a carbon copy of its AWS’s counterpart, also with AutoML, Vertex AI, Dataflow CX and Virtual Agents being Google’s AI/ML services. However, Google isn’t too stacked in other departments – while CloudBuild and Artifact Registry do power DevOps to a considerable extent, the rest of the specialized services list is very limited.


Winner: AWS & Azure


With regards to networking, all three companies provide comparable options, however, AWS and Azure are traditionally considered to be slightly more mature and robust than Google Cloud:


AWS offers a comprehensive and in-depth range of networking and content delivery services with Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Elastic Load Balancer, AWS Firewall, and Route 53, just to name a few.


Azure may have an upper hand on its competition thanks to its very high customizability of

inbound and outbound connections, native firewalls, network firewalls, and delivery of 5G networks. Solutions such as Virtual Network (Vnet), Azure Load Balancer, Azure Firewall and Azure DNS all contribute to that high-quality networking.

Google Cloud

Google is known for its use of automation and artificial intelligence for its networking services with Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Google Cloud Load Balancing, Google Cloud Firewalls and Google Cloud DNS. On top of that, businesses can leverage Google APIs and services to monitor a company’s network through Google Cloud.


Winner: Azure


Cloud computing services adopt a shared responsibility model, splitting the security workload between the service provider and the end user. All three platforms are known to be very safe choices for your sensitive data, with the main differences being in the smaller details. For instance, when it comes to Identity and Access Management, all three have features including multi-factor authentication (MFA), single sign-on (SSO), built-in role-based access control (RBAC), and custom role-based access control. 


However, Azure is slightly different in privileged access management (PAM) used for handling privileged accounts for users or resources. Azure has a service called Privileged Identity Management offering just-in-time privilege access, whilst AWS and Google Cloud don’t have this kind of service. Instead, they enable you to  integrate a third-party solution from the Marketplace.


Winner: Tie


Pricing models in the case of cloud computing can be very difficult to compare AWS vs Microsoft Azure vs Google Cloud because of very many variables playing their part, from instance size to different prices for computing, storage, etc. 


For instance, if we compare the storage pricing for the same geographical region (US East), we’ll see that Azure is the cheapest option with $0.021 for 1 GB/month, while AWS and Google charge $0.023. 


At the same time, Google will be, on average, the cheapest if you’d like to set up a very small instance. It’s estimated that the most basic one in Google will cost you around $52 per month, whereas AWS and Azure will charge you around $69 and $70 respectively. 


Winner: Unclear

Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Options

If a business wants to set up a combination of a public and a private cloud, then all three companies will be able to provide you with equally wide ranges of powerful tools:


AWS Snowball, AWS Outposts, AWS DataSync, AWS Wavelength, Amazon EKS Anywhere, AWS Transit Gateway


Azure Arc, Azure Backup, Azure Express Route, Azure Blob Storage, Azure Stack, Azure Interoperability

Google Cloud

Anthos, Google Cloud Interconnect, Cloud Build, Looker, Traffic Director


Winner: Tie


AWS vs Azure vs GCP: Pros & Cons

Finally, let’s have an overview of the three platform’s strengths and weakness: 

AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud: Strength and Weakness


AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud: What Should You Choose?

Our summary may have convinced you that in the AWS vs Microsoft Azure vs Google Cloud debate you should choose AWS. It’s the market leader, the most mature provider with the widest range of services, so it should be a sensible pick. 


At the same time, no one can deny that the other two members of the “big three” are also very popular with famous brands, and for good reasons. For one, both Azure’s and Google Cloud’s performances and capabilities can be enhanced with strong integrations. For two, Azure offers very robust networking and storage, while Google makes great use of AI and DevOps on top of having a user-friendly interface.


Regardless of your choice, you should not be disappointed; however, make sure that the implementation of cloud computing in your company will go as smoothly as possible to avoid serious problems. And if you need expert guidance on how to make this possible, don’t hesitate to contact OMI – established in 1997, we have become industry leaders with great expertise in AWS as well as official Microsoft and Google partners.

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