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Guide to choosing the right IaaS provider – AWS or GCP?

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If you’ve already moved your enterprise workloads and analytics to the cloud for faster processing and improved scalability, chances are – you’ve chosen AWS or Azure based on their market share (AWS has 32% market share and GCP is at 7% of the market as of October 2020). While both AWS and Azure both have their strengths, have you ever considered switching to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP)?

One of the key reasons why many enterprises consider GCP over AWS or Azure is its lower pricing. In this blog, we will detail the differences between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), both of which offers Infrastructure-as-as-Service (IaaS) – hosting and maintaining core infrastructure, including hardware, software, servers, storage, and applications in a highly scalable environment, charging customers for what they use.

In September 2020, Gartner named Google and AWS as leaders in their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Magic Quadrant.

While AWS and GCP both largely offer similar basic capabilities like autoscaling, flexible compute and storage, pay-as-u-go pricing, instant provisioning, identity access management, and self-service features, there are some areas where one scores over the other.

Lower compute and storage costs – GCP

GCP’s computing and storage costs are almost 25% cheaper than AWS. Additionally, it offers a “multi-regional” cloud storage option, where the data is automatically replicated across several regions for very little added cost. Additionally, GCP offers sustained-use discounts, committed-use discounts, and discounts for reserved instances.

More solution options and accessibility – AWS

AWS has the first-mover advantage and therefore is a market leader in terms of the breadth and depth of its services it offers. AWS offers more than 175 across compute, storage, database, analytics, networking, mobile, developer tools, management tools, IoT, security, and enterprise applications, while GCP offers over 90 services. In terms of worldwide accessibility, AWS has many more data centers around the world.

AWS or GCP – What will fit your needs?

You should choose AWS over GCP if

  • You have DevOps teams who can configure and manage the infrastructure.
  • You have less time for deploying a new version of the app.
  • If your project needs high computing power.
  • If your engineers are already familiar with the programming models, operating systems, databases, and architectures.

Alternatively, GCP is preferred by many enterprises as it offers the following benefits:

  • Higher productivity through Quick Access.
  • Flexibility to work from anywhere.
  • A serverless environment to connect cloud services with a large focus mainly on the microservices architecture.
  • Long-term discounts.

Quick comparison: AWS vs. GCP

While each has its strengths and areas of improvement, the table below highlights the key differences to help you make an informed decision.

Parameters AWS Azure
Containers AWS S3 Google Cloud Storage
VM disk storage Amazon Elastic Block Store Persistent Disk (both HDD and SSD)
File storage Amazon Elastic File System Cloud Filestore
Archive storage S3 One Zone Archival Cloud Storage
Bulk data transfer AWS is the preferred choice:
– AWS Import/Export Disk: Shipping disk drives
– AWS Snowmobile: Exabyte-scale data transfer
AWS Snowball
Nearline (low frequency)
Hybrid support Offers managed virtual tape infrastructure for a hybrid environment Relies on partners for hybrid support
Disaster recovery management Offers cloud-based disaster recovery services Offers out-of-the-box DR or backup services
Backup Amazon S3 is used for secondary backup storage Has its own built-in Google Cloud
Serverless computing AWS Lamba Container Engine
Volume sizes 500GB to 16TB 1 GB to 64 TB
Max IOPS per volume 500 3000 read 15000 write
AI service and Machine Learning AWS has its own Al service, called SageMaker Compared to Google, the AI offering of AWS is limited Google cloud used AI chips called TPU which can run TensorFlow and other AI Libraries
Networking framework AWS has no tiered networking framework GCP has its tiered networking framework
Data transmission format In general format In a fully encrypted format

Comparing both these services and choosing one over the other depends on your business needs. Research on what you need and who can address it best. If you are considering moving to AWS, Rapyder – an Advanced AWS Consulting Partner with expertise in managed Amazon cloud services, cloud migration, DevOps, and well-architected framework – can help you migrate seamlessly. To know more or discuss your cloud migration strategy, contact us.