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8 minutes read

Google Cloud Vs. AWS: Comparing the Cloud

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
App Development
8 minutes read

If your organization is interested in getting the most out of its cloud services, you are likely interested in comparing Google Cloud vs. AWS. Of course, AWS and Google Cloud are far from the only cloud providers, but these two platforms dominate the market. As a result, it is valuable for organizations to compare and contrast these popular cloud platforms. 

This post will explore the similarities and differences between AWS and Google Cloud. If you want to invest more in cloud computing, this will be a helpful resource for your organization. 

As we explore these popular cloud platforms, remember that you don’t have to choose a single cloud provider. Is it convenient to get multiple cloud services from the same provider? Yes, but if your business is concerned about vendor lock-in, you can use multiple providers to provide your company’s cloud computing services. 

Google Cloud Platform Vs. AWS: An Overview

Google Cloud Platform and AWS both offer hundreds of cloud services. To further complicate comparing these two cloud providers, they often use different terms to describe similar services. As a result, organizations with little technical expertise or background in cloud computing might find directly comparing Google Cloud Platform and AWS difficult,

We will compare the most popular, business-critical cloud services offered by each platform, including:

  • Virtual machine 
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)
  • DNS services 
  • Network tiers 
  • File storage 
  • Security 
  • Support 

Virtual Machine 

Virtual machines are the bedrock of AWS and Google Cloud Platform’s compute services. Virtual machines are emulations of physical computer systems that provide the functionality of a physical computing machine and can run any workload your business requires. As a result, most businesses build their cloud services around a virtual machine

Google Cloud calls its virtual machine Compute Engine, and AWS calls its virtual machine Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, or Amazon EC2. Both of these virtual machines are very capable, but they are different in a few key areas. 

If you want terminal access to your EC2 virtual machine instance, your organization must include its own SSH key. Compute Engine is more flexible in this regard. Users can gain terminal access by generating SSH keys as needed, even if the Compute Engine instance is already running. 

Compute Engine and EC2 provide hundreds of predefined virtual machine instances with specific RAM, CPU, and network configurations. In addition, both cloud platforms allow businesses to customize their virtual machine configurations and scale compute services to meet the demands of the business. 

One of the most significant economic benefits of cloud computing is autoscaling. EC2 and Compute Engine enable businesses to autoscale virtual machine resources to meet real-time user demand and control costs. 

Regarding virtual machine cloud services, Google Cloud Platform and AWS have similar offerings. You may discover that one cloud platform has virtual machine configurations that the other does not. Still, you can always make custom configurations if you prefer one platform over the other and require a specific machine setting. When it comes to virtual machine offerings, there is little difference between Google Cloud and AWS. 

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Content Delivery Network (CDN) services enable your business to deliver content and services to end-users faster. CDNs replicate and host your content across a global infrastructure so that there is greater localized access to your content for every user. 

Greater localized access leads to improved application performance and load times, less bandwidth strain, and higher service responsiveness. For example, AWS offers a CDN service called Amazon CloudFront, and Google Cloud offers a similar service called Cloud CDN.

Both cloud platforms allow users to integrate their CDN services with other cloud services for greater oversight and improved application performance.

Almost every service discussed in this post can be integrated with the other cloud services on the respective cloud platform. Unfortunately, while integration gives startups and enterprises more control and greater performance levels, integration also leads to vendor lock-in. 

DNS Services 

DNS, or Domain Name System, is the hierarchy and naming convention used to determine which computers are reachable through the Internet. AWS and Google Cloud both provide managed DNS services

AWS calls its DNS service Amazon Route 53, and Google Cloud Platform calls its service Cloud DNS. Both services support almost every DNS record type. However, these options do differ in one critical manner. 

Route 53 supports two routing options, and Cloud DNS does not. Route 53 allows geography-based routing and latency-based routing. 

Geography-based routing enables businesses to restrict specific content to geographic locations. For example, suppose your business wants to allow users in one region to access a live stream but not allow users in an adjoining region to access the same content. 

Believe it or not, this type of routing is quite common with popular services like Netflix, MLB TV, and NBA League Pass. If you access Netflix in a different country, your streaming options will differ. If you subscribe to NBA League Pass or MLB TV, games broadcast in your local region will be inaccessible through the platform. 

Latency-based routing enables organizations to direct web traffic based on latency levels measured by the DNS service. However, regarding DNS offerings, Google Cloud Platform cannot offer the same level of service or content control AWS offers. 

Network Tiers 

Network tiers enable users to pay more for better performance. Google Cloud Platform is the only cloud platform that offers service tiers to customers. You can think about this option in two different ways. 

One way to view Google Cloud’s service tiers is that your business has greater flexibility to improve performance and get a low-latency network. The premium tier offered by Google Cloud prioritizes your web traffic and routes it in the most efficient manner to accelerate transport speeds and increase security. 

Another way to view this tiered service is a cash grab that other cloud platforms are not subjecting their customers to. Does Google Cloud’s premium network tier outperform all other cloud providers? There are no clear results one way or the other. 

However, if Google Cloud Platform is the only provider charging more, it is likely that the premium Google Cloud network tier is the standard service everyone else receives on competitor platforms. 

File Storage 

File storage is a major component of cloud computing for many organizations. Therefore, good file storage services are essential. Google Cloud Platform offers a file storage service called Google Filestore, and AWS offers a similar service called Amazon Elastic File System (EFS).

Both Filestore and EFS offer fully managed file storage services. Organizations can easily create and configure file storage systems and leave the underlying infrastructure and tasks like deployment and patching to their chosen cloud provider. 

The biggest difference between Filestore and EFS is the Network File System Protocol they use. EFS uses the latest version of the protocol, NFSv4, and Filestore uses the prior version, NFSv3. 

Recent computer science research has concluded that NSFv4 is significantly better in terms of performance than NSFv3. Seemingly this would give EFS a leg up on Filestore. However, both cloud providers offer similar performance specs for their file storage services. 

Security 

Organizations cannot afford to take security lightly. Amazon and Google both understand how critical digital security is to their respective cloud platforms and their business clients. As a result, AWS and Google Cloud Platform are both highly regarded when it comes to security strength. 

Both cloud providers employ cutting-edge cloud security technologies to protect their users in an ever-evolving threat environment. AWS and Google Cloud protect clients in three critical ways:

  • Robust security capabilities are built into the infrastructure of the cloud platform to secure the cloud. 
  • Additional security tools and services to enhance data and application security within the cloud environment. 
  • Security anywhere on the Internet using strong encryption protocols to ensure your company’s digital assets are safe even when they are outside of the cloud platform. 

AWS and Google Cloud both offer strong security measures. If your organization is looking for a cloud platform with the best security, Google Cloud Platform and AWS are even.

Support 

No matter how technically skilled your team is, your organization will always run across issues in the cloud. It is important to choose a cloud platform that offers good support and extensive documentation. Both Google Cloud and AWS have extensive documentation libraries to help you troubleshoot any issue that may arise.

In addition, both platforms offer free, basic support plans and paid premium support plans. AWS is the more mature cloud platform, and it also boasts a unique community of AWS partners that have been stringently vetted and approved by Amazon. 

While both cloud platforms have good support, AWS likely has the stronger support system thanks in large part to its maturity and community of AWS partners. 

Final Thoughts 

There is not a lot separating AWS and Google Cloud Platform. Both options are at the top of the cloud services market for a reason. If you want a more in-depth examination of Google Cloud vs. AWS to determine which platform best fits your organization’s needs, reach out to an app development partner.

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