AWS vs GCP. Comparative Guide 2021: CDN, pricing, biggest drawbacks
January 29th, 2021
Cloud computing is the future of the internet and business services. The IaaS market (infrastructure as a service) grew almost 40% in 2019 according to Gartner, Inc. Cloud solutions are dominated by just a hand full of companies. Amazon alone controls about 40% of the cloud market. Netflix, Pinterest, Slack, and hundreds of other major companies are running their backend through AWS.
Companies that have global reach benefit substantially from spreading out their infrastructure into different cloud regions all around the world. Streaming platform Netflix migrated their servers to AWS about six years ago. The company found that they would improve their customer’s streaming experience by building out multiple AWS cloud regions.
If you are looking to migrate your company’s cloud services, you’ve probably come across Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. We are going to take an in-depth look at each service, compare the two, and discuss if it is worth your time migrating from AWS to GCP.
Why AWS and GCP are Popular?
Both these technology giants have been dominating the IaaS market for years. Only Microsoft Azure comes close in its ability to execute and completeness of vision on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services.
They both offer hundreds of products to complete just about any problem that can be solved by web development. Each respected company has been in the game since the industry’s inception. AWS and GCP are expanding rapidly separating themselves from most competitors by innovation and expanding their global networks.
There’s no secret as to why these two companies have outpaced other cloud computing solutions; they are good at what they do. Most of the world’s most valuable companies allow AWS or GCP to host their entire online platforms. Both continue to adapt to the ever-changing industry by providing the best service in cloud deployment including – computing, networking, security, and storage.
AWS Benefits and Drawbacks
Amazon Web Services provides cloud computing services for companies of any size. They currently support over 2,000 government agencies and 5,000 educational institutions. They’re easy to use, a self-service platform containing hundreds of different products on secure servers is a favorite of many IT professionals and businesses that need a simple online entity.
By signing up for an AWS account, you are given access to Amazon’s infrastructure via its user-friendly interface. Browse through hundreds of products, allowing for easy deployment of programs, software, and entire IT ecosystems.
We recommended hiring an IT professional to manage your project, but Amazon does provide surprisingly easy to follow documentation. The same can’t be said about other technology giants.
AWS billing is difficult to understand for those not familiar with the intricate workings of the internet. Reading a bill from AWS can be overwhelming, but if you know what you are doing, Amazon is very transparent.
Many companies are attracted to AWS because of its wide variety of tools and resources. Unfortunately for some, they won’t have access to everything available on the cloud computing platform. AWS limits its resources by region. For some users, they will have to pay extra for some services.
GCP Benefits and Drawbacks
AWS may control more space of the internet, but Google Cloud Platform is gaining in popularity. SADA Systems surveyed over 200 IT managers to find that 49% preferred CGI to AWS’s 42% favorability.
Using GCP means access to Google’s massive network. Google has successfully created a private global fiber network. In 2016, Google installed a 9,000km trans-Pacific cable connecting servers in Oregon to multiple landing points in Japan, giving Google (and GCP users) access to up to 10Tbps of the total 60TBPS bandwidth. In 2018, Google connected the US to French servers by fiber undersea cable.
In addition to one of the largest networks in the world, Google Cloud generally cheaper than AWS and Azure. The bill on minute-level increments, only charging for the computing time that is used. Depending on the instance, GCP is 25-50% cheaper than AWS.
GCP’s user interface is regarded as more difficult to use than AWS. Their documentation isn’t as clear, and their customer service is notoriously awful.
Google is catching up with available products but still is lagging behind AWS.
Comparison of the key features of GCP and AWS:
Both companies are industry leaders with over a decade of experience in cloud computing and IaaS. AWS is easier to use and has a better UI. They also offer more products. Google has a larger network and cheaper prices. For those familiar with working in the Google ecosystem, the interface won’t be challenging.
At the core of AWS is CloudFront. This CDN delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs quickly and securely over Amazon’s worldwide network of secure servers. The user-friendly platform empowers developers to customize features to meet the requirements of any project.
CloudFront is integrated with all AWS products. The pay-as-you-go pricing model doesn’t require any upfront charges and protects new users from using too much resource and overspending.
AWS’s CDN is easy-to-use with network and application-level protection. When using CloudFront, you are guaranteed fast content delivery, secure computing, and complete integration with AWS products all billed out in a transparent pricing model.
Google Cloud CDN
Google’s CDN utilizes a massive global network to distribute content at unmatched speeds. Sites using Google Cloud CDN aren’t required to use regional DNS. Their single IP address can be used anywhere in the world because of Google’s extensive infrastructure.
The Google Cloud Platform is fully integrated with Google’s CDN, it supports up to 5TB objects, capable of managing the most complex traffic on Earth.
Choosing Google means access to their network. This is the fastest and cheapest way to deliver and store content.
AWS Vs Google Cloud Pricing
Comparing AWS and Google’s pricing is complicated. Each company charges differently for instances, object, and block storage. Depending on the project and region, costs will be different. However, it is widely accepted by IT professionals that Google Cloud is cheaper.
The only way to know exactly how much your business’s platform will cost using each provider’s cloud services is to enter a variety of parameters into a calculator. Both AWS and Google offer a calculator to give a cost estimate. They can each be found here.
When You Have to Migrate? And Do You Really Have To?
Comparing these tech giants isn’t easy. AWS currently controls more cloud space, but Google is catching up fast. AWS is regarded as more user-friendly according to many developers. But it’s not hard to find an IT professional that prefers Google’s platform.
One area that Google separates itself from just about every other company on Earth is its network. For small companies these delivery times are minute, but when dealing with large amounts of data, being sent all over the world, it’s advantageous to have access to a massive network.
It’s really hard to choose between equal things. I think this is mostly about marketing – AWS was longer on the market and more engineers worked with it and invested in it. But I don’t think this makes AWS better than alternatives. Almost all features that are available on one platform are also available on the other. Maybe there are some unique features that some platforms offer – like Databricks doesn’t support GCP, for example.
Cost may be the only logical reason to migrate from AWS to GCP. Costs are complicated and GCP isn’t necessarily cheaper than AWS, but this is usually the case. Migrating cloud services is not an easy task and needs to be done by someone with experience on both platforms.