What is Cloud Computing & Which is Better, AWS or GCP by Kartik Singh | Nov 15, 2018 | Cloud Technologies, Data Science, Learn Data Science Introduction The advent of Cloud computing has made it possible for many organizations to rapidly scale their current analytics operations. It involves very little maintenance overhead. This has, in turn, created a need to build strategies for migration to the Cloud. In this blog, we will discuss the various factors to consider while evaluating different Cloud technologies. What is cloud computing? Cloud Computing is an Information Technology (IT) paradigm that enables ubiquitous access to shared pools of configurable system resources. It also provides higher-level services that can be rapidly provisioned with minimal management effort, often over the Internet. Cloud Computing relies on the sharing of resources to achieve coherence and economy of scale, similar to a utility. By using a Cloud-based solution for computing, organizations can significantly reduce their IT infrastructure. It costs while focusing on their core business. Advantages of cloud computing Scalability With the advent of Cloud infrastructure, it has become virtually effortless to scale an organization’s infrastructure up or down. This is due to the infrastructure essentially being the responsibility of the Cloud service provider. The customer only needs to specify the required configuration of the application or service without worrying about procuring the necessary infrastructure. Reliability Since cloud providers handle the infrastructure and its maintenance, any periodic or immediate maintenance activities adhere to the predefined SLA, essentially creating a highly reliable system. High availability Providers generally have servers located in physical locations across the world and ensure highly available data and services through multiple replication strategies. Reduced operational costs When opting for a Cloud vendor, the infrastructure becomes their responsibility hence eliminating the most cost associated with operations/maintenance for the customer. This pulls the cost down to virtually zero. Increased IT effectiveness The IT team is now able to focus solely on software development without worrying about hardware limitations or maintenance. The utopia of building a platform with almost no hardware constraints allows for more robust platform development. It also increases overall effectiveness Cloud services providers Amazon Web Services Amazon Web Services, commonly referred to as AWS, was the starting point for the Cloud Computing paradigm with its launch of EC2 compute instances in 2006. AWS has documented all the services very well and seamlessly integrate with other provided services at almost zero cost for transfer of data between services. AWS is cost-effective, highly scalable with high availability. It provides spawning and allows for usage of services both programmatically and through the UI console. AWS comprises of more than 90 different services, spanning a wide range of use cases including computing, storage, networking, database, analytics, application services, deployment, management, mobile, developer tools, and tools for machine learning and the Internet of Things. Google Cloud Platform Google Cloud Platform, also known as GCP, is built with power and simplicity in mind. GCP offers services which can seamlessly integrate with other Google products, providing access to a wide range of services in the domain of computing, data storage, data analytics, and machine learning. It also has a wide set of management tools which work on top of these services. Where is the difference? As cloud computing continues to find its way into MNC big and small, the choice of the right cloud computing solution has become a talking point for specialists and business owners alike. Among public cloud providers, Amazon Web Services (AWS) seems to have the lead in the competition, with Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure close behind. Let us focus on some key differences between Google cloud services and AWS. We can differentiate between both of them based upon Pricing Features Implementation Security Support Pricing When comparing Google Cloud vs AWS, both handle billing differently. And to be honest, neither of them provide a very straightforward way of easily calculating this unless you are very familiar with the platforms. More generally a difference in pricing is not much but google cloud services can turn out to be a tad cheaper in long run! Google’s Cloud is a winner when it comes to computing and storage costs. For example, a 2 CPUs/8GB RAM instance will cost $69/month with AWS, compared to only $52/month with GCP (25% cheaper). As for cloud storage costs, GCP’s regional storage costs are only 2 cents/GB/month vs 2.3 cents/GB/month for AWS. Additionally, GCP offers a “multi-regional” cloud storage option, where the data is automatically replicated across several regions for the very little added cost (total of 2.6 cents/GB/month). Here are their monthly calculators if you’re just starting: AWS simple monthly calculator Google Cloud Platform pricing calculator Estimating monthly spend with both of these cloud providers can be a challenge. There are even entire tools out there such as reOptimize or Cloudability which were built to help you understand your bills better. Essentially AWS offers you a dashboard which provides insights into your bill. Google Cloud Platform provides estimated exports via their BigQuery tool. However, both providers are doing things to decrease costs and make billing easier. Features In this parameter, we will divide features into 3 major parts which are most essentially used. On those features, we will try to list out differences between Google cloud and AWS. Let us also have a look at the 3 most common services provided by both of them Compute: The first category is how Google Compute Engine and AWS EC2 handle their virtual machines (instances). The technology behind Google Cloud’s VMs is KVM, whereas the technology behind AWS EC2 VMs is Xen. Both offer a variety of predefined instance configurations with specific amounts of virtual CPU, RAM, and network. However, they have a different naming convention, which can at first be confusing. Google Compute Engine refers to them as machine types, whereas Amazon EC2 refers to them as instance types. Storage: One of the most common use cases for public IaaS cloud computing is storage and that’s for good reason: Instead of buying hardware and managing it, users simply upload data to the cloud and pay for how much they put there. Networking: Google Cloud and AWS both utilize different networks and partners to interconnect their data centres across the globe and deliver content via ISPs to end users. They offer a variety of different products to accomplish this. Implementation AWS provides a nice and easy page to start using their services. You can see that they break it down by the platform you wish to work on, so whether you are making an iOS app, or writing in PHP, they provide some sample code to begin the integration. Lastly, we have the process of starting with Google — named ‘Cloud Launcher’. They equally provide some starting documentation and list some useful benefits Support Both Google Cloud and AWS have extensive documentation and community forums which you can take advantage of for free. Google Cloud Forums Google Cloud Documentation AWS Documentation AWS Forums However, if you need assistance or support right away, you’ll have to pay. Both Google Cloud and AWS have support plans, but you’ll definitely want to read the fees involved as they can add up quite fast. Both providers include an unlimited number of account and billing support cases, with no long-term contracts. Google Cloud Premium Support Google offers three different levels of support: Silver, Gold, and Platinum Cheapest support plan, Silver, starts at $150/month minimum The next level support plan, Gold, starts at a $400/month minimum, but at this level, GCP will bill you a minimum of 9% of product usage fees (decreases as spend increases) AWS Support AWS offers four different levels of support: Basic, Developer, Business, and Enterprise Cheapest paid support plan, Developer, starts at $29/month or 3% of monthly AWS usage The next level support plan, Business, starts at a $100/month minimum, but at this level, AWS will bill you a minimum of 10% of product usage fees (decreases as spend increases) Security In their Second Annual Cloud Computing Survey (2017), Clutch surveyed 283 IT professionals at businesses across the United States that currently use a cloud computing service. In regards to security, they found that almost 70% of professionals were more comfortable storing data in the cloud than their previous legacy systems. AWS platform security model includes: All the data stored on EC2 instances is encrypted under 256-bit AES. Each encryption key is also encrypted with a set of regularly changed master keys. Network firewalls built into Amazon VPC, and web application firewall capabilities in AWS WAF let you create private networks. They control access to your instances and applications. AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), AWS Multi-Factor Authentication, and AWS Directory Services allow for defining, enforcing, and managing user access policies. AWS has audit-friendly service features for PCI, ISO, HIPAA, SOC and other compliance standards. Google Cloud security model includes: All the data stored on persistent disks and is encrypted under 256-bit AES and each encryption key is also encrypted with a set of regularly changed master keys. By default. Commitment to enterprise security certifications (SSAE16, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, PCI, and HIPAA compliance). Only authenticated and authorized requests from other components that coming to Google storage stack are required. Google Cloud Identity and Access Management (Cloud IAM) was launched in September 2017 to provide predefined roles that give granular access to specific Google Cloud Platform resources and prevent unwanted access to other resources. Conclusion After going through different aspects and components of cloud services, we can form a conclusion that Google Cloud wins on pricing AWS wins on market share and offerings Google Cloud wins on instance configuration GCP wins on the free trial Google Cloud wins on UX Stay tuned for more blogs!