Cloud Providers-When evaluating public cloud providers, it is easy to get hung up on the differences. AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud each have their own terminology, pricing, service catalog, and purchasing variations. But do these differences ultimately matter?
Though we are able to align comparable products across AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, there are of course differences between these offerings. In fact, with the number of products and services available today (we’ve counted 176 from AWS alone), comparing each is beyond the scope of this article.
For our purposes, we can compare what is still the core product for cloud service providers: compute. Compute products make up about two thirds of most companies’ cloud bills, so the similarities and differences here will account for the core of most users’ cloud experiences.
Here’s a brief comparison of the compute option features across cloud providers:
Of course, if you plan to make heavy use of a particular service, such as Function-as-a-Service/serverless, you’ll want to do a detailed comparison of those offerings on their own.
That covers functionality. How do the prices compare? One way to do this is by selecting a particular resource type, finding comparable versions across the cloud providers, and comparing prices. Here’s an example of a few instances’ costs as of this writing (all are Linux OS):
For more accurate results, pull up each cloud provider’s price list. Of course, not all instance types will be as easy to compare across providers – especially once you get outside the core compute offerings into options that are more variable, more configurable, and perhaps even charged differently (in fact, AWS and Google actually charge per second).
Note that AWS and Azure list distinct prices for instance types with the Windows OS, while Google Cloud adds a per-core license charge, on top of the base instance cost.
The table above represents the default On Demand pricing options. However, each provider offers a variety of methods to reduce these base costs, which we’ll look at in the Purchasing Options section.