Comparing Cloud Platforms: AWS, Azure, and GCP

Cloud platforms are internet-based data centers that host a server’s operating systems and hardware. Companies can use a cloud platform as a storage solution for their computing needs. Since cloud platforms are internet based, organizations can access them remotely, allowing employees to use cloud services from any location. This is cost efficient for companies because they don’t need to pay to use, maintain, or store their servers.

There are three types of cloud platforms: public, private, and hybrid. Public platforms are the most popular, are owned by third parties, and are accessible anywhere with a passcode and web application. Public platforms, such as Microsoft’s Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform are widely popular for helping companies manage data.

How Do Cloud Platforms Work?

Cloud platforms have several primary operations: providing security, storage capacity, and computing power to manage information users send to the cloud. Using satellite networks, cloud providers allow companies to share information and are responsible for maintaining the data center that hosts the cloud and its services.

To use a cloud platform, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon rent their cloud services, giving companies space on their networks to store data. These cloud platforms also provide communication abilities so that users can access their data from any device and the data syncs to programs users install on devices. For example, documents you create in Google Drive on your laptop sync with and appear on the mobile Google Drive app.

Key Features of Cloud Platforms

Before choosing which cloud platform best suits you or your company, it’s important to know key features and services of cloud computing. These are characteristics of public cloud platforms:

  • Share Resources: Resource pooling is a multiclient strategy that cloud providers use to share resources and offer services to clients at the capacity that suits their needs. For example, resource pooling allows a provider to sell storage on the same network to many companies.
  • Offer On-Demand Self-Service: Cloud services give the user complete control over their data and enable them to use the service when needed from any location. The ability to monitor the server uptime, abilities, and allotted network storage helps personalize service and maintains user independence.
  • Maintain Remote Access: Amazon, Microsoft, and Google maintain the servers for their clients and frequently update their resources to optimize their capabilities and increase the potential of the cloud.
  • Offer a Sliding Scale: An invaluable feature of cloud computing is its ability to scale to fit the needs of clients. This means that you can run large workloads that require multiple servers within a small timeframe.
  • Reduce Costs: Using a cloud platform for computing services is an economical choice for companies because it saves money on having an IT department and helps reduce some administration costs. Cloud providers charge for the space used on their network and there are no additional costs for maintenance, updates, or services.
  • Provide Security: Cloud providers guarantee the security and safety of your information by saving copies of your data to separate servers. If a server fails, you won’t lose data because it’s stored on another server.
  • Are Resilient: Resilience is measured by determining how quickly the servers and database recover and restart after damage, such as a power outage or network crash. Be sure to check resilience when selecting a cloud platform.
  • Automate Tasks: Automation is a feature that reduces the manual effort that using technology requires. With automation, the cloud installs, configures, and updates on all the users’ devices.
  • Offer Large Network Access: A major benefit of using a cloud platform is the accessibility it offers. With an internet connection, you can access your data from anywhere.

How Do You Select the Right Cloud Platform?

In order to help you make an educated decision of which cloud platform best suits you, here is a list of criteria to consider:

  • Security: Keeping data secure should be a top priority. Check what measures each provider takes to ensure your information is secure.
  • Compliance: It’s important that the cloud infrastructure you choose helps you meet compliance standards in your industry. For example, healthcare facilities must consider HIPPA.
  • Architecture: Consider the architecture of a cloud platform and how it stores your data. If you already use a company’s products, it may be easy to integrate with their cloud service.
  • Support: It’s important to understand the support each provider offers, including the availability and speed of their customer service.
  • Costs: Consider the company’s need and potential uses for cloud services in order to determine a budget.

Which Cloud Platform Should You Choose?

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of each of the major cloud providers to help determine which is best for your uses:


Azure is the most available, offering its services in 140 countries. Currently, they serve many Fortune 500 companies and offer 100 services. Customer support is only available with a support plan, but requesting support is simple. The cost for service is based on what you use, and you pay as you use it. The main advantage of Azure is that it often integrates easily into companies’ existing systems because other Microsoft products are common in the workplace.

Amazon Web Services

AWS has been in the marketplace for the longest amount of time, which gives it the advantage of being able to optimize its services after years of client use. However, since they have many customers, some users may experience slower service times. AWS also has high-profile users and is available worldwide. AWS offers several free services and charges by the hour based on the services you use.

Google Cloud Platform

Google offers excellent customer support and many pricing options so that you can choose a plan that best suits you. GCP has the least number of services to offer but has a high growth rate and is adding services continually. This cloud platform tends to be user friendly because users are typically familiar with the Google search engine and other Google products.

Choosing the best fit for cloud computing has a significant impact on your company’s information technology. Be sure to take the features and services of cloud platforms under consideration.