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Lots of enterprises and data-driven businesses currently have the dilemma of picking a specific vendor to provide them with cloud computing services. In this article, we will focus on comparing both Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform on a high level.


What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform provided by Microsoft that is commercially available since 2010. It offers Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Software as a service (SaaS).


What is Google Cloud Platform?

Google Cloud Platform is a cloud computing platform provided by Google. It launched in 2008 as a direct competition to Amazon Web Services (AWS). It also offers services that are IaaS and PaaS. Additionally, it offers serverless solutions.


Azure vs. GCP pricing

Considering the total costs, the pricing offered by both vendors is competitive, because of the constant competition between them. They both offer free introductory tiers that allow a potential customer to test and play around the provided solutions, and also a strictly limited free-of-charge tier, which is not limited on time but has very limited usage of resources.

Some of Microsoft Azure services are billed by the minute, but other ones are billed using bigger intervals (i.e. by the hour), where Google Cloud Platform follows a to-the-minute pricing process for all services. This might prove more cost-effective in the long term. What is also important, that at an enterprise level, the pricing can be negotiated and vendors are usually happy to provide a “bulk discount”.


Microsoft Azure vs. Google Cloud Platform services

Both platforms offer a variety of services including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Microsoft Azure cloud relies both on Windows Server-based systems and Linux-based servers. This provides easier integration with on-premise Windows-based systems, such as Microsoft Office, or Azure Active Directory. The introduction of the cloud to the company can also be easier because most of the companies already rely on Microsoft accounts (i.e. Office or Hotmail). Azure also offers an interoperability with on-premise data centers, which may enable using a hybrid cloud option.

In case of Google Cloud Platform, every user needs to have a Google account. Most of us have private Google accounts (because we use Gmail or Android), but for usage in the enterprise cloud, a special company Google account needs to be created.

Besides that, Microsoft Azure is more versatile in terms of used technologies. On both systems, cloud engineers are free to design their solutions using open-source systems. Microsoft Azure cloud offers more solutions for a given problem, and Google Cloud Platform has a “one best way” approach – Google Cloud solutions focus on usage of one system, often provided with native support (i.e. creating a PostgreSQL database that can be setup in a short time, which is also compatible with Google BigQuery database). If we want to decide which way is better for us, it always depends on the business case. For more complex business cases that encompass usage of various systems, Microsoft Azure is the way to go. If we want to keep the solutions simpler and more easy to use, Google Cloud Platform is the way to go.


Microsoft Azure vs. Google Cloud Platform billing

By default, when using Microsoft Azure services, all the costs are associated with a specific users’ billing account. If needed, a user can create a specific billing account and then associate proper sub-accounts to it, in order to create a more organized billing structure.

Google Cloud Platform bills the services by a project, not by an account. A project is a group of all resources related to a business case. In this solution, one user can create multiple projects under his own account and jump across them. For example, if someone wants to test a solution using a specific budget, they can create a new project, perform all the necessary operations on it and then shut down or delete the whole project to ensure that no more additional costs are incurred. A Google Cloud Platform project is an equivalent of Microsoft Azure Resource Group.


Cloud Consulting by DS Stream

Our company constantly develops our expertise and experience in Microsoft Azure cloud services and Google Cloud Platform. We work with both large and medium-sized enterprises on moving their data infrastructure into the cloud, based on their needs. We also advise on which solutions to pick to fit the company’s needs and help to set up the infrastructure, maintain it, and train the users to use it properly. Do not hesitate to contact us if you are considering moving to cloud-based solutions.

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