The Great Debate: Which Cloud Service Is Best For Small Businesses – AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud computing
Cloud services are becoming increasingly popular with small businesses as they offer several advantages over traditional hosting methods. But which service is the best for your business? In this article, we will define cloud computing and compare AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud’s three primary cloud computing services, to help you decide which one is right for you.
What are cloud computing services and the benefits of cloud
Cloud computing is delivering computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, Software, analytics, and intelligence—over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but it’s especially well-suited for small to mid-size companies. That’s because small businesses often don’t have the significant up-front investment required to purchase and maintain on-premises hardware and Software. With cloud computing, small businesses can pay only for the resources they use when they use them in convenient pay-as-you-go models that most cloud providers offer.
The cost-saving benefits of cloud computing
Businesses that use cloud infrastructure can save money as they do not need to maintain any IT infrastructure on-premises and won’t need to pay for keeping expensive IT staff on payroll to preserve these resources. Cloud service providers maintain the hardware and all the underlying Infrastructure for you as the cloud services client.
Different Types of Cloud Services: IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS
Cloud service is offered in three primary flavors or methods, and depending on your business needs, you may choose one or a hybrid of these delivery models for your businesses. For example, do you need the flexibility of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), the convenience of Platform as a Service (PaaS), or the all-in-one solution of Software as a Service (SaaS)? Cloud infrastructure is versatile by offering these various types of cloud infrastructure across multiple cloud service providers.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is the delivery of cloud computing services where you rent a single or multiple virtual computers, servers, network infrastructure, routers, or even firewalls on a public cloud and secure them for your business use. Businesses can opt to share the resources with other customers or opt for dedicated resources. This flexibility can be especially significant when considering storage, machine learning, and computing power resources. There are also many variations and flavors to how IaaS is delivered. Still, even in the cloud, you can go for a fully managed service or take the responsibility of updating and maintaining the virtual computers to save on the subscription fees.
IaaS is also commonly used by Application Management Services (AMS) providers to maintain and host applications on the cloud.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Platform as a service (PaaS) delivers the IT infrastructure, like computers, servers, etc., on the cloud. Imagine PaaS as a sandbox computer where you can use the underlying Infrastructure (or servers) without worrying about their operating system maintenance and upgrades. This cloud platform service is mainly used for machine learning or delivery of high-performance web services like online banking or airline bookings. The management effort for PaaS is less than IaaS but more than SaaS, which may require consideration.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud computing model where Software is provided on a subscription basis. The SaaS model was adopted over a decade ago and has been the only software delivery method by many large and small software companies like Adobe. So technically, when you purchase a subscription, you are paying to access the Software on the cloud. Therefore, it is very likely that you are already a heavy SaaS cloud services user without you even knowing it. The SaaS model is used to deliver various software and services, including machine learning (i.e., https://splunk.com), cloud storage (i.e., https://dropbox.com), and cloud-based backup and disaster recovery (i.e., https://druva.com) to name a few.
Amazon Web Services AWS
AWS, or Amazon Web Services, is one of the largest cloud computing platforms and offers a wide variety of services to its users that includes different types of cloud, including infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and packaged-software-as-a-service (SaaS) products. These services include cloud storage, databases, networking, and more. In addition, AWS has a pay-as-you-go service, which means you only pay for the services you use. Therefore, cloud infrastructure can benefit small businesses as they can scale their usage up or down as needed without worrying about long-term contracts.
AWS Cloud Service Features
AWS also offers several features that can be beneficial for medium to large-size businesses. These features include:
AWS takes security seriously and offers several features to help keep your data safe without requiring in-depth security expertise in-house.
AWS is a reliable platform that can help keep your website or web application up and running at a very high availability rate. AWS Cloud is in 11 regions globally, with one region in “Canada East” in Montreal. The next region in Canada will be up and running soon and will be located in Western Canada.
The flexible platform can be customized to meet your needs and software usage. As your number of users grows, you can quickly scale up your infrastructure resources.
AWS can be a cost-effective option for small businesses as it offers a pay-as-you-go model. There are also three tiers of free services with AWS. “Always Free,” “12 Months Free,” and “Free Trial”
If you’re looking for a cloud computing platform that offers a wide range of features and can benefit your small business, AWS is a great option.
Azure is a cloud computing platform from Microsoft, and like Amazon, it is one of the largest cloud providers offering similar services such as storage, databases, networking, and more. Azure also has a pay-as-you-go pricing model, which can benefit small businesses that want to scale their usage up or down as needed.
Microsoft Azure Cloud Services Features
Azure offers very similar features to AWS that can be very beneficial for businesses of all sizes, including:
Azure has a unique approach to security and offers several features to help keep your data safe. One item of note with Azure is that most security features and policies might be similar to Office and Windows, so for a new user, the terminology and tools should be easier to learn.
Azure is a reliable platform that can help keep your business software or application running. Microsoft is aggressively investing in Azure Cloud, and more and more data centers are getting up and running yearly.
The platform is flexible and can be customized to meet your specific needs. In terms of integration, Azure is a great option to offer out-of-the-box and seamless integration with other Microsoft products such as Office.
Azure can be a cost-effective option for small businesses as it offers a pay-as-you-go model.
If you’re looking for a cloud computing platform that offers a wide range of features and seamless compatibility with the Windows environment, Azure is also a great option.
Google Cloud is a cloud computing platform from Google. It offers similar services to AWS and Azure, such as storage, databases, networking, and more. Google Cloud also has a pay-as-you-go pricing model, which can benefit small businesses that want to scale their usage up or down as needed.
Google Cloud Service Features
Google Cloud offers several features that can be beneficial to the general public and businesses of all sizes, including:
Google Cloud takes security seriously and offers several features to help keep your data and storage safe. Google has a reputation for making its core services like Gmail and Google Photos available to the general public and end users free of charge. They are one of the most secure companies on the planet.
Google Cloud is a reliable platform that can help keep your website or application running. It can also be a great environment to run Cloud native applications or serverless computing.
The platform is flexible and can be customized to meet the specific needs of your business.
Google Cloud can be a cost-effective option for small businesses as it offers a pay-as-you-go model. There might also be lower entry-level pricing for more straightforward and smaller applications.
Google Cloud is a great option if you’re looking for a cloud computing platform that offers many features and benefits for small businesses.
AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud: Pricing and Compliance
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a cloud service is pricing. All three services include various pricing options, but AWS and Azure tend to be more expensive than Google Cloud. AWS and Azure offer many of their services with free trial access. AWS also always has a free tier of service for anyone interested in learning more about using cloud services.
However, it is essential to note that pricing is not always the most crucial factor to consider when choosing a cloud service. For example, if you need to store your data in a geographic region to maintain compliance, you may be required to pay more for a service that gives you that required compliance. This is because it’s not always about what your access but where and how you access it.
AWS Vs. Azure Vs. Google Cloud: Features
Your business may be a Windows and Microsoft office user where you heavily rely on the availability and synchronization of saved files across many PCs. In the case of a high-demand environment, Microsoft Azure may give you a bit more if you want to level up your data storage or disaster recovery performance.
AWS is excellent if you have multiple offices and looking to host many of your applications on the cloud, create private cloud services for your businesses, and provide Virtual Private Network (VPN) to your employees.
Google is great if you want lots of computing power, access to reliable services like business email via Gmail, and file storage.
Echoflare cloud transformation service for small to medium size businesses
Echoflare has helped many clients successfully start their digital transformation and cloud migration. If you are still wondering if migrating to cloud computing is the right strategy for your business and how you can save money and benefit from cloud computing services, reach out to us. Echoflare has extensive experience and the expertise to transform your business seamlessly.