Azure vs. AWS vs. GCP: A Direct Comparison

Ever since the pandemic hit the world in 2020, many businesses and institutions have begun to adopt cloud computing into their operations. With more employees working from home, companies have moved from on-site data centers and chosen cloud computing services. Although cloud computing is not new, its relevance has increased during the last year and has revolutionized how businesses and institutions are operating now. With 35% growth in cloud services spending in Q1 of 2021, companies now rely on this kind of service. Companies are also getting on the bandwagon of massive digital transformation. Gone are the days of conventional data managing and communications. 

Through cloud computing, businesses can gain three types of services: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). These services are always hosted and maintained by providers who invest and procure the required hardware and software for their facilities. Providers also maintain servers and storage facilities. They can then offer these facilities on a massive scale to clients of every kind, whether an individual, business, or institution. 

The services then support companies by reducing their costs of owning and managing on-site infrastructure and allowing for scalability ease. The help of the pay-for-use pricing model enables client companies to have better control of their resources. Most of these platforms are also self-service, so companies do not have to wait to speak to a company representative to get the services started. 

There are many service providers for cloud computing in the market. However, three providers currently dominate the market: Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Amazon Web Services (AWS). These services are backed by familiar and famous companies, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, respectively. In this guide, we compare the three cloud providers with one another to help you make the best choice between them.

Feel free to use these links to navigate the guide:

Comparison Summary

This article compares the top three cloud computing service providers so that companies can look at what they offer. This guide will help compare the features and tools that Google, Microsoft, and Amazon provide. When choosing a cloud service, it is essential to look at the core features, price, services, storage availability, and the provider’s reputation in the market.

AWS has had the first-mover advantage for a very long time; however, Azure and GCP have slowly taken up considerable amounts of market share to bring the three to the top, taking up at least 60% of the market together. Popular technological companies back all three services. Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are technology giants in the IT industry. But which service provider will be more suited to your business operations?








No. of Products


With 22 categories


With 26 categories


With 18 categories along with other Google Cloud Products like Google Meet, Google Workspace, Gmail

Pricing Mechanism

Free Trial and Pay-as-you-Go, and Price Quote Check available.

Each service costs lesser than a dollar for every set unit.


10 different products

5 specific categories with 23 different products

12 different compute products


7 different products

6 categories offering 10 different products

7 different requirements offering 8 different products listings

Market Share

(Q1, 2021)




Core Features and Tools

Provisions of services are essential for a business to study before committing to the service. Understanding what services you will be signing up for will be the make and break for your organization’s success.

Azure’s Features

Developed by Microsoft in 2008, Azure has been steadily climbing into the cloud computing service market. It is built specifically to help build, test, deploy and manage applications and services. They use data centers that Microsoft manages. It provides all three services, IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions. It is used by many industries ranging from manufacturing, retail, government, healthcare, and even financial services.

Azure provides on-premises, hybrid, multi-cloud solutions for companies to build, manage and deploy apps. It provides flexibility and freedom to developers. Its provisions allow you to use any programming language, framework, or infrastructure to face challenges. For example, it has over 200 different products to support your business demands.

Through Azure, your company can create and customize your systems, web and mobile apps, and cloud computing using the plethora of tools and resources that are available at your disposal. The service helps you accelerate your developing team’s creativity and enables you to deploy faster. Its ease of use and its many product and services’ support allows you to migrate to it confidently and securely. 

One of the most significant advantages Azure has in the market is many companies use Windows. This makes it easy for many companies based on familiarity with Microsoft. Secondly, Microsoft has been working heavily on enabling its hybrid computing solutions, which will support companies that need hybrid environments. Microsoft also has a vibrant ecosystem. It has partnered up with many technology vendors and infrastructure spread across the globe. Innovation is at the core of Microsoft Azure’s provision, and it makes their clients future-ready. 

AWS’s Features

AWS is a subsidiary of Amazon. It provides on-demand cloud computing services and APIs to its clients. It was founded in 2002, initially only providing web-based services, but it expanded to cloud computing in 2006. This makes it the earliest service provider for cloud computing, giving it an advantage over both Azure and GCP in the market. 

AWS is a platform that provides compute power, database storage, content delivery, and other functionalities to its clients and users. It aims to help developers build sophisticated applications that are flexible, scalable, and reliable. They provide solutions to many different types of industries. This is done so with the support of a global network that AWS has, spanning 81 availability zones across 25 regions in the world. It also provides over 200 products to support companies with their IT requirements. However, most of the products available are not directed towards end-users but developers.

The featured services of AWS are as follows: 

AWS is flexible, cost-effective, scalable, secure, and seasoned. The services provided are engineered to take care of most clients’ requirements. AWS has a lot to offer with its sheer expanse of products and services as listed above. Because of its size and experience, AWS can provide these services at generally comparable prices. The economies of scale are in their favor. It is also popular amongst many developers, which is why it can still hold on to its ground in the market and still dominate the market share of one-third of the market’s revenues until now. 

GCP’s Features

Google Cloud Platform or GCP has been around since 2008 and is offered by Google. It provides IaaS, PaaS, and serverless computing environments. It is a suite of services that run on the same infrastructure as many of Google’s end-user products familiar to many people, such as Google Search, Google Drive, etc. GCP aims to accelerate the transformation of a business with the help of the cloud. It envisions to help developers build apps faster, help companies make smarter decisions, and help connect people from any location in the world to support collaboration.

Currently, Google boasts the availability of its infrastructure in over 200+ countries & territories, with 76 zones as of writing this article. It has 25 cloud regions and 144 network edge locations. It continues to increase its infrastructure and aims to expand in Doha, Toronto, Melbourne, Delhi, Paris, Milan, Santiago, Madrid, and Turin. 

GCP’s featured products are as follows:

Google Cloud commits to an open-source, multi-cloud, and even hybrid cloud environment, which supports you to avoid going through a vendor. It maximizes data insights through its machine learning and advanced analytics capabilities. This method helps companies automate processes, understand and make intelligent predictions, and help streamline operations. 

The data on Google Cloud is protected and secured by its advanced security tools that are security-compliant and promise data confidentiality. Google Cloud also supports communication within and outside the company to foster a collaborative atmosphere for everyone involved with the project. Facilities like Gmail and Google Meet are integrated into the workspace to ensure the company’s workflow does not stop. 

An added feature of GCP is that it attempts to run on the cleanest cloud, making it environmentally friendly too. Google matches 100% of renewable energy to the electricity used by its facilities, making your business sustainable too. GCP is also a customized solution to help you cut down costs and ensure ROI.

Price Comparison

Pricing is essential for any company to consider whenever they decide what service they should be investing in. Moving from conventional IT solutions to cloud-based solutions has benefitted many businesses because of its low costs. 

The pay-as-you-go method allows companies to have more control of their expenditures. The subscription model also supports them by removing the need for year-long contracts, as you can cancel these subscriptions at any time.  

Azure Pricing

With cloud computing services, Azure uses the pay-as-you-go approach for its clients. Although there isn’t a menu available in a traditional manner, the licensing of the services and products will be based on what you choose and not the whole suite. It also provides situation-based discounts, and the pricing structure is based on units depending on the product. 

A price calculator is available on the website, which can help you after you fill in the information of what you need. Many of the products are available at under $1 per unit. However, it is advisable to go through their free account first to see what is helpful for your company and what is not.

AWS Pricing

AWS offers up its users a pay-as-you-go method. This is available for over 160 of its cloud services. As a user, you only have to pay for the individual service you signed up for, not the entire suite of AWS. The subscription model helps you control what you need to use and easily unsubscribe when not using it. It also helps to know that with AWS, the more you use, the cheaper the model becomes for you. 

AWS offers a cost calculator on its website to help figure out some of the costs, but it is much better to contact AWS Sales for a quotation. It also allows you to use a free account, which you can use to figure out what works and what does not work for you before fully committing to AWS’s services. It is also laid out clearly that AWS does not have any additional costs and termination fees.

GCP Pricing

GCP supports only paying for the services that you subscribe for. It offers pay-as-you-go pricing and discounts for prepaid resources. However, for that, companies will have to request a quote. This is pretty easy to do with just a click of a button. To understand its pricing, you will need to know what products you would like to use, and you can quickly fill the information in the pricing calculator if you want to do it yourself. 

GCP also has a price list available which you have to go for the individual product to find out. Many of the services start from under US$1 per unit, and it adds up as your requirement increases. There is also the option of using it in a free trial. You can use this to test out whether GCP works for your company’s needs or not before fully committing to its subscriptions.

Compute Service

Cloud providers offers to compute services as an essential part of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). It gives users access to computing resources such as processing power, data storage, and networking. All three companies have various products that serve this purpose. Here’s what you need to know:

Azure’s Compute Service

Azure assures customers with infrastructure to build new applications, deploy existing ones and even containerize them. Depending on the service, they can also deploy Windows and Linux virtual machines. Azure can support companies through most IT needs with its hybrid environment solutions. 

The following are the compute products that you can choose from:

AWS’ Compute Service

AWS supports computing for a diverse workload for its clients. Unlike Azure, the Compute Services provided by AWS have several categories and products. The categorization of these services is based on a more detailed breakdown of requirements for its compute services. 

GCP’s Compute Service

GCP’s compute service is secure and completely customizable, with a choice of using predefined machine types to customize virtual machines; GCP allows clients to choose based on the following features and client requirements:


Cost-effective storage of data is vital for a company. With data being the center of the flow of information, it is essential to know what kind of storage and security is being offered by the cloud computing service providers. 

Azure Storage

Azure’s cloud storage is highly scalable, performant, secure. It has several products for cloud storage, and here is a guide to which one to choose based on requirement:

AWS Storage

AWS provides a wide range of services for storage based on object storage, file storage, block storage, backing up, and data migration with the following products:


Storage Service

Object Storage

Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)

File Storage

Amazon Elastic File System

Amazon FSx for Windows  File Server

Amazon FSx for Lustre

Block Storage

Amazon Elastic Block Store


AWS Backup

Data Transfer

AWS Storage Gateway

AWS Data Sync

AWS Transfer Family

AWS Snow Family

GCP Storage

Google is well known for its Cloud Storage, even among individual users. This is primarily because of its product, Google Drive, which provides free 15GB storage along with Gmail. However, for businesses seeking cloud computing services, GCP includes storage facilities and services based on specific requirements:

Current Market Share

Understanding how a service provider performs in the market can tell you how reliable the company is.

At the beginning of 2021, global cloud services clocked in a revenue of $41.8 billion. Together the top three companies dominate almost 60% of the market. It does not seem to stop as their revenues are also shown to have an aggressively increasing trend for Azure and Google, growing at 50% and 56%, respectively, year-over-year. 

Azure Market Share

Azure has been taking on the market with considerable growth in the past year. It has seen an increase of 50% for three consecutive quarters, as Canalys reports in Q1 of 2021. With this amount of growth in its revenue, it has also captured 19% of the market share. This is mainly attributed to the investments made in Azure Arc to improve hybrid IT control plan management, Azure Synapse, and AI. Azure also claims that 95% of the Fortune 500 trust the Microsoft Cloud, so there is merit to seeing the company’s exponential growth soon. 

In Q4 of 2020, Azure had a market share of 20%, while the market share was at 17.6% in the previous year. The overall growth in revenue and market shares shows that Azure is not stopping at becoming a solid contender in the market for cloud computing. 

AWS Market Share

AWS has the first-mover advantage on their side and has been able to control a market share of 32%, with a growth of 32% recorded in the first quarter of 2021. AWS increased its infrastructure within the same quarter and opened new locations in Croatia and Indonesia. It also began work for 5G networks in the United States and Japan. 

AWS has maintained its market share of 32% for the last quarter of 2020 and 2019. This shows that the company is still defending its market share and does not seem to be slowed down by the growth of other companies in the industry.

GCP Market Share

GCP held on with a 7% market share, but it grew 56% in revenue, a considerable feat in the first quarter of 2021. The previous quarter, Q4 of 2020, GCP held on at 7%, growing from 6% in Q4 of 2019. GCP has been maintaining its momentum and benefiting from strengthening its AI facilities. 

Which Choice is Right for Your Business?

The right choice for your business depends on your requirements and understanding of the service’s features and pricing.

AWS is appealing because of its diverse collection of services and its scale. It is also reliable because it has been in the business much longer. It is, however, more suited for large-scale companies with concerns that span globally. 

Azure is lucrative because of its connection with Microsoft and the familiarity of Windows, and its continued innovation. But Azure would be more suited for companies with hybrid environment requirements and already uses Microsoft for other purposes. 

Lastly, we have GCP, which is growing slowly and steadily. Google is more suited for a young, web-based startup that needs to control its costs. It is important to note that all three will have a free version, and it is a good idea to try it out before making a final decision on which to subscribe to.