Microsoft Azure vs AWS vs Google Cloud

In more recent years, public cloud adoption has become an integral part of most businesses' infrastructure strategy and roadmap. Enterprises from around the world have already made the switch from self-hosted infrastructure to public cloud configurations.

And while companies will still need some on-premise technology, they can now develop applications directly in the cloud. In fact, roughly 73% of businesses already have at least one app or part of their infrastructure in the cloud. By 2020, 83% of enterprise workloads will reside in the cloud.

For those looking to go down the road of cloud adoption, several questions come to mind. These are "Which cloud platform should I adopt?" "Which platform provides the most cost-effective services for my needs?" and "How do I go about my cloud adoption?"

How Are Public Clouds Used?

Typically, public cloud services are used as:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) - This allows people to use cloud-based applications.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) - This is a cloud platform that provides runtime environments for developing, managing, and testing applications.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - This is a cloud platform hosting infrastructure components that are present in physical data centers. IaaS is, thus, a virtual data center.

According to industry analyst firm Gartner, the IaaS market has reached $52.9 billion in 2019 and is expected to exceed $83.5 billion by 2021. The SaaS market, on the other hand, is at $87.2 billion and will reach $117.1 billion in two years. Although smaller than both SaaS and IaaS, PaaS will also see steady growth over the coming years. In 2019, the PaaS market is at $18.6 billion, reaching $27.3 billion in 2021.

What's The Public Cloud Market Share

At the moment, three leading cloud platform providers make up the majority of the market share. These are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). As of the first quarter of 2019, AWS dominates the market at a 38% percent market share. It's followed by Microsoft Azure with 18% and Google Cloud at 9%.

Now, even if both Azure and GCP are behind AWS in terms of market shares, they have both seen significant growth in recent years. While AWS has seen 41% in growth, Azure and GCP saw 75% and 83%, respectively.

The Big 3 Cloud Platform Summary Comparison

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  • Amazon Web Services - Having an extensive toolset that continues to expand, AWS's capabilities have a lot to offer for businesses of different sizes and in many industries. Its main issues, however, are in terms of its confusing cost structure and its focus on the public cloud. A lack of attention on hybrid or private clouds means that interoperating with your data center isn't AWS's selling point.
  • Microsoft Azure - With a similarly capable could infrastructure, Azure is a close competitor to AWS. Very few companies have the enterprise background and Windows support of Microsoft. As such, Azure knows that many companies operate their own data centers, focusing much of its effort on the hybrid cloud.
  • Google Cloud Platform - Though it's the underdog in this top 3 competition, GCP is also the one that entered the market last. It also doesn't have the same enterprise focus as its counterparts, meaning that it doesn't draw in as many corporate customers. That said, the platform is well-funded; it has an in-depth technical expertise and is investing significantly in AI, ML, and data analytics.

AWS Vs Azure Vs Google Cloud Customers

Since it's the oldest on the market, AWS also has the biggest community support and user base. Among its high-profile customers, we can include the likes of Unilever, BMW, Netflix, Airbnb, and Samsung.

Azure has also taken its fair share of well-known customers. In fact, almost 80% of Fortune 500 companies use it. Some of these are Fujifilm, HP, Johnson Controls, Polycom, Apple, and Honeywell, among others.

When it comes to Google Cloud, it also has its own high-end companies that use its services. Among the most noteworthy, we can include PayPal, Bloomberg, 20th Century Fox, Dominos, HSBC Bank, and others.

All three cloud providers offer cloud computing services that can meet even the most basic needs. The main difference lies in the total number of services and how these fit with each company's needs. Below, we will be taking a closer look at each of these platforms in more detail and see which services and features distinguish them from their competition.

AWS Pros and Cons

As mentioned, AWS's primary strength is in the public cloud market, being the cloud IaaS majority market share leader for over a decade. One of the reasons for this popularity is its vast scope of operations. AWS has a broad and growing array of available services.

It also provides a comprehensive network of worldwide data centers. In a sense, AWS is the most mature and enterprise-ready cloud provider as it offers the most capabilities of governing large numbers of resources and users.

On the downside, Amazon's platform has cost-related issues. While it has lowered its prices, many find it difficult to understand its cost structure and manage their costs effectively while running high-volume workloads. Another drawback is its limited hybrid or private cloud capabilities.

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Why Choose AWS

AWS is a good choice for both startups and enterprises alike. The platform provides numerous services for both web and analytical workloads as well as large scale data center migrations.

Amazon is also looking to help differently-sized customers by offering niche services via RoboMaker, while also building a virtual private server in the form of LightSail. This way, they want to help even small, single-server workloads to be onboarded without much overhead.

From a compute perspective:

  • AWS provides a wide range of virtual machines (VM) types (136 VM types over 26 VM families) and storage options. This allows customers to run small web workloads to large SAP or HPC workloads.
  • It also provides Bare-Metal-as-a-Service for single tenancy for compliance and regulatory workloads.
  • AWS provides placement groups that ensure virtualized workloads run on designated underlying hardware.

In terms of managed databases, AWS supports MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, Oracle, and MS SQL. They also feature their own PostgreSQL and MySQL compatible database offerings. For NoSQL databases, they provide DynamoDB for key-value and document, Elasticache for key-value caching, and Neptune for graphs.

AWS also provides a managed VPN Gateway, NAT gateway, Direct Connect Gateway, Transit Gateway, and a recently announced Client VPN service. This will remove the need to deploy OpenVPN servers when managing access to the company's VMs.

As far as network security is concerned, AWS has managed services for:

  • Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  • AWS Inspector
  • AWS Shield for DDoS protection
  • GuardDuty for threat detection
  • AWS Config and CloudTrail for inventory auditing and policy management

For data security, AWS provides:

  • KMS and CloudHSM services for key management
  • Encryption at Rest for most storage services
  • Macie - an AI-driven data loss prevention (DLP) service

Microsoft Azure Pros and Cons

Though Azure came later on the cloud market than AWS, it got a significant jumpstart by taking its on-premise software and moving it to the cloud. This includes Windows Server, Office365, Sharepoint, .Net, SQL Server, Dynamics Active Directory, and more.

This is particularly important since many businesses use Windows and other Microsoft software. And as Azure is highly integrated with these applications, companies that use Microsoft software will also feel at home using Azure. Also, those that are already Microsoft enterprise customers can expect sizable discounts.

The drawbacks of Azure sometimes come in the form of technical support, training, documentation, and the width of its ISV partner ecosystem.

Why Choose Azure

Azure also provides a wide range of features that may be preferred by customers that are already using Microsoft products. With over 151 VM types over 26 VM families, Azure can support both small web workloads as well as SAP, HPC, and Oracle workloads. It also has Windows and Linux distros like CentOS, SUSE, RHEL, and Ubuntu, as well as a separate family of instances for AI/ML workloads.

For those who want to interface Azure and run services in their own data centers, they can use Azure Stack, its hybrid cloud computing software solution. The platform also offers support for hybrid storage apps like StorSimple. Data centers with predominantly Microsoft workloads that need to migrate to the cloud can use Azure Site Recovery to do so.

When it comes to SQL and NoSQL databases:

  • Azure provides managed MS SQL Server and SQL Datawarehouse
  • Managed databases for MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MariaDB
  • Azure Table for managed key-value storage
  • CosmosDB for multi-model globally distributed NoSQL database

In terms of billing, Azure provides a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) model. Those that have existing enterprise accounts can also pre-purchase Azure subscriptions as part of their annual renewals. This makes it easier for budgeting.

Google Cloud Platform Pros and Cons

Unlike the other two, GCP specializes in high compute offerings in the form of ML, Big Data, and analytics. It also offers great scale and load balancing. Many customers choose to use GCP as a secondary provider. Nevertheless, those that are more open-source and DevOps-centric will tend to go with GCP as their main cloud provider.

In terms of downsides, Google's platform doesn't offer the same array of features and services like Azure or AWS. It also doesn't have as many global data centers as its two main competitors, but it's expanding at a rapid pace.

Why Choose GCP

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While Google has the smallest number of VM sizes (28 instance types over 4 categories), it makes up for it by allowing its customers to create their own custom sizes based on memory and CPU. This means that users can match their cloud workloads sizing to their own on-premise sizing.

Billing is also based on the total memory and CPU used rather than VMs, which reduces the overall waste of unused capacity. Another waste-reducing feature is its per-second billing instead of the traditional per-hour method. Google also provides automatic discounts that can reduce the on-demand price. The sustained use discount, for instance, offers a price reduction when a VM runs more than a certain number of hours in a month. This makes GCP the most cost-effective cloud provider.

VM startup times in GCP are very fast, making scaling out especially responsive. The platform also helps its users assess, plan, and live-migrate their VMs to GCP for free. It does this through its third-party cloud migration tools like CloudPhysics, Velostrata, and CloudEndure.

Having a global, low latency network, GCP is great at its networking. While other cloud providers limit their VPC networks to any given region, Google's VPC network spans all its regions. This makes it easier to build applications for global customers without the need for cross-region infrastructure design or data replication. The same thing goes for object storage.

GCP provides support for managed PostgreSQL and MySQL databases. Also, for those wanting a globally distributed database, they can use Spanner. This is Google's NewSQL globally distributed database service that provides developers a production-ready storage solution that uses consensus algorithms and atomic clocks, among other such features. These help with synchronizing transactions between nodes.

What Cloud Solution is Best for You?

While the aforementioned services are not all that each platform has to offer, they are, however, the most noteworthy features that set them apart from one another. That said, here is a short rundown to help you make a decision.

Choosing AWS - Amazon's platform has a rich collection of tools and services for large scale uses. That said, you should make sure to understand its pricing structure before running a high volume of workloads on the service.

AWS is a good fit for:

  • Larger companies
  • More global reach
  • Flexibility and a wide range of services
  • Stable and reliable services

Choosing Azure - Azure's biggest appeal is its Microsoft software integrations. Similarly, the platform's focus on the hybrid cloud helps bridge your legacy data center environment with the scalable Microsoft cloud.

Azure is a good fit for:

  • Developers
  • Companies operating on Windows-based business apps and platforms
  • Migrating to the cloud for the first time
  • Companies needing a hybrid solution

Choosing GCP -  Google is a great platform in terms of its application container deployments, big data, ML, and analytics capabilities. It also offers the best pricing model of all the three.

GCP is a good fit for:

  • Its comprehensive container-based model
  • Its hyperscale networking environment
  • Developing and deploying cloud-based apps and software
  • Companies already ahead with their digital migration and that want a leaner, more cost-efficient, and greener tech solution

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New Google Apps Feature Helps Businesses Keep Sensitive Information out of Emails

As Written by: Frederic Lardinois on
Google is launching a new privacy tool for Google Apps Unlimited users today. The new Data Loss Prevention feature will make it easier for businesses to make sure that their employees don’t mistakenly (or not so mistakenly) email certain types of sensitive information to people outside of the company.
googlefeature(1) managed solutionBusinesses that subscribe to this plan for their employees now have the option to turn on this tool and select one of the new predefined rules that, for example, automatically reject or quarantine any email that contains a social security or credit card number. Businesses can choose from these predefined rules and also set up custom detectors (a confidential project keyword, for example). Google says its working on adding more predefined rules, too.googlefeature(2) managed solution
Google created a set of pre-defined rules for data like social security numbers in the U.S., Canada and France, driver’s license and National Health Service numbers in the U.K., as well as for all credit card numbers, bank routing numbers and Swift codes for bank account numbers.googlefeature(3) managed solution
It’s worth noting that Google will scan both the email body and attachments for potential matches.
Rules can be applied to incoming and outgoing messages. Admins are also able to apply these rules to specific departments and employees. For internal messages, they are also able to add a line like “[Internal Only]” to emails that contain information that would have been rejected if the sender had tried to send this email to an external recipient.

Google Announces Chromecast 2 And Chromecast Audio To Bring Intelligence To Your Living Room managed solution

Google Announces Chromecast 2 And Chromecast Audio To Bring Intelligence To Your Living Room

By Drew Olanoff (@drew) as written on
Google is ready to take over your living room. The company has announced version 2 of its Chromecast product, along with a new Chromecast Audio, which turns any speaker with an AUX in into an Internet-connected device. I got to spend some time with these little devices and they are powerhouses.
The Chromecast originally launched in 2013 to bring a Chrome browser experience to your TV. It was an inexpensive way to fling content onto your TV, essentially turning a dumb one into a smart one. The thesis on the product has been to “Get what you want with the Internet as your corpus,” Micah Collins, senior product manager of Chromecast, told me. While this thesis hasn’t changed, the device and its capabilities have. Dramatically.
TVs aren’t the only living-room devices Google wants to reach. With the new Chromecast Audio, the company wants to throw some smarts to your speakers. Think Sonos. Or, rather, Google.
Along with the new physical devices, a new Chromecast app has dropped to let you find all of the content that you might not have known you could watch on your TV before. No remote or game controller needed. Just your phone and some Wi-Fi.

Chromecast 2.0

The first thing you might notice about the new Chromecast, which sold 20 million devices in its original incarnation, is that it’s available in two new colors: orange and yellow (coral and lemonade).
You’ll also notice that it’s round in order to accommodate some of its new guts, which is something we saw in leaked photos earlier this month. Since it’s no longer a stick, it’s easier to plug into your TV, and the HDMI cable is built-in this time, which was no small feat I’m told.
And the price? The price. Compare the Chromecast to some of its competitors:
Amazon Fire TV: $99
New Apple TV: $139 or $199
XBox One: $349
Chromecast: $35

chromecast 2.0

The ambient photos on your TV can now be driven by Google Photos, Getty Images, Facebook photos, 500 PX and Pixlr giving you a fully customized experience. I’m not sure what photos are shown now, but they’re usually of some desert that doesn’t really speak specifically to me.
On the inside is where everything has changed. Collins said:
What we were able to do was build a product that is extremely focused on delivering that quality and performance from the cloud. Build the construct where apps could communicate with it. Apps wherever users are. There is a way to reach all users through SDKs. That was the foundation. For 2 years we’ve bene building that out.
Your phone drives this bad boy, as it’s the interface that everyone understands the most, Collins says. In Apple’s world, you have to learn an entirely new interface and deal with different versions of your favorite apps built just for the TV.
Plus, all of the amazing things in hardware design are happening in mobile devices, so why rely on yet another piece of hardware that probably won’t keep up with the latest Apple or Android OS and device? The goal is to get the next 80 million Chromecast users going, Collins and team say.
To capture the best quality in interactions and content, the built-in HDMI cable and three different Wi-Fi antennas it has is the secret sauce. Google calls it an “adaptive antenna system” and it automatically picks the best one for any given moment algorithmically. The key is to get the content from you and stream it to Chromecast as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.
And yes. Games.
Google is announcing a special version of Angry Birds called “GO” for the Chromecast. It’ll be out later this year. I sat through a demo of it and it was ridiculously fast from phone to TV. There was no latency or bugginess, and I wanted to take the phone out of Collins’ hand and have a go.
Since the Chromecast leverages the GPU of the phone, we’re going to see a lot of gorgeous, rich rendered games released with the Chromecast in mind.
Other games on the way are Angry Birds Friends, WGT Golf, Monopoly Here and Now, Mini Motors WRT and Driver Speedboat Paradise.
Your phone is your controller, as it should be.

Chromecast Audio

The codename for this project was Hendrix. Makes sense. This device, which also costs $35, will turn your existing dumb speakers into Internet-connected smart ones. Think of how Sonos works (more on them later). I can’t wait to try out the newly announced Spotify integration.
Collins said that the need for this device came out of the fact that everyone he talked to has some sort of speaker in their house, be it one on a nightstand, surround sound speakers hooked up to the TV or any speaker with an AUX in.


“Casting” to dumb speakers is the same thing that the Chromecast does for TVs. The Chromecast Audio has high-quality capabilities, 2 watt RMS and optional optical digital out in its hybrid port. The thing is pretty rad.
All you have to do is hook it up and use the Chromecast app to fling your music directly to the speaker. No TV needed, no other special hook-ups necessary. There’s no recompression of audio. Once you hand over the source of content to the Chromecast Audio device, you’re free to use your phone for other stuff. Your speaker, with newly found smarts, will do what it was meant to do — play music.
Goodbye, Jambox and others; as Collins pointed out correctly, “Bluethooth adapters suck.” They do. Ever listen to music playing out of a Jambox and hear a call or iMessage coming through? Yeah, the experience blows. The cost of the Chromecast Audio makes picking up a few of them a no-brainer.
By the end of the year, the Chromecast app will have multi-room support for both Chromecast and Chromecast Audio.

Chromecast App

With these new devices comes a shiny new interface through your phone. Yes, the Chromecast app for iOS and Android has gotten love, too.
When you sit down in front of your TV, most of us like to flip channels. Even though most of my viewing (other than sports) is done through DVR, I still like to flip through the channels before I go to bed: I check CNN for any news, check ESPN for scores, etc.
The new Chromecast app feeds on the need to switch around quickly and seamlessly like we’re used to with cable. I mean, unless it’s Comcast and then it’s 50/50 on whether you’ll actually see the channel you want. I digress.
“We want to bring surfing back with the tricks that Google has learned, utilizing fast search results and latencies on the web,” Collins told me. “We’re taking that experience and know-how and bringing it the cast model.”
Discovery is a lot easier on the app than it was in the past. And it has to be, since there is way more content that you can now cast. What the app does is scan your device for apps that use the Chromecast SDK and then deeplink to the content that you can interact with. Hulu, Netflix and more. Simply search for, say, “3rd Rock” and all of the apps that has content matching that show will come up. You’ll also get supporting information about whatever you’re looking for, which is a staple of Google’s products.
It’s about damn time that Google got search for TV right, which it couldn’t do with its own line of smart TVs or any integration with other manufacturers in the past. It has sucked. The new Chromecast scenario solves all of that and leverages the goods Google has to offer.
Google has also revamped the “what you might like” area of the Chromecast app, for those of us who have zero idea of what we want to watch. I tend to either have something in mind or not watch anything at all, because discovery is so painful and my brain is drained by the end of the day.
For developers, they can integrate a new feature called “Fastplay.” This queues up what is basically a background tab of Chrome and tries to predict what you might want to see or do, sending that information to your Chromecast. For example, if you’ve watched three episodes of the first season of “Seinfeld,” episode four might queue up. If you tap it, wham, it starts fast. Developers can, of course, tweak this experience to what makes sense for their app, but you get the idea.

Death of Smart TVs and Sonos?

As I watched the demo of these devices, the first thing I thought of is “Sonos and smart TVs are dead.” I mean, who would want to buy one now? The experience on them is extremely janky, jam-packed with interfaces that never update. I mean, I’ve spoken to teams that work solely on creating content and “apps” for smart TVs and they tell me it’s a waste of time since buyers never even use them.
Plus, it’s just really hard to pack the CPU power to do cool things into a TV. When we’re talking about audio, the same goes for Sonos. You’re pushed into using their interface, which isn’t the best. The speaker quality is great, but if you already have your own, why bother?

Amazon, Apple and Microsoft?

Relying on the developer ecosystem to make great apps is where Apple and Google make their money on hardware. Making those tools easier to use is something Google has gotten very good at. If companies start finding it easy to reimagine their applications for a television screen, things are going to get really interesting. Will they do it for both Apple and Google platforms? Sure. But ease of use and openness is the key to quick success. That’s why something like Ouya sounded so great at first. For games, getting something out the door and onto an XBox is still not as easy as it could be.
But at the end of the day, it all comes back to the phone. By not making people jump through hoops to try out a new gadget, Google leads the pack by default. As Collins told me regarding smart TVs and introducing new interfaces: “Those interfaces are bad. The touch interface is an advancement of humanity. It’s got this physical metaphor that just works. A two year old is launching apps before flipping pages in a book.”
Oh, and Collins also made it very clear:
“People don’t need more controllers.”

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Google Announces Plan To Put Wi-Fi In 400 Train Stations Across India

By Drew Olanoff as written on
Today, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai shared details on a new plan to bring more Indian residents online. He notes that there’s still over a billion of them in his native country that aren’t connected.
The key? India’s train system. And a plan to bring Wi-Fi to its 10 million rail passengers a day. And it’s free (to start). Pichai shared Google’s plans, while sharing his own story about his days using Chennai Central station to get to school.
We’d like to help get these next billion Indians online—so they can access the entire web, and all of its information and opportunity. And not just with any old connection—with fast broadband so they can experience the best of the web. That’s why, today, on the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to our U.S. headquarters, and in line with his Digital India initiative, we announced a new project to provide high-speed public Wi-Fi in 400 train stations across India.
All of the big tech companies have been getting a visit from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with Facebook being one of them. Each company seems to have its own ideas on how to expand Internet availability and Google’s is definitely unique.


MIcrosoft Mozilla Google _managed_solution

Microsoft, Mozilla, Google and others have teamed up to develop a new binary format for the Web. The companies are working on a new project called “WebAssembly” which is a compilation target for the Web.

Microsoft stated:

At Microsoft, we strongly believe that the compile-to-web story has a promising future. Working towards this future, we are adding special optimizations for asm.js in Edge on Windows 10. We think this is the start of an exciting path for having your non-JavaScript source code run quickly and harmoniously with the rest of the web, and we can continue building on what we’ve done with asm.js to make compiling to the web even better.
WebAssembly delivers JavaScript files in a binary format which is able to load faster than regular JavaScript text files, which will speed up website loading time on browsers, especially on mobile. Microsoft has shared its goal for WebAssembly, which follows below:
  • Interoperability with JavaScript: The web already has a vibrant ecosystem, and anything we add should interface nicely with it.
  • Broad language support: We should be able to compile your code from your language of choice.
  • High performance: To be a viable way to bring your programs to the web, we need close to native performance.
Currently, the companies are experimenting and discussing the design ideas for WebAssembly. It’ll be very interesting to see how the project progresses in the near future – what do you think? Discuss in the comment section below!
Source: Microsoft, JF Bastien (Google), Mozilla – Via: TC

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