Deciphering the differences between popular cloud platforms

Azure, AWS, Google Cloud Platform, oh my! Are they even that different? I did some digging to find out what industry experts think are the pros and cons of the most popular public cloud platforms.

What is a public cloud platform?

Public clouds are available to the general public, and data are created and stored on third-party servers. There are some basic advantages to public cloud platforms including:

  • They are simple to manage
  • Easy to scale up when needed
  • There is frequently a reduced cost because you’re only paying for the service you use.


Popular public cloud platforms include:

Let’s start with Azure

Azure is Microsoft’s public cloud platform and provides a range of cloud services for building, testing, deploying and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers.


  • High availability and redundancy: Microsoft Azure cloud offers a service level agreement of 99.95%.
  • Backup and disaster recovery: Azure can back up data in almost any language, on any operating system and from any location.
  • Flexibility: Businesses are able to pay for only what they use.
  • Integration: To supplement identity and access capabilities, it integrates with active directory. Azure also provides user-friendly services such as:
    • Multi-factor authentication and application password requirements to add a new layer of security to data and applications.
    • Single sign-on can easily be implemented for Windows, MAC, Android and iOS cloud applications.


  • Mistakes can be costly: Azure needs to be expertly managed and maintained including server monitoring and patching.
  • Complex migration: Migrating from one platform to another can be difficult with Azure.
  • Takes up a lot of space: Virtual infrastructure can consume a tremendous amount of resources if services are not removed when no longer needed.
  • Increase risk of data loss: Azure is a single solution hosted in one space. An “all your eggs in one basket” kind of situation.

Now let’s talk AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a subsidiary of Amazon that provides cloud computing on a paid subscription basis.


  • Industry world leader: AWS is the most mature cloud service provider.
  • Scalability: There are basically no capacity limits when using AWS and resources can be increased with the click of a button.
  • Highly flexible and customizable: AWS has the highest number of services and options available.


  • Lack of availability: Not all services are available in all regions.
  • Usability: Administration of the dashboard could be more user-friendly. And the platform itself can be overwhelming with the numerous services provided.

Finally, Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a cloud computing suite offered by Google. According to Gartner, GCP generally appeals to certain buyers due to its strength in “big data and other analytics applications, machine learning projects, cloud-native applications or other applications optimized for cloud-native operations.”


  • Pricing: Google offers deep discounts and flexible terms to make them more attractive when compared with other cloud offerings.
  • Investment in AI and machine learning: The GCP AI Platform makes it easy to streamline machine learning workflows and take projects from ideation to deployment.
  • Great security features: GCP is known for its quick server and security updates.


  • Lack of overall enterprise coverage: Industry experts often express frustration with Google’s inability to create appropriate solutions for enterprise requirements. Especially in contract negotiation, independent software vendor licensing and integration with enterprise systems and support.
  • Availability: Not offered in as many regions and zones as AWS or Azure.

There really is no right or wrong answer when it comes to different public cloud platforms. It all just depends on what is right for you and your team. Learn more about the cloud through our eBook.


If you’re looking for a cloud professional to help you choose the right platform; or you’re looking to move into the cloud field, I’d love to chat. Contact us today.


About the author

Denise Wicks serves as a Sr. Technical Recruiter for Synergis, specializing in IT infrastructure/systems and cloud candidates. She has more than 20 years of recruiting experience, the last 20 at Synergis. Denise earned a bachelor’s degree in business/corporate communications from Georgia State University. In her spare time, she enjoys cheering on the Braves, Falcons and Georgia Bulldogs, boating on the lake and wine tasting.


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