Cheap Cloud Computing Services (My findings): AWS vs GCP vs Azure Pricing

Last Updated on April 2, 2021 by Henry John


Cheap is getting better for less and not getting less for less; that’s how I define cheap and how I apply it with respect to the pricing of the major cloud computing service providers.


If you are a business owner or cloud developer looking for cheap cloud computing service with the above mindset of “cheap”, this piece will help you out.


To save you the trouble of details from my findings:

  • Google Cloud Platform is the cheapest for running Virtual Machines
  • Azure has the cheapest pricing for storage and function as service
  • AWS is generally the most expensive cloud computing provider among the three


I must admit cloud computing service pricing is quite complicated as there are so many varying services, so many options that differs and it’s really difficult to find the right (cheap) pricing for all instances.


Prices vary and depends on the kind of cloud services you need/require and run. Moreover, there are different pricing models and it seems as though these cloud service providers are actively trying to make pricing decisions difficult for customers.
AWS, GCP and Azure have a wide range of product lines with varying pricing which complicates things.


Small cloud computing service providers tend to reduce their prices on the surface making them look cheap and give them competing edge against the bigger guns, in the eyes of potential customers. But in reality they are just offering less for less.


Remember what I said earlier about getting less for less: it’s not cheap.

Things to Consider before choosing a Cloud Computing Service Providers


I know that cost is obviously a major factor for you but there are other critical factors to at least consider when it comes to building or moving your business/platform to the cloud.


You have to ensure that you are not just choosing cloud service providers that collects few pennies on the dollars from you and screw you up with poor/unreliable services, among other negatives.


Therefore, consider the following:

Are the cloud computing service provider your competitor?


Most of the major cloud computing service providers are into many other businesses. And as such they might likely be your direct competitors. You don’t want to run your business on your competitor’s platform.


Do they have world-class security practices?


You have to ensure you are building your business or running your applications on a world-class secured cloud platform.
You don’t want to always look over your shoulders, fearing security breaches or poor data backup and retention.


With cloud providers like AWS, GCP and Azure you know your applications are secured.


Is the Cloud Provider’s business stable/established?


Many businesses jumped into the bandwagon of “cheap” cloud computing service providers who end up going out of business.


You don’t want to find yourself in the position where your cloud provider goes out of business, leaving your business hanging helplessly in the balance.


The thing is that, if your cloud provider are in really good financial position, have enough experience (business-wise and technically) operating a cloud service provision business and is proven trustworthy; then you will be at peace knowing that your business is in good hands.

Do they have services you need and may need?


This is even more critical, you need to ensure that the services offered by your cloud providers meet your business needs. And that they’ve the capacity that will enable you scale your business as it grows.


Moreover, they should be providers that are innovative staying ahead of their game, as this will also enable you and your business stay ahead.

AWS vs Azure vs GCP Pricing Comparison


Comparing how much the dominant and best cloud service providers charge for similar and major cloud services will obviously help you make the right pricing decisions.


But since they have slightly different pricing models, discounting and often make price cuts, it’s going to be really tough comparing all three clearly.


However, they all have a price calculator (estimator) which you can access here for AWS, here for GCP and here for Azure.


Using this calculators, I ran an estimate for similar/comparable services and here are the estimates:

Virtual Machine Pricing Comparison


4 CPUs, 16GB RAM, 100GB SSD

Azure$179.02/per month
AWS$157.78/per month
GCP$139.62/per month

Region: US WEST

2 CPUs, 8GB RAM, 50GB SSD

Azure$85.61/per month
AWS$78.85/per month
GCP$69.81/per month
Region: US WEST

Cloud Storage Pricing Comparison

1,000 GB

Azure$20.80/per month
AWS$23.00/per month
GCP$23.00/per month
Region: US WEST

10,000 GB

Azure$208.00/per month
AWS$230.00/per month
GCP$230.00/per month
Region: US WEST

Function as Service Pricing Comparison

100,000,000 requests, 128MB memory, 100ms

Azure$33.40/per month
AWS$33.97/per month
GCP$59.33/per month
*including free requests from each provider

1,000,000,000 requests, 128MB memory, 100ms

Azure$393.40/per month
AWS$401.47/per month
GCP$627.45/per month
*including free requests from each provider

Conclusion


From the above data, you can clearly see that there’s no one size fits all to choosing a cheap cloud computing provider.


I bet you, if you dig deeper using the price calculators you will find even more variations. And to make matters worse, these cloud computing service providers are constantly cutting down their pricing, making it difficult for consumers to make decisions solely based on price.


Moreover, this providers offer different kinds of discounts that just makes their pricing even more complicated to directly compare.


My recommendation is to look at other quantifiable and comparable parameters that will give you and your business the best results and use those parameters to make your choice for a provider. Then, you can specifically work on how to get discounts (better prices) and cut down your cloud computing cost.


Many cloud “experts” out there will tell you right off the bat that GCP is cheaper, some will say AWS is way cheaper and others will tell you that Azure is the cheapest.


Heck!
AWS, GCP and Azure are going all out on a price war, cutting down prices at a similar rate at which we cut down trees.
Today, AWS is cheaper, tomorrow Azure cuts down their prices are becomes cheaper and next tomorrow GCP cuts down their prices and becomes the cheapest.


Like I stressed earlier, there are many other things to consider before choosing a cloud computing service provider. Consider those things, make a decision and seek out ways to cut down your cost with whichever platform you choose.


Keep an eye on my next series of article because one of them is going to be on “how to cut down cloud computing costs”. And in that article, I hope to seek responses from business owners, industry experts and cloud developers on how they specifically cut down their cloud computing costs.
Till then browse around, there is more in here for you.

Tip: Sometimes doing basic things are what will solve our most complicated problems.

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