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Google Compute Engine vs. Amazon Web Services cloud: The battle is on

Brandon Butler | Dec. 4, 2013
With news this week that Google Compute Engine cloud is now generally available, the battle in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market has hit a new level. The biggest question is: Can Google give the kingpin of the public IaaS market, Amazon Web Services (AWS), a run for its money?

Google will likely be in this fight for the long-haul and it may push AWS to innovate faster technically. Google's cloud executive hinted to the New York Times that the company hopes to offer a more reliable and higher-performing cloud compared to that of AWS. RightScale, which is a company that allows customers to access public clouds from multiple providers, notes in a blog post that it has been impressed with Google cloud's performance and that one of its customers is using GCE over AWS because of the reliability and scalability.

Here's how Leong, the Gartner analyst puts it: "GCE still lags AWS tremendously in terms of breadth and depth of feature set, of course, but it also has aspects that are immediately more attractive for some workloads. However, it's now at the point where it's a viable alternative to AWS for organizations who are looking to do cloud-native applications, whether they're start-ups or long-established companies."

Google and AWS aren't the only games in town either: Microsoft with its Azure public cloud service is another formidable player. The experience Microsoft has serving enterprise customers cannot be underestimated. Rackspace and IBM are big players in this market, too.

Leong suggests that Microsoft may challenge Amazon in the enterprise market, while Google could challenge AWS more in the startup and mid-size business market. Either way, competitors are zeroing in on the market-leading public IaaS cloud. Given that AWS could generate up to $4 billion in revenue this year on its platform according to some estimates, it can't be surprising that other companies are looking to get in on the action.


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