Cloud Pricing Comparison: Amazon AWS vs Microsoft Azure vs Google

How can you compare public cloud services pricing from Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform? Perhaps Rightscale can help. The company, which specializes in universal cloud management, has released a comprehensive look at compute cloud prices across Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform

No doubt, there are hundreds of potential pricing scenarios for customers and channel partners to consider. It pays to look at the entire Rightscale report. But the company also boils down its findings in four bullets. They stated:

  • If you are not using AWS Reserved Instances and don’t have a Microsoft EA discount for Azure, Google Cloud is going to be cheaper in most scenarios.
  • If you commonly need the performance requirements of local SSD (vs attached storage like Persistent Disk), you’re going to pay a premium for it on Google Cloud.
  • Azure consistently matches or beats AWS on price for on-demand.
  • AWS is likely not going to be the cheapest in most of these scenarios but it is often in the middle.

AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud Pricing Comparison: Gutsy Move

Rightscale made a gutsy move releasing the findings this week. Thousands of customers and partners are in Las Vegas attending Amazon’s AWS re:Invent conference.

Amazon slashed some cloud prices last week ahead of the conference. And each of the three major public cloud IaaS providers seems committed to ongoing price cuts.

While AWS and Azure are considered the market share leaders, Google apparently is using price to win customer and partner attention. The search giant also has invested heavily in artificial intelligence and big data cloud systems — though Microsoft and Amazon are making their own moves in those markets as well.

The Bigger Issue: Cloud Cost Management

In addition to comparing prices, partners and customers would be wise to investigate cloud cost management  and billing management systems.

Indeed, many customers are discovering runaway cloud costs — especially after investigating cloud consumption and spending trends within company departments like HR, finance, marketing and sales.

To get a handle on costs and billing management, MSP-centric offerings like ConnectWise CloudConsole and Autotask CSP Boss have growing footprints. Also, watch for Cloudyn’s MSP and referral programs to make a splash at this week’s AWS conference. Tools like CloudMGRCloudCheckrCloudAbility, Kaseya Command 365, SpiceWorks and Unigma also have turned some heads in the channel.

The key takeaway: Even after you investigate public cloud costs from Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, partners and customers need to stay on top of the recurring costs every month…


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    Mike Sanders:

    Don’t forget that Azure offers Bizspark which gives startups up to $750 a month until they surpass $1M in revenue or 3 years in business. Awesome deal!

      Joe Panettieri:

      I’m sure startups welcome the pricing perk. But I think the discount also reinforces my recent point about cloud computing and The Big Short…. Great to see public clouds growing fast. But I wonder how much of that revenue involves money-losing startups consuming cloud services today — but folding somewhere down the road…


    Jeff Weinman:

    I don’t think CloudConsole, CSP Boss and the like help control costs on advanced cloud services outside of the basic Office 365 subscription licensing. The runaway costs come from the demand and consumption based services like IaaS and cloud VM and storage hybrid networks (extending/expanding on premise networks). Getting control of these unpredictable costs would be a huge benefit toward stronger adoption among SMB / SME in my opinion.

      Joe Panettieri:

      Hey Jeff: I realize SaaS account management (Office 365, Google G Suite, etc.) is far different than IaaS cloud consumption and pricing management. But across the IT channel and SMB sector, you’d be surprised by the number of companies that have no feel for (A) how many SaaS accounts they have and (B) the associated costs. Hence my decision to include CloudConsole- and CSP Boss-type tools in the article.


    kirill Bensonoff:

    Great discussion! I believe Jeff is absolutely correct – CSP Boss and Cloud Console help with billing (not sure if for O365 and/or Azure) however, they don’t help with cost management in IaaS, nor do they help with monitoring, automation or other “RMM” needs. Unigma
    does – we help with cloud billing (both AWS and Azure), Automation, Monitoring and everything else MSPs need to manage AWS, Azure and Google IaaS.

      Joe Panettieri:

      We’re in agreement re: SaaS vs. IaaS management tools. On the SaaS front (mostly billing mgmt) my point is rather basic: If partners and their customers don’t know their ongoing per-user SaaS costs then they can’t take steps to manage those costs…

    Jeff Weinman:

    Good point Joe. I do find that surprising that many companies do not know their SaaS accounts and costs. Yikes!


    Don’t even bother yourself to compare AWS, Azure and Google head-to-head. It makes no sense unless you know what resources you need. As you can see on the diagrams here there is no particular “cheaper” cloud service. However, you can easily figure out what is cheaper for your needs if you know what resources you are going to consume.

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