Complete Network Services Comparison: AWS vs Microsoft Azure vs GCP

Network services comparison is another ongoing battle between the big three cloud vendors. Gone are the days when on-premise environments moving to the public cloud was an aspirational goal. Shortly after embarking on the cloud adoption journey, cloudification is becoming a reality.

The pioneers leading the transition to multi-cloud are both solutions architects and application developers. They are the first to adopt cloud-based solutions based on the requirements of their applications.

Cloud solutions architects and application developers have it easy. All that is required of them is to learn functionality for a specific cloud platform. On the other hand, Cloud Network Engineers and Architects have to walk the extra mile.

The network engineers need to learn the effects of the cloud platform. In addition, how it integrates with the on-premises network architectures as well as the existing cloud.

To add more to the complexity, the constant influx of networking features makes it more difficult to stay updated.

What Are The Basics of Cloud Networking?

Before diving into the comparison, let’s take baby steps. Virtual representation of physical data centers inside multiple public clouds or a single public cloud is the core concept in cloud networking. So what does this virtual construct do? Simply put, it can host:

  • Firewalls
  • Access Lists
  • IP Address Subnets
  • Compute Nodes
  • Routing Elements

It is the same as the traditional data centers you know of. The only difference is that it is in the cloud. For example, in cloud networking, you can set up subnets (private or public) for various parts of applications. Such as databases, web services, backend systems, etc.,

Amazon AWS and Google Cloud refer to this construct as VPC (Virtual Private Cloud). Whereas, Microsoft Azure cloud network service goes by the name VNet (Virtual Network).

What is a Virtual Network?

A virtual network can be defined as means of communication between multiple computers, Virtual Servers, Virtual Machines, and other devices that are located at different locations.

How is Virtual Networking different from physical networking? Physical networking uses cables and hardware to connect computers. Whereas, virtual networking utilizes software management to establish a secure connection between servers and computers over the internet.

Imagine it as a “virtual” version of your traditional network tools. This makes routing more efficient and network configuration changes easier.

What are the Advantages of Virtual Networking?

Other than lowering capital expenses, Virtual networking has numerous business benefits. To be more precise, a virtual network:

  • Cuts Maintenance Costs.
  • Boosts Scalability and Flexibility (Through automated configurations, virtual upgrades, and modular changes to applications and appliances on the network).
  • Significantly streamlines the quantity of network hardware.
  • Provides better control over network traffic (ability to configure firewalls at virtual NIC level).
  • Makes it easy to manage network hardware and software through centralized control.
  • Offers automated and remote service activation and performance testing to increase IT productivity.
  • Presents better and more flexible options for configuration and network routing structure.

Virtual Networking provides users with more centralized management and simplified network management. As disparate parts of a network can remotely be accessed as needed, a virtual network simply makes things a whole lot easier.

Common Networking Services by AWS, Azure, and GCP

The table below shows comparable services offered by AWS, Azure, and GCP. These services are made to cover the general computing needs of end-users. However, there is a difference in how each service is implemented in its cloud platform. In addition, there are individual features for each service.

ServiceAmazon AWSMicrosoft AzureGoogle Cloud
Virtual NetworkVirtual Private Cloud (VPC)Virtual Network (Vnet)Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
CDNAmazon CloudFrontAzure Content Delivery Network (CDN)Cloud CDN
Direct ConnectionAWS Direct ConnectAzure ExpressRouteGoogle Cloud Interconnect
FirewallAWS Firewall/Web Application FirewallAzure FirewallGoogle Cloud Firewall
DNSRoute 53Azure DNSGoogle Cloud DNS
Load BalancingElastic Load BalancerAzure Load BalancerGoogle Cloud Load Balancing

How to Connect Public Cloud to On-Premises?

There are two types of connectivity you can get from clouds to on-prem. They are public and private.

1. Public Connection From On-Perm: Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud

Public connection from on-perm are pretty straightforward. The process is carried over through the internet with the help of BGP and IPSec. It is normal for IPSec connections to terminate directly into private gateways inside the VNet/VPC. Moreover, it can terminate into a cloud transit such as Transit Gateway for Amazon AWS and Azure’s Transit VNet. When working with transit-type connectivity, it is possible to install a third-party router or appliance and transit through it directly into the cloud.

2. Private Connection From On-Perm: Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud

Private connection from on-perm into the cloud is generally extended from the end user’s router residing within a physical data center. The service is offered by all 3: AWS, Azure, and GCP. However, the only element that differs is the name. Azure calls it ExpressRoute, Google Cloud goes by Dedicated Interconnect, and AWS named it Direct Connect.

The Verdict – Network Services Comparison

Before selecting a Network service provider, it is important to assess your business needs. Amazon Aws, Microsoft Azure, and GCP all offer high performance, scalability, and security.

These big three companies offer a global network of interconnected data centers to offer users high fault tolerance, sufficient network redundancy, and low latency.

You can easily leverage networking services from Aws, Azure, or GCP, for launching compute resources. Therefore, understanding your requirements will help you reduce costs, improve performance, and enhance capabilities.

Comparing cloud service providers can be a rewarding experience. To clarify, even if you are new to the world of the cloud, you learn a lot through a simple comparison. At Skillcurb, we aim to create concise and informational content and material for you to get the “right” knowledge.