DevOps Blog - Nicolas Paris

Which Cloud Provider to Start With in 2023


If you are starting to learn about cloud providers in 2023, you may be contemplating which one to choose. To be honest, the main contenders are GCP, AWS, and Azure. It's best to avoid lesser-known providers.

Five years ago, I believed that Google Cloud could outperform other major providers, but reality showed that it couldn't surpass AWS and Azure. However, GCP does offer some appealing advantages, like Kubernetes, which clearly won the race in container orchestration, though it didn't provide a significant boost to cloud providers overall. Every other provider had to adopt Kubernetes to remain competitive. This was a big win for Kubernetes but didn't lead to substantial gains for GCP.

In contrast, Azure maintains an edge with its strong Windows integration. Setting up a Windows 11 instance in Google Cloud can be cumbersome due to the BYOL requirement, while Azure makes it simple by allowing you to start an instance with the image, and adding GPU drivers is straightforward through the extension system.

Azure File Share is another feature that stands out in Azure and is not as easily available in Google Cloud. It enables you to mount an SMB share, even as small as 5GB if necessary. Additionally, Google Cloud lacks a simple multi-node RW system for Kubernetes, and its Persistent Disk doesn't support multi-node capability.

Furthermore, Azure excels with its Active Directory, which is widely used in enterprises. This is a significant advantage for Azure, as it offers better integration with the enterprise world. While I do appreciate GCP, I have to admit that Azure has some appealing features.

Google Cloud, on the other hand, offers some cool features like Big Query, but its usage is quite specific, which means you might use GCP just for that purpose, like ingesting data into GCP solely for Big Query.

As for AWS, I don't have enough knowledge to provide a detailed comparison.

In 2023, if you are starting with a cloud provider, consider going for AWS or Azure, perhaps Azure as the first choice, but not Google Cloud Platform.