IaaS: EC2 vs Google Compute Engine
Arguably, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the most important cloud computing vertical. Within that, in terms of services and features, AWS enjoys the top position, while Google Cloud Platform is slowly catching up. In this post, we’ll discuss the main differences between Amazon’s EC2 and Google Compute Engine (GCE).
EC2 vs Google Compute Engine: Regions
Amazon EC2 is spread across 11 different regions: Northern Virginia, Oregon, Northern California, Ireland, Germany, Singapore, Tokyo, China, Sau Paulo, Sydney, and US GovCloud.
Google Compute Engine is spread across 3 different regions: us-central1, Europe-west1, and asia-east1. Google does not officially reveal the exact locations of these zones. However, according to this post from Gigaom, us-central1 translates to Oklahoma, and Europe-west1 is in Ireland.
EC2 vs Google Compute Engine: Compute Capacity
AWS Instance types are optimized for different types of workloads, like Compute, Storage, Memory, and GPU. Instance types are divided into different “families” like m3 (balanced), c4 (compute optimized), and t2 (baseline level). In its current form, there is a total of 28 instances types. The use of previous generation instances is not recommended due to performance limitations.
Just like AWS, Google Compute Engine also offers instances based on workload type.
Currently, GCE instances are divided into 4 types:
- Standard machine types
- High CPU machine types
- High memory machine types
- Small machine types.
GCE offers a total of 17 instance types.
|Amazon EC2||Google Compute Engine|
|Type||Minimum Computing Capacity||Maximum Computing Capacity||Minimum Computing Capacity||Maximum Computing Capacity|
|General / Standard Purpose||1vCPU/3.75GB Memory||8vCPU/30GB Memory||1vCPU/3.75GB Memory||32vCPU/120MB Memory|
|Compute Optimized / High CPU Instance Type||2vCPU/3.75GB Memory||36vCPU/60GB Memory||2vCPU/1.80GB Memory||32vCPU/28.8 Memory|
|Memory Optimized/ High Memory Instance Type||2vCPU/15.25GB Memory||32vCPU/244GB Memory||2vCPU/13GB Memory||32vCPU/208GB Memory|
|Shared Core||1vCPU/1GB Memory||2vCPU/4GB Memory||1vCPU/0.60GB Memory||1vCPU/1.70GB Memory|
|Storage Optimized||4vCPU/30.5GB Memory||32vCPU/244GB Memory||N/A||N/A|
|GPU Optimized||8vCPU/15GB Memory||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Note: This is a high-level comparison table. Instances internal might vary.
EC2 vs Google Compute Engine: Pricing
Amazon EC2 offers three types of pricing models:
- On-demand – pay for compute capacity by the hour with no long term commitments.
- Reserved instances – maximize savings by purchasing reserved instances that meet your long term business needs. Reserved instance prices are determined by 4 factors : term (1 or 3 year), operating system, region, and payment options (no upfront, partial upfront, all upfront).
- Spot instances – bid for instances using a supply and demand model.
Google Compute Engine machine types are charged for a minimum of 10 minutes’ use. After 10 minutes, instances are charged in 1-minute increments, rounded up to the nearest minute. GCE offers both on-demand and sustained usage pricing models. The sustained usage pricing model provides discounts if your instance is used for more than 25% of a month. To maximize savings, GCE also offers inferred instances, i.e., it combines multiple, non-overlapping instances of the same instance type in the same zone into a single instance for billing.
EC2 vs Google Compute Engine: Security Groups, Network ACLs, and Firewalls
As AWS instances are now provisioned within VPCs, Amazon provides the benefit of both Security Groups and Network ACLs. With Security Groups – working as whitelists – you control incoming and outgoing traffic at the instance level. Network ACLs, on the other hand, work at subnet level, and allow or deny specific IP addresses or networks.
Similarly, Google Compute Engine firewalls regulate outgoing traffic from instances using iptables. Google’s Firewall is also a whitelist service.
EC2 vs Google Compute Engine: Load Balancing
Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) allows you load balance incoming traffic among your backend instances in multiple availability zones (within a single region). This traffic distribution to backend instances happens using a weighted round robin algorithm. Apart from load balancing incoming traffic, ELB also offers session stickiness, cross-zone load balancing, and SSL termination. ELB works with AWS’s auto-scaling and supports IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, HTTP and TCP load balancing, and logging.
Google Compute Engine also offers a load balancer. In addition to distributing incoming traffic between backend instances, unlike AWS, it allows balancing between regions, supports content-based routing, and does not require pre-warming.
EC2 vs Google Compute Engine: Storage
Amazon EC2 provides Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volumes for persistent storage. These EBS volumes are offered in 3 types: Magnetic volumes, General Purpose SSD volumes, and Provisioned IOPS SSD volumes. AWS just increased the performance limits on EBS volumes to 16TB capacity with a peak of 20,000 IOPS/volume and 320 MBps max throughput/volume. EBS volumes can be attached to one instance at a time. Amazon also recently enabled encryption for EBS volumes.
Google Compute Engine offers persistent disk storage, available as both standard (HDD) and solid-state (SSD). All data written to disk in Compute Engine is encrypted on the fly and then transmitted and stored in encrypted form. GCE’s Persistent Disks (PD) can be mounted read-write by one VM or read-only by many VMs. Google persistent disk storage offers 3000 Read IOPS/volume and 15,000 Write IOPS/volume for standard disks and 10,000 Read IOPS/volume and 15,000 Write IOPS/volume for Solid-state persistent disks. Each persistent disk can be up to 10TB in size.
EC2 vs Google Compute Engine: Service Level Agreement
Amazon EC2 offers a service level agreement guaranteeing a monthly uptime percentage of 99.95%. If your actual monthly uptime percentage is less than 99.95%, but equal to or greater than 99.0%, Amazon EC2 offers 10% service credit. For less than 99.0%, you receive 30% service credit.
Google Compute Engine also offers a service level agreement ensuring at least 99.95% uptime. If your monthly uptime percentage is between 99.00% – 99.95%, 10% financial credit is received. For 95.00% – 99.00%, 25% financial credit is received. For anything less than 95.00%, you’ll receive a 50% credit.
EC2 vs Google Compute Engine: Operating System Support
Amazon EC2 supports a wide range of operating systems, including Amazon Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Debian, SUSE, Ubuntu, Oracle Enterprise Linux, FreeBSD, and Windows (2003 R2, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012).
Google Compute Engine supports CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Debian, SUSE, Ubuntu, and Windows Server 2008R2. Windows Server support is in beta mode.
There is obviously more to making a full feature and performance comparison of EC2 vs Google Compute Engine, but this is hopefully a good start. AWS and Google both provide plenty of documentation that will allow you to dig much deeper to answer your specific questions.
WARNING: Great Cloud Content Ahead
At Cloud Academy, content is at the heart of what we do. We work with the world’s leading cloud and operations teams to develop video courses and learning paths that accelerate teams and drive digital transformation. First and foremost, we listen to our customers’ needs and we stay ahea...
Excelling in AWS, Azure, and Beyond – How Danut Prisacaru Prepares for the Future
Meet Danut Prisacaru. Danut has been a Software Architect for the past 10 years and has been involved in Software Engineering for 30 years. He’s passionate about software and learning, and jokes that coding is basically the only thing he can do well (!). We think his enthusiasm shines t...
New Content: AWS Data Analytics – Specialty Certification, Azure AI-900 Certification, Plus New Learning Paths, Courses, Labs, and More
This month our Content Team released two big certification Learning Paths: the AWS Certified Data Analytics - Speciality, and the Azure AI Fundamentals AI-900. In total, we released four new Learning Paths, 16 courses, 24 assessments, and 11 labs. New content on Cloud Academy At any ...
New Content: Azure DP-100 Certification, Alibaba Cloud Certified Associate Prep, 13 Security Labs, and Much More
This past month our Content Team served up a heaping spoonful of new and updated content. Not only did our experts release the brand new Azure DP-100 Certification Learning Path, but they also created 18 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At any time, y...
AWS Certification Practice Exam: What to Expect from Test Questions
If you’re building applications on the AWS cloud or looking to get started in cloud computing, certification is a way to build deep knowledge in key services unique to the AWS platform. AWS currently offers 12 certifications that cover major cloud roles including Solutions Architect, De...
Overcoming Unprecedented Business Challenges with AWS
From auto-scaling applications with high availability to video conferencing that’s used by everyone, every day — cloud technology has never been more popular or in-demand. But what does this mean for experienced cloud professionals and the challenges they face as they carve out a new p...
Constant Content: Cloud Academy’s Q3 2020 Roadmap
Hello — Andy Larkin here, VP of Content at Cloud Academy. I am pleased to release our roadmap for the next three months of 2020 — August through October. Let me walk you through the content we have planned for you and how this content can help you gain skills, get certified, and...
New Content: Alibaba, Azure AZ-303 and AZ-304, Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) Foundation, Python 3 Programming, 16 Hands-on Labs, and Much More
This month our Content Team did an amazing job at publishing and updating a ton of new content. Not only did our experts release the brand new AZ-303 and AZ-304 Certification Learning Paths, but they also created 16 new hands-on labs — and so much more! New content on Cloud Academy At...
Blog Digest: Which Certifications Should I Get?, The 12 Microsoft Azure Certifications, 6 Ways to Prevent a Data Breach, and More
This month, we were excited to announce that Cloud Academy was recognized in the G2 Summer 2020 reports! These reports highlight the top-rated solutions in the industry, as chosen by the source that matters most: customers. We're grateful to have been nominated as a High Performer in se...
Which Certifications Should I Get?
The old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and companies. With all that in mind, the s...
New Content: AWS, Azure, Typescript, Java, Docker, 13 New Labs, and Much More
This month, our Content Team released a whopping 13 new labs in real cloud environments! If you haven't tried out our labs, you might not understand why we think that number is so impressive. Our labs are not “simulated” experiences — they are real cloud environments using accounts on A...
Kickstart Your Tech Training With a Free Week on Cloud Academy
Are you looking to make a jump in your technical career? Want to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Kubernetes, Python, or another in-demand skill? Then you'll want to mark your calendar. Starting Monday, June 22 at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), ...