The migration of enterprises to cloud computing continues at an astonishing rate. Companies are increasingly seeking out the benefits offered by cloud technologies above and beyond on-premise deployments.

With cloud providers delivering ever-increasing improvements in cost savings, scalability, security, and business continuity, this trend is only set to accelerate.

The cloud computing market is now a vast ecosystem of providers, technologies, products, and services. Gartner forecasts that user spending on public cloud will grow by 20.4% in 2024, to a total of $678.8 billion.

2022 2023 2024
Cloud Application Infrastructure Services (PaaS) 119,579 145,320 176,493
Cloud Application Services (SaaS) 174,416 205,221 243,991
Cloud Business Process Services (BPaaS) 61,557 66,339 72,923
Cloud Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) 2,430 2,784 3,161
Cloud System Infrastructure Services (IaaS) 120,333 143,927 182,222
Total Market 478,315 563,592 678,790

Worldwide Public Cloud Services End-User Spending Forecast in millions of U.S. Dollars. (Table Source: Gartner)

Among the thousands of providers, a handful of technology companies have established themselves as household names in the world of cloud computing. When we think about cloud providers, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure are the three industry giants that spring to mind.

Today, we are comparing two of these cloud giants, Google Cloud vs Azure, having already compared Google Cloud vs AWS in a previous article.

In this guide, we explore the complexity of cloud technology, explaining everything in layman’s terms to make it as accessible as possible.

Here at Kinsta, we exclusively use the Google Cloud Platform, but we’ll be providing you with an unbiased opinion.

Why Google Cloud vs Azure?

If you are considering a move to the cloud, it is impossible to research cloud service providers and not uncover Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure as part of that exploration.

Even before the inception of cloud computing, both Google and Microsoft were globally recognized leaders in the technology space. Although delivering different products and services, these cloud giants are renowned for expertise, innovation, and excellence in both hardware and software. It is on this foundation that they have built their cloud platforms to dominate competitors.

In 2023, Gartner described Google and Microsoft in their Magic Quadrant as leaders for strategic cloud platform services. This is defined as standardized and automated public cloud services, including infrastructure and platform services.

gartner magic quadrant
Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, featuring Google and Microsoft. (Image source: Gartner)

Many companies were named as niche players, those who have the potential to move into challengers for leadership roles, but Google and Azure have long dominated these cloud rankings as leaders.

Amazon Web Services – and, to a lesser extent, Oracle – were the only other players to share this accolade.

Gartner said Google’s strengths included its design-elegance, focus on AI integration into cloud spheres, and high sustainability, but cautioned against Google’s track record of releasing preview services without a general release timeline.

Meanwhile, Gartner applauded Azure’s strategic partnerships and hybrid/multicloud integration but warned against vendor lock-in and potential security issues.

Despite any shortcomings, both Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure are some of the strongest players in the industry, and they only continue to expand their reach.

Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure continue to grow

Whether you’re looking at IaaS, SaaS, or PaaS solutions, Google Cloud and Azure offer hundreds of market-leading cloud products and services to choose from. A list that continues to expand as they innovate and evolve to offer greater and more numerous solutions.

Both Google and Microsoft are among the top five public cloud infrastructure providers, who make up 80% of the IaaS market, according to 2022 data from Gartner.

According to Gartner’s measures, Amazon dominates with a 40% market share, and Microsoft comes in second with 21.5%. After Alibaba, with a 7.7% share, Google is close behind with a 7.5% market share of its own.

While Google and Microsoft may not yet dominate the board, they’re slowly growing in market share – particularly Google Cloud, which is on track to get ahead of Alibaba.

Compared to 2018 data from Gartner, Microsoft’s market share, compared to the top five, grew by 6%, while Google’s grew by 3.5%. Meanwhile, Amazon’s shares fell by 7.8%, and Google closed in on Alibaba’s position as the company’s market share stagnated.

Amazon may be at the top of the board, but we can only see if this trend continues.

Google Cloud Platform revenue

Google Cloud has been posting some impressive revenue growth over the past few years, and 2023 was a pretty good year for the company.

In Google’s fourth quarter and fiscal year 2023 results, its ended the year strongly with consolidated revenue of $86 billion, up 13% year over year. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, attributes the company’s success in its services, including Google Cloud, to an investment in AI and other innovative tech.

As far as Google Cloud’s investments, they made the company $9.2 billion that year.

One reason the cloud market is so hard for new players to break into is the high overhead costs, but in 2023 — fifteen years after starting up Google Cloud — Google has finally turned a profit on its venture for the first time.

It goes to show just how tough it can be when one of the top five cloud leaders in the industry is only now making money! And after losing $5.6 billion just in 2020, it’s a clear sign that things are turning around for Google.

It may not be able to compete with AWS just yet – which posted a revenue of 90.8 billion in 2023 – but Google Cloud is becoming a stronger contender by the year.

If you want to know more, make sure you check out our in-depth Google Cloud Platform Market Share guide.

Microsoft Azure revenue

Microsoft’s cloud services are well-established in the industry and have considerable growth potential. Overall, the second-place cloud service has a long way to go to dethrone AWS, but it’s still a fair ways ahead of Google Cloud.

In fiscal year 2023, Microsoft Cloud generated an impressive $110 billion in annual revenue – and Azure made up more than 50% of the share.

Like Google, Microsoft is focused on the value AI has to offer and has been quick to incorporate it in its strategy. There’s no doubt that AI has influenced its success – compared to Amazon, which was slow to get behind the new tech and is now losing market share.

Some even speculate that Azure could overtake Amazon by 2026, but time will tell if this is true.

With Google Cloud’s newfound success, it’s sure to remain a strong competitor to Azure.

Google Cloud vs Azure: features comparison

Comparing and contrasting Google Cloud vs. Azure features can be difficult and time-consuming. Each provider now offers more than 200+ cloud products. Even if they offer the same service, it often has a different name for their comparative product, making it easy to get lost in the details.

Thankfully, the two platforms are very similar, with Google Cloud Platform and Azure Platform products grouped into related categories. Google has also mapped equivalent Google Cloud and Azure services.

To save you time and provide clarity, we have done the hard work of comparing the most popular products from key categories.

In this section, we’ll cover the foundations of cloud deployment, including compute, storage, networking, and security — all of which we use here at Kinsta to deliver our state-of-the-art scalable hosting for our clients, helping us become one of the fastest-growing hosts in Europe and America.

So, let’s get started:


In this first category, we focus on virtual machines (VMs). Let’s compare and contrast the setups of Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.

At a glance, each provider adopts a similar approach to VMs, which form a fundamental part of any cloud environment and will run almost every type of customer workload.

The cloud giants have different naming conventions for VMs. They are known as Azure virtual machines on Microsoft Azure and Compute Engine on the Google Cloud Platform.

There are also various other equivalent compute services, which we’ve mapped out below.

Product Google Cloud Platform Microsoft Azure
Core Compute Compute Engine Azure Virtual Machines
GPUs Cloud GPUs GPU Optimized VMs
Machine Learning Cloud TPU Azure Virtual Machines
Autoscaling Compute Engine Autoscaler Azure Autoscale, Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets
SSH Management OS Login N/A
Block Storage Persistent Disk Azure Managed Disks
Browser SSH SSH from the browser Azure Bastion
VM Management VM Manager N/A

A comparison of equivalent cloud compute products for Google Cloud vs Azure. (Table Source: Google)

Both Azure VMs and Compute Engine are free to try, so don’t hesitate to try them out.

VM features

While provisioning VMs in Compute Engine and Azure, you’ll discover that the platforms offer many of the same features. You’ll be able to:

  • Deploy and terminate VM instances on-demand with autoscaling.
  • Install a range of available operating systems on your VM.
  • Quickly set up a VM with preset configurations.
  • Use boot disk images to create VM instances.
  • Manage VM instances, even entire VM fleets, free of restrictions.
  • Tag your VMs for ease of identification.

VM access

When it comes to VM access, Google Cloud and Azure differ in key ways, depending on the type of machine you are using.

With Google’s Compute Engine, you can:

  • Connect to Linux VMs via SSH.
  • Connect to Windows VMs using RDP, SAC, PowerShell, or (currently experimental) SSH.
  • Use SSH-in-browser from Google Cloud’s console, allowing direct access to your Linux VMs without needing to install extra software.

And with Azure, you have these options:

  • Connect to Linux VMs via SSH or Remote Desktop.
  • Connect to Windows VMs using Remote Desktop, SSH, or WinRM.
  • Connect to Azure DevTest Labs VMs through a browser using Azure Bastion.

Both allow you to create SSH keys on the fly. Compute Engine allows you to use SSH from your browser for any type of Linux VM, and Azure currently has a more stable form of Windows SSH access.

VM types

Both Google and Microsoft offer hundreds of virtual machine types that can be deployed in many different configurations. You can scale your VM resources to meet demand, increasing the number of CPUs and GB of RAM to extremely high-end specifications. These currently top out with:

  • Google Compute Engine M3 machine series VMs scaling up to 128 vCPUs and 4 TB of RAM, or 416 vCPUs and 11,776 GB of RAM on its M2 machine series.
  • Microsoft Azure Mv2-series VMs scaling up to 416 vCPUs and 11,400 GB of RAM.

Both platforms share the same categorization of machine types to help in your resource selection. Depending on your requirements, you can choose machine types from shared core, general purpose, memory-optimized, compute-optimized, storage optimized, GPU, and high-performance categories.

While Azure outdoes Google in the sheer amount of VM types offered, Compute Engine allows for custom resource configuration.

Azure and Compute Engine regularly add new VM types, each numbering several hundred. For a complete list of each service, see Azure Linux Virtual Machines, Azure Windows Virtual Machines, and Compute Engine Machine Types.


Google Cloud and Azure continue to leverage and expand their own network infrastructures, working with partners to interconnect their globally deployed data centers. They have ambitious expansion plans and offer state-of-the-art networking services to offer high-speed connectivity across virtual machines, other cloud services, and on-premises servers.

In this section, we’ll explore the core networking products offered by Google and Microsoft, as well as a quick look at availability and latency.

Product Google Cloud Platform Microsoft Azure
CDN Cloud CDN, Media CDN Azure Front Door
Domains and DNS Cloud DNS, Cloud Domains Azure DNS, N/A
Load Balancing Cloud Load Balancing Azure Load Balancer
Dedicated Interconnection Cloud Interconnect Azure ExpressRoute
VPN Cloud VPN Azure Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Network Connectivity Network Connectivity Center, Private Service Connect Azure Virtual WAN, Azure Private Link
Network Monitoring Network Intelligence Center Azure Network Watcher
Tiers Network Service Tiers Internet egress
Service Meshes Traffic Director Open Service Mesh
Services discovery (DNS) Service Directory Hashicorp Consul Service on Azure
Virtual Networks Virtual Private Cloud Azure Virtual Network

A comparison of equivalent cloud networking products for Google Cloud vs Azure. (Table Source: Google)


Google Cloud and Azure each offer a global network of data centers across multiple regions, countries, and locations. Each provider has distinct availability zones, which are great for redundancy, fault tolerance, and low latency.

Google Cloud network locations are currently available in 40+ regions, 120+ zones, and 200+ countries. The service is constantly expanding into new regions, and has set its sights on the likes of New Zealand, Mexico, and Sweden.

A look at Google Cloud network locations.
A look at Google Cloud network locations.

Microsoft Azure network locations are currently available in a broader range of 60+ regions with 300+ data centers worldwide.

Microsoft Azure network locations.
Microsoft Azure network locations.


Both Google and Azure offer a similar Content Delivery Network (CDN) solution, helping you to reduce load times, save bandwidth, and speed responsiveness of your applications, websites, and services.

The Google Cloud CDN, alongside the Media CDN, utilizes Google’s vast edge network to speed up and secure content.

Azure actually offers two CDNs: Azure Content Delivery Network and the new Azure Front Door. The latter is a more modern offering with different features, and you can view the full comparison.

Each CDN provides deep integration with its native platforms, offering advanced logging and monitoring, as well as a number of security solutions designed to offer resilience against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Dedicated interconnection

In certain situations, you may find your on-premises-to-cloud VPN doesn’t provide the speed or security needed for certain workloads. In this scenario, you can turn to Azure and Google to lease a high-speed network line with guaranteed capacity.

Both platforms offer a range of services:

Carrier peering

Carrier peering is a form of dedicated interconnection to the cloud provider through a third-party provider from which you lease a line. Azure’s offering is ExpressRoute, while Google has Cloud Interconnect.

Each provider offers connection speeds up to 100 Gbps, and both have access to hundreds of providers. You can connect to these using a virtual private cloud, protecting and transferring data anywhere in the world.

Direct peering

Google and Azure both offer a form of direct peering: with Google, you use Direct Peering, while with Azure, you have access to Azure Peering Service.

This service allows for a direct connection between your business network and Google or Microsoft’s edge network without a third-party service in the middle. You’re plugged directly into the company’s services, allowing the exchange of high-throughput cloud traffic.

In Google’s case, this is available in more than 100 locations and 33 countries across the globe, while Microsoft has nearly 30 partners available to route you to its servers faster.

Content delivery network peering

Google also offers content CDN peering, which allows you to directly connect your cloud resources to a CDN provider using Google’s network edge locations. Google supports this for several CDN providers via its CDN Interconnect service.

As of right now, Azure doesn’t offer a competitive CDN peering product. It does support dedicated connections to the Microsoft and Edgio (formerly Verizon) CDNs within its Azure CDN service.


A DNS service converts your human-readable domain names into the IP addresses that servers use to communicate with each other.

Both Google Cloud and Azure offer managed DNS services that scale in the cloud – known as Azure DNS and Cloud DNS. Almost identical in features, both support most common DNS record types and anycast-based serving.

There is one notable difference: Azure DNS still has yet to adopt DNSSEC support seven years after Google introduced it. Plans have been made in the feature backlog, but no date yet.

Load balancing

Google Cloud and Azure each offer load balancing services to help you distribute traffic across multiple instances. This has the aim of improving availability and fault tolerance. Let’s take a high-level look at some of the ways they provide this using different load balancing types:

HTTP(S) load balancing

Azure and Google offer layer 7 load balancing, helping you distribute client requests at the application layer to achieve more sophisticated routing than layer 4 load balancing can provide.

TCP/UDP load balancing

Both platforms also support layer 4 load balancing, distributing your client requests within a region at the networking transport layer.

SSL load balancing

Both providers also support SSL load balancing, offering you encryption and decryption of any data trafficked to or from your services.

Virtual networks

You can create isolated and secure virtual networks on both Azure and Google Cloud. Each platform offers you the capability to deploy multiple networks, which can be further segmented into smaller subnetworks. VMs deployed in these virtual networks will have the capacity to communicate across subnets without further configuration.

The Azure offering is referred to as Azure Virtual Network, while the Google service is known as Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), both of them global private networks.

Both of these are just about equivalent in features, including a global scope, shared networking/network peering, and a VPN.


The Google Cloud Platform offers Network Service Tiers as part of its product offering, allowing you to optimize your network on performance and price. Google was the first major public cloud provider to introduce a tiered cloud network service offering.

Through Google, you can select between a Premium and Standard tier. Opting for the Premium tier gives you access to Google’s high-performance, low-latency, highly reliable global network. The service routes your traffic through the fastest paths with the fewest hops to speed transport and improve security. You also access additional networking services such as global load balancing and are protected by a Global SLA.

Google Cloud Platform Premium Tier
Google Cloud Platform Premium Tier

If you opt for the Standard tier, you’ll connect to a lower performance network, which is comparable to other public cloud providers. Your networking services, like load balancing, will be regional, and you’ll not have a Global SLA. This a choice for you if cost is a consideration, where you’re willing to sacrifice performance.

Google Cloud Platform Standard Tier
Google Cloud Platform Standard Tier

We understand the importance of speed in service. That’s why we here at Kinsta utilize Google Cloud Platform’s premium tier for all of our clients. This ensures lightning-fast load times, minimizes traceroute hops, and decreases the distance your data has to travel.

Azure now offers a similar service via internet egress, either through Microsoft’s premium global network or through a routing preference transit ISP network.

The setup is very similar to Google Cloud, with both using a similar pricing model: you’re charged based on how much data you use and the source continent, though Google Cloud provides over 200 free GBs per month while Azure provides only 100.


Understanding the different storage and disk types your cloud provider utilizes is critically important. These devices directly impact expected throughput (IO), max IOPs per volume/instance, and the ability to burst capacity for short periods, which have a significant influence on performance.

Take a look at the equivalent storage options Google Cloud and Azure offer.

Product Google Cloud Platform Microsoft Azure
Block Storage Persistent Disk Azure Disk Storage
File Storage Filestore Azure Files
Infrequently Accessed Object Storage Cloud Storage Archive Azure Archive Storage
Object Storage Cloud Storage Azure Blob Storage

A comparison of equivalent storage products for Google Cloud vs Azure. (Table Source: Google)

When comparing Google Cloud vs Microsoft Azure storage, we are focusing on the primary storage options: block storage and object storage.

Block storage

Block storage is essentially a virtual disk running on a cloud-based virtual machine. Google Cloud delivers block storage utilizing persistent disks – offering SSD and HDD storage up to 64 TB – which can attach to instances running on Compute Engine or Google Kubernetes Engine.

Microsoft Azure delivers its block storage solution via Azure Disk Storage, an equivalent feature, with SSDs and HDDs ranging from four to 64 TBs available. This was specifically made to pair with Azure Virtual Machines and VMware.

Both these services are very similar. Each offers network-attached disk volumes and the ability to attach local disks should the need arise.

Distributed object storage

Distributed object storage is a way of storing data as objects, also referred to as blobs. Each object comprises the data itself, some metadata, and a key acting as a unique identifier. Object storage can be implemented at multiple levels, including the device, system, and interface levels.

The distributed object storage offering from Azure is called Azure Blob Storage, and Google Cloud offers Cloud Storage. They are similar in many ways, using unique keys to identify objects, and support metadata information that includes object size, date of last modification, and media type. They both support the functionality to edit and add custom metadata fields and are most commonly used for data types including static web content and media.

Each platform supports additional features, including object encryption, replication, versioning, lifecycle management, and change notifications.

They also each support an uptime service level agreement (SLA) and have policies in place to credit you should they not meet these requirements – though Google’s SLA is much easier to track down and not buried in a large document among hundreds of other policies.

You can find their policies and guarantees in the Azure Storage SLA and the Cloud Storage SLA.


When we talk about cloud security, we are focusing on the underlying technologies, controls, processes, and policies which combine to protect your cloud-based systems, data, and infrastructure.

Microsoft and Google are renowned for their deep commitment to providing the highest levels of cloud security. Each provider continues to evolve a security model built on a development history spanning more than a decade.

At a high level, they deliver cloud security in three ways:

  • Security of the cloud platform – delivering security capabilities that are built into the infrastructure of the cloud platform, providing protection by default.
  • Security in the cloud platform – delivering security products and services within the platform that can be configured to protect your applications and data.
  • Security anywhere – expanding security capabilities beyond the cloud platform to protect your assets regardless of location.

To this end, they both provide a wide selection of security-focused products. Here’s a comparison of a few of them.

Product Google Cloud Platform Microsoft Azure
Firewall, DDoS Protection Google Cloud Armor, Google Cloud Armor Managed Protection Plus, Cloud Firewall Azure Web Application Firewall (WAF), Azure DDoS Protection, Azure Firewall
Certificate Management Certificate Authority Service N/A
Container Security Artifact Registry, Artifact Analysis Azure Container Registry, Azure Defender for container registries
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Sensitive Data Protection (including Cloud Data Loss Prevention and DLP API) Azure Information Protection
Encryption Confidential Computing Azure Confidential Computing
Identity Access Management Cloud Identity, Identity and Access Management Microsoft Entra ID (Azure AD), Azure Identity Management
Resource Access Management Organization Policy Service Azure Policy
Security and Risk Management Security Command Center Microsoft Defender for Cloud

A comparison of equivalent security products for Google Cloud vs Azure. (Table Source: Google)

In this section, we compare some of the key features of Google Cloud security vs Azure security.


With the continuing rise in regulatory control of information by governments and industry, compliance of your cloud platform is critical. Both Google and Azure implement stringent security policies and processes ensuring they meet some of the toughest compliance requirements including CSA STAR, GDPR, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and a range of ISO standards.

Google and Azure both have impressive compliance offerings: Google compliance meets over 170+ certifications and standards, while Azure compliance stands at 110+ certifications.


Encryption of your data is a critical requirement, regardless of whether it’s in the cloud. Encoding the data ensures that – should it be intercepted – it is almost impossible to decipher without a decryption key.

Within their cloud infrastructure, Azure and Google Cloud support encryption by default, using 256-bit AES. They also offer you the ability to control your own encryption keys and deliver encryption at rest and in transit. Google refers to its service as the Cloud Key Management Service, while Microsoft refers to its Azure service as Key Vault.


Firewalls provide the first line of network defense for any infrastructure. Both Google Cloud and Azure provide state-of-the-art firewalls, offering you configuration capabilities through firewall rules so you can control who has access to the network.

Azure offers additional firewall-as-a-service products, including its Azure Firewall, Azure Web Application Firewall, and Azure Firewall Manager, all of which are cloud-native.

Meanwhile, Google’s Cloud Firewall embeds its security systems firmly in the cloud, protecting all your most important assets, while Cloud Armor acts as a Web Application Firewall (WAF) and DDoS protection bundled in one.

At Kinsta, we understand the importance of security. It’s built into our architecture from the ground up, using the Google Cloud platform to deliver secure WordPress hosting for all our clients. In addition, Kinsta delivers another security layer completely isolating each account and WordPress site using Linux containers (LXC), and LXD to orchestrate them.

Kinsta Architecture
Kinsta Architecture

Identity access management

An identity access management (IAM) system will give you control over who can access your system, stopping unwanted visitors at the front door.

Both providers offer an in-built IAM system, Google has Cloud Identity and Microsoft has Entra ID. They combine a similar range of features and functionality that include user roles, access policies, and multi-factor authentication.

These deliver full control over who has access to your applications and data, what they can access, and what they can do to your data.

Shared responsibility

Security in the cloud is a shared responsibility. A key factor in maintaining your cloud security is in understanding the division between which security tasks remain with you, and which are handled by the provider.

Both Azure and Google Cloud Platform have clear shared responsibility models that help you understand who does what.

First, at Google Cloud, you can see how Google divvies up responsibilities. While its primarily responsible for its SaaS and PaaS offerings and a fair bit of its IaaS offerings, you’re 100% responsible for on-premises security.

Google Cloud Platform Shared Responsibility Model
Google Cloud Platform Shared Responsibility Model.

As for Azure, it takea a very similar stance for division of responsibility, though Azure makes it even more clear which exact features are its problem and which are shared with you.

Azure Cloud Platform Shared Responsibility Model
Azure Cloud Platform Shared Responsibility Model.


Google and Microsoft invest heavily in the continued employment and expansion of their security departments. By working to attract and retain the very best talent in the cybersecurity sector, each provider ensures the continued evolution and improvement of their cloud security services.

Though Microsoft focuses on security and employs cybersecurity experts, including those part of its Cyber Defense Operations Center, Azure itself hasn’t lived up to these claims with several devastating cyberattacks and breaches.

Meanwhile, Google Cloud has had a much better track record, and its Cybersecurity Action Team seems to live up much more to its name. Google also released a security whitepaper that outlines in detail how it and its team protect your data.

Both providers also actively tap the expertise of the wider cybersecurity market through their respective Azure Bounty Program and Google Bug Hunters, offering financial rewards upwards of $1 million for any uncovered security weaknesses.

Support and uptime

When deploying a cloud service, you may run into situations where you need additional guidance and support. In addition, the uptime of your website and services is critical to your business.

Let’s look at what Google Cloud and Azure do to keep your sites up and running.


Both Google Cloud and Azure offer extensive documentation on how to configure, deploy, and maintain their range of cloud services.

In addition, both providers offer community support platforms that are home to a vast network of cloud users and experts. These forums have topics that span tutorials, discussions, and meetups.

Below are links to the respective documentation and community support portals:

But eventually, you’re bound to run into an emergency situation where you’ll need the in-depth guidance of an expert. In this situation, it’s better to have an official support solution in place direct from the cloud provider.

Both Azure and Google Cloud offer cloud support plans. Read and understand the plans and associated fees to ensure you get the service you need at a price you can afford.

Google Cloud support plans

Google Cloud offers three types of support plans (besides a free basic plan) through its Google Cloud Customer Care platform: Standard, Enhanced, and Premium support.

With the Standard package, you get unlimited English-language access to tech support across multiple channels. If you just need a bit of extra help with your in-dev project as you adjust to a new platform, this is the one for you. At an affordable $29/month plus 3% of monthly charges, anyone can get help from Google’s engineers.

Then there’s Enhanced support. The price is much steeper — $500/month plus 3% of monthly charges — but you get 24/7 service, multi-language support, escalations, and even support when using third-party technology. It’s best for more advanced productions with larger teams in need of priority support.

Finally, there’s Premium support—and this is where it gets pricey, even requiring its own pricing calculator. At $12.5K/month plus 4% of monthly charges, this can get steep. But for enterprises that require lightning-fast support, account management, and training credits for their organization, it’s a great investment.

Besides all that, you can also tack on services to your plan like a technical account advisor, mission critical services, and assured support.

Azure support plans

There are 4 Azure support plans available (alongside a free, basic plan): Developer, Standard, Professional Direct, and Enterprise.

At a flat $29/month, the Developer plan is best for non-production environments and smaller projects. Third-party software support is offered, though only during business hours and via email.

The Standard plan is $100/month and is better for larger production projects thanks to its 24/7 support access with much faster response times.

The Professional Direct plan costs $1,000/month and is a much bigger step up, further decreasing response time and offering guidance from skilled ProDirect Delivery Managers.

Finally, there’s enterprise support through Microsoft Unified, which gets you access to top-class support services around the clock – and countless other enterprise-grade optimizations and enhancements.

First-class expert support is critical for any service.

That’s why Kinsta’s entire support team are highly-skilled WordPress and Linux engineers. You gain access to experts who are active contributors in WordPress core, plugin developers, and open source enthusiasts. You get the same level of premium support whether you’re an SME or a Fortune 500 company – making our support service second to none.


Outages will have a negative impact on the productivity of your business, with staff unable to access key systems and customers unable to make purchases.

Within their terms, Google Cloud and Azure SLAs for core products provide a monthly uptime of 99.99% – such as compute and storage. Of course, no provider is perfect and so downtimes will occur.

To keep track of the service status – critical in an outage – you can check each cloud provider’s current performance through these dashboards:

If you’re interested in tracking past incidents, including their causes and duration, both providers offer an incident status history:

That being said, both providers have exemplary performance so the likelihood of outages is minimal. With the global presence of Google Cloud and Azure networks across hundreds of regions and locations, both providers offer a robust failover option even in the event of widespread outages.

Billing and pricing

Pricing is one of the most difficult aspects of comparing cloud providers. There are so many variables, and every provider offers a unique approach to pricing and billing.

Below are just a few variables that will influence your cloud costs, making direct comparisons between providers a real challenge:

  • Virtual machines – number of instances, number of CPUs, GB of RAM required, operating system.
  • Storage disks – type of data, size of storage, redundancy requirements.
  • Subscription model – purchasing by the second, minute, hour, day, month, or year.
  • Payment model – opting for pay-as-you-go, reserved instances, or a long-term contract mode.
  • Location – where your data center is located.

To further complicate the challenge, many cloud providers don’t have a straightforward way of calculating costs.

To help, we’re going to provide you with some tools, information, and guidance so you can get started with your own personalized Google Cloud vs Azure pricing comparison.

Google Cloud vs Azure pricing comparison

As you will see from the Google Cloud and Azure product pages, there are hundreds of different services to choose from. With each product having its own overview and pricing sections, you can quickly lose track of potential costs, even when pairing just a few compute and storage resources.

Thankfully, both providers offer a pricing calculator. So, provided you know the cloud resources you require, you can take the first step in building a comparable pricing estimate:

There are also a number of free comparison tools available on the web that can give you a high-level look at costs. Cloudorado is one such tool where inputting some basic cloud resource requirements will begin to provide you with some ballpark comparisons of costs.

As an example, we chose a single VM instance running a Linux OS powered by 16 CPUs and 32 GB RAM, with 2TB of storage. This gave an immediate cost estimate, which is outlined below:

Cloud Provider Cloud Hosting Offer Price Per Month
Google Cloud Custom Machine / 32 GB RAM / 2 TB disk / 16 CPU $421
Microsoft Azure D16 v3 / 64 GB RAM / 400 GB + 1.61 TB disk / 16 CPU $627
Assumptions for cloud pricing comparison

For an apples-to-apples comparison, we’ve kept the same region, CPUs, and operating system for Azure VMs and Compute Engine:

  • Region: US East, North Virginia (Google – us-east4, Azure – east-us).
  • Operating System: Linux – Free (CentOS).
  • vCPUs/Cores: 4.

We’ve chosen instances with comparable RAM and 4 CPUs across the instances/VM types:

  • General purpose.
  • Compute-optimized.
  • Memory-optimized.
  • GPU instances/VMs.

Below is a table comparing the chosen instances:

Instance Type Azure VM Azure RAM (GiB) Compute Engine Google RAM (GiB)
General Purpose D4ads v5 16 n4-standard-4 15
Compute Optimized F4as v6 16 c2-standard-4 15
Memory Optimized E4a v4 32 n4-highmem-4 30

Both Google Cloud and Azure offer pay-as-you-go models. While this type of pricing model gives you flexibility to control spending, it comes at a cost, with pay-as-you-go being the most expensive pricing per hour.

Instance Type Azure VM Azure Price (per hour) Compute Engine Google Price (per hour)
General Purpose D4ads v5 $0.2060 n4-standard-4 $0.1895
Compute Optimized F4as v6 $0.2840 c2-standard-4 $0.2351
Memory Optimized E4a v4 $0.2520 n4-highmem-4 $0.2488
GPU NC6 $0.9000 NVIDIA T4 $0.35

As you can see from the table above, Google Compute Engine has the lowest price across all categories when compared with its Azure counterparts.

While the difference is pretty narrow, and exact costs will depend on which VMs you pick, Google Cloud clearly wins out here.

These prices can go even lower with sustained use discounts, which let you save money the more you keep your machines running. This plan allows you to rack up to a 30% discount per month. Azure also offers something similar with its savings plan for compute, though this one can reach up to 65%.

Interestingly, Google Cloud and Azure both also offer an even higher discount with spot VMs. If you’re open to Compute Engine terminating your instances in the event they are needed for alternative resources, you can make even greater savings.

For example, compared to an NVIDIA T4’s typical price of $0.35/hour, the spot price drops to $0.14/hour – a savings of 60%.

Committed use discounts vs reserved instances

If you’re serious about your cloud deployment and willing to make a long term commitment upfront, you can make significant savings over a pay-as-you-go model. Both Google Cloud and Azure support long-term pricing models, offering to reward upfront commitments of 1 year or 3 years.

Google Cloud’s long-term committed use subscription model promises savings of up to 57%, or 70%, for memory-optimized machine types. The Azure equivalent of Reserved Instances promises equally impressive savings of up to 72%, or 80%, if you combine this offer with the savings from Azure Hybrid Benefit.

As with all things cloud, a number of variables will influence the level of discount you receive. A quick exploration of the pricing calculators will reveal that instance types, location, and operating system are just a few of the variables that will influence savings. There are doubtless many more, so be diligent in digging out and applying those variables.

One-year commitment

With that in mind, let’s now compare how a one-year commitment through Committed Use and Reserved Instances has influenced the price comparison between the two cloud giants.

Instance Type Azure VM Azure Price (per hour) Compute Engine Google Price (per hour)
General Purpose D4ads v5 $0.1413 n4-standard-4 $0.1194
Compute Optimized F4as v6 N/A c2-standard-4 $0.1407
Memory Optimized E4a v4 $0.1704 n4-highmem-4 $0.1567
GPU NC6 $0.6593 NVIDIA T4 $0.220

Here, Google has managed to keep its lead and stay below Microsoft’s prices, especially in the GPU department – though with Azure’s more generous savings policy, the tides could end up turning.

Three-year commitment

To complete the comparison, let’s see if a three-year commitment through Committed Use and Reserved Instances has any further effect on the price comparison between these platforms:

Instance Type Azure VM Azure Price (per hour) Compute Engine Google Price (per hour)
General Purpose D4ads v5 $0.0943 n4-standard-4 $0.0853
Compute Optimized F4as v6 N/A c2-standard-4 $0.0940
Memory Optimized E4a v4 $0.1193 n4-highmem-4 $0.1119
GPU NC6 $0.4790 NVIDIA T4 $0.160

When committing to a three-year reserved instance, you can observe a shift as Azure’s greater rate of savings begins to catch up or even surpass Google Cloud’s rates. While the margin is paper-thin, it still shows.

Free trials

In the event you’re just starting out, not ready to commit, or don’t need significant resources, both cloud providers offer a free tier with trials across a range of their products and services. The Google Cloud Platform Free Tier is comprised of two components:

  • $300 in free credits to spend on any Google Cloud product you wish, effective for 90 days.
  • Access to common Google Cloud resources that are always free of charge, with a limited – but never expiring – usage policy.

Unsurprisingly, there is a range of eligibility requirements for the free trial, such as not having been a paying customer or having previously completed a trial.

If you qualify, you will gain “always free” access to 20+ core Google Cloud products, which span compute, database, storage, data analytics, management and developer tools, AI and machine learning, and security services.

As for the Free Tier services, those are free forever.

Below are some of the key products, along with their service restrictions:

  • 1 e2-micro VM instance with a 30GB persistent disk per month, available only in certain US regions.
  • 5 GB of cloud storage – with 5,000 Class A Operations and 50,000 Class B Operations per month.
  • 1 NoSQL document database with 1 GB storage – 50,000 reads, 20,000 writes, 20,000 deletes per day.
  • 28 F1 instance hours and 9 B1 instance hours a day of App Engine.

The Azure Free Trial adopts a similar approach with two components. There are however some key differences:

  • A 12-month free trial of certain Azure services with limited usage and $200 of credit – which must be spent in the first 30 days.
  • Access to common Azure resources that are always free of charge also subject to a limited usage policy.

Like Google Cloud, there are a number of eligibility restrictions that you must meet before you can qualify for the free trial, but Azure’s free resources are always available to you.

These include key products like Linux and Windows VMs, Managed Disks, File and Blob Storage, and SQL Databases. These services will come with limited usage which you can expand with the $200 of free credit.

You’ll also unlock forever free access to 55+ Azure products, including compute, databases, networking, identity, security, developer tools, analytics, management and governance, AI and machine learning, and container services.

Below are a few of those core products:

  • Azure App Service for 10 web, mobile, or API apps with 1 GB storage and 1 hour per day.
  • Microsoft Entra ID for identity management – supporting 50,000 stored objects with single sign-on (SSO) to all cloud apps.
  • 5 free users on Azure DevOps.
  • Free access to DevTest Labs to create quick, simple, and lean app testing environments.

When it comes to the free tier, Azure definitely has the edge over Google. You get a 12-month trial compared to Google’s 90-day trial and access to 50+ free services compared to Google’s 20+.

Both services have a strong catalog of always-free options, so you can continue working even once your trial expires.

Is Google Cloud cheaper than Azure?

There’s simply no definitive answer as to whether Google Cloud is cheaper than Azure. Cloud services are extremely complicated, and anything from the data center you choose to the individual VM you purchase to the pricing model you pick can drastically affect the price.

You could spend hours refining your setup, and depending on which configuration of resources you opt for, pricing models you choose, or discounts you unlock, end up with either Google Cloud or Azure costing drastically more than the other.

Ultimately, the answer to whether Google Cloud is cheaper than Azure depends on you. Your business’s unique cloud requirements will define which cloud provider is the cheapest option for your business. But I’ll also leave you with a final question: Does cheaper mean that it’s better?


In comparing these two cloud giants, we’ve been seeking the same answer that many search for: which is better, Google Cloud or Azure?

Having completed an extensive exploration and compiled our research, the honest answer is we still don’t know. Both providers offer an incredible range of high-quality products and services, each with a long list of pros that far outweigh the cons.

Here at Kinsta, we are partial to Google Cloud, which is why we use it to power our application hosting, database hosting, and managed WordPress hosting solutions.

Google Cloud continues to improve its state-of-the-art platform, growing and evolving its offerings while planning new data center locations for the years ahead.

Google’s accelerating popularity and success is reflected by its steadily increasing cloud revenue run-rate, reducing both the Alibaba and AWS market share. If you care about speed and pricing, the Google Cloud Platform is definitely one you want to check out.

Azure has also made great strides in recent years despite a few security setbacks. Like Google, it’s chosen to focus on bringing AI into its tech stack, and the result is that it is edging closer and closer to dethroning AWS as the #1 cloud provider.

Azure’s compliance, redundancy, and availability capabilities make it a hugely appealing platform. But though Google itself may not be vying for the #1 spot yet, it’s still equally as competitive and certainly outclasses Azure in some ways.

But we’re still only scratching the surface. Taking a wider perspective, the constant competition between leading cloud providers can only be a good thing. As they seek to gain market share from each other, we’ll reap the benefits of new and improved products and services, wider availability, and lower prices. Long may it continue.

What do you think of all this? Is there a certain cloud provider you prefer? Tell us your thoughts and reasons in the comments below.

Edward Jones

Edward Jones is a technology writer with 8 years of industry experience. He has published over 300 articles with major publications that include Microsoft, IBM, and Entrepreneur.