AWS vs Google Cloud vs Azure vs Rackspace

AWS vs Google Cloud vs Azure vs Rackspace

by Michael Roche - September 29, 2020

As options for top cloud hosting providers grow more common (AWS vs Google Cloud vs Azure vs Rackspace and on and on), the work of finding the right one can sometimes feel as arbitrary as picking the right snowflake. After all, just as any two snowflakes will have at least subtle differences, so too will cloud hosting providers!

To find the right one, you need to do some soul-searching on what you really need to support your business’s IT functions, then you need to make an informed decision on what you can support on your own and what you actually need your cloud hosting provider to offer you.

It’s a bit of work, but it’s work that can save you a lot of money, so hopefully this article can give you a good steer toward figuring it out.

To help you make sense of your needs when it comes to cloud hosting providers, we’ll do some side-by-side comparisons of some of the major players: AWS vs Google Cloud vs Azure vs Rackspace, to be precise…

Before we get to that, though, let’s take a look at how these four companies measure up more generally on their own.


As a first mover into the space, AWS has had a lot of time to develop its comprehensive suite of solutions. It scores highly (almost) across the board, especially in areas like platform configurations, policy and monitoring features, dependability, and security. It’s also worth mentioning that for small businesses looking to grow, AWS can scale quite well. Where it arguably falls short is with its hybrid cloud strategy. Customers also sometimes have a difficult time matching their business needs to their broad range of solution options. And though it offers competitive pricing in a number of areas, a pain point for enterprise-level businesses is its extremely high cost ($15,000/month) for good support. Conversely, a pain point for bargain-hunting small and mid-sized businesses is its extremely poor hands-off support offerings.

Google Cloud

Next to AWS’s breadth, Google Cloud (like every other cloud provider) has a tough time making its mark, especially when serving up enterprise-level solutions. That being said, when it comes to smaller projects for big data and other analytics, Google Cloud is downright impressive. Pricing-wise the cost of raw infrastructure beats its competitors and boasts the addition of domain hosting via Google Domains.


Azure, as a Microsoft solution, is built specifically for enterprise environments, and Microsoft certifications will most certainly translate well with it. If you’re already knee-deep in other Microsoft systems, Azure may well be the right choice for your business. Its biggest allure as a cloud hosting provider is how effectively it integrates with other Microsoft products, and for that reason it’s often the number one choice for Microsoft-centric businesses. In fact, a Goldman Sachs survey of Global 2000 tech companies from January 2020 found that Azure was a more popular choice than AWS as a public cloud service provider – though AWS, unsurprisingly, won out in overall revenue. As far as cons go, some enterprise customers have reported dissatisfaction with Azure’s technical support.


If you’re in the market for a highly customized solution for your managed cloud needs, Rackspace offers tried-and-true enterprise-level solutions. Considering its industry experience and the “fanatical” levels of customer support that Rackspace offers, it’s no wonder it’s got such a strong market share with Fortune 500 companies. Of course, all this customization and support comes at a cost, and Rackspace prices can tend to ring in high. It’s also difficult to find their support pricing without first offering lots of your own information into their sales funnel.

Now, let’s see how these cloud hosting powerhouses differentiate themselves from each other in some one-to-one comparisons — and, by the way, because there really are no losers here, we’ll be listing each provider’s comparative strength as a “win.” Let’s begin…

AWS vs Google Cloud


  • Comprehensive solutions – Whatever your needs are, no matter the size of your company, AWS likely has the technology for you.

Google Cloud Win

  • Leveraging big data for cloud-native companies is Google Cloud’s bread and butter, thanks to their impressive open-source Tensorflow. Google Cloud is also generally the most affordable cloud hosting provider in this article.

AWS vs Azure

 Win for AWS

  • DC Uptime – Though no provider stays totally safe from outages, AWS’s last major one came back in 2017. Microsoft, on the other hand, has suffered through a number of outages over the years, one as recently as 2019. Learn more how to calculate the cost of downtime. Also, as you compare pricing, you’ll see that AWS is typically the better bet in terms of cost.

Win for Azure

  • If you’re already relying on Microsoft systems like Windows Server, System Center and Active Directory, Azure will make for a more seamless integration than AWS.  On the flip side of AWS’s win, while data center uptime is clearly of critical importance when selecting a provider, it should not be confused with uptime solutions like those made available on Azure’s availability zones.  General performance has also been a factor on AWS during the holidays when AWS has historically put stress on its own data centers.

AWS vs Rackspace

Win for AWS

  • Again: AWS offers solid solutions for just about every business need; it’s also generally more affordable than Rackspace.

Win for Rackspace

  • Support & Customizability: Though expensive, Rackspace’s customizable cloud hosting solutions can potentially work wonders for your operational efficiency and save you in the long term.  To sweeten the deal, Rackspace’s support is demonstrably better than AWS. For this reason, you can expect your Rackspace service to be a bit more tailored in comparison to AWS.

Google Cloud vs Azure

 Win for Google Cloud

  • For cloud-native companies looking to push boundaries with data, Google Cloud is a must-have. Google Cloud’s solutions generally run cheaper than Azure’s.

Win for Azure

  • When it comes to carrier peering, Azure offers way more choices: 102 to be exact (vs. Google Cloud’s 24).

Google Cloud vs Rackspace

Win for Google Cloud

  • How many different ways can we say this? Its deep learning libraries are, um, deep!

 Win for Rackspace

  • In addition to what we’ve already mentioned in terms of its customizability, Rackspace offers a more private server connection than Google Cloud and stands out as a hands-on provider in comparison to Google’s presence as primarily a raw infrastructure provider.

Azure vs Rackspace

 Win for Azure

  • Even with Rackspace’s allure of customizability, if you’re already running on Microsoft systems, that’s a heck of an argument in favor of Azure. You can also generally get Azure at a better price than Rackspace.

Win for Rackspace

  • In addition to highly customized cloud hosting solutions, Rackspace has differentiated itself for offering incredibly high-quality technical support – something that some enterprise clients have at times found lacking with Azure.  Overall this may depend upon your environment.

Still not sure what direction to take? Here’s a quick breakdown of server demographics by hosting provider:Market Share of Cloud Support Providers Arcane Inforgraphic

We hope these profiles of some of the biggest names in cloud hosting help you out as you decide on which will serve your business best.

And, as you explore a selection of our managed cloud services plans, keep in mind that Arcane’s Managed Cloud Services pair well with all of these cloud hosting providers…Happy choosing!