Chatting with Google Cloud at Propelify 2017

Last week, our New York team had the great pleasure of getting out of the office for the day, and venturing to this year’s Propelify Innovation Festival in beautiful Hoboken, NJ.

photo credit: Product Hunt
photo credit: Product Hunt

We listened to some speakers, grabbed free swag, and chatted with reps from tech companies big and small about the latest and greatest in our world. Our favorite stop was at the Google Cloud booth, where a rep gave us the rundown on Google Cloud versus Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Google describes Google Cloud (GC), quite literally, as “basically AWS”. Much like Amazon Web Services, it hosts servers, virtual machines, and database instances that customers can lease. The main difference between GC and AWS is the pricing model: AWS is  month-by-month, and the system resources available are broken into tiers; GC is “pay-as-you-go” in every regard, down to the minute, even enabling customers to stop paying the moment they close their account.

This pay structure is obviously a nice selling point. But, perhaps more importantly for those who utilize the Google Apps platform, the ability to integrate so neatly is a huge sell. Publishing web applications built using their toolset would be far easier.

While the Google rep couldn’t commit to saying their service was, objectively speaking, more reliable, after the rash of AWS outages the past couple years, we suspect that has been the case. Yet, while GC is a popular choice among developers, it’s less popular in a production environment. GC supports multiple versions of Linux, but unlike AWS it does not house a proprietary version of Linux.

Amazon Web Services is still the gold standard, and whereas Google Cloud is largely focused on building Google App Engine applications, AWS offers a much larger suite of services. But it’s definitely worth at least doing some comparison shopping! Also: Google Cloud is similar to Microsoft Azure, so it would be wise to compare all three options.