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A cloud services cheat sheet for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud

Don't know your Neptune from your Front Door? Check what AWS, Microsoft and Google call their foundational cloud services. And yes, those are real service names.

AWS, Microsoft and Google each offer well over 150 cloud services. It's hard enough keeping tabs on what one cloud offers, so good luck trying to get a handle on the products from the three major providers.

Even trying to compare what's available in each cloud can quickly get convoluted, since naming conventions vary by vendor and service. For example, you can be forgiven for not knowing AWS Fargate, Microsoft Azure Container Instances and Google Cloud Run all essentially serve the same purpose.

So, if you ever feel at a loss for what's what, hopefully this cloud services cheat sheet will help. Consider it a guide for cloud directories -- a quick reference sheet for what each vendor calls the same service.

However, you can also use this as a starting point. You'll need to do your homework to get a more nuanced understanding of what distinguishes the offerings from one another. Follow some of the links throughout this piece and take that next step in dissecting these offerings.

That's because not all services are equal -- each has its own set of features and capabilities, and the functionality might vary widely across platforms. And just because a provider doesn't have a designated service in one of these categories, that doesn't mean it's impossible to achieve the same objective.

Here is our cloud services cheat sheet of the foundational services available on AWS, GCP and Azure. Compute, containers, databases, networking and storage are the building blocks that underpin nearly everything built in the cloud, so it's a good place to start your cross-cloud analysis. We'll expand this list in the coming months to include more categories like cloud management and security.

Compute

AWS Azure Google Cloud
Autoscaling AWS EC2 Auto Scaling Azure Autoscale, Azure virtual machine scale sets Managed instance groups (MIGs)
Batch scheduling, executing and processing AWS Batch Azure Batch Batch on GKE (preview)
Functions as a service AWS Lambda Azure Functions Cloud Functions
5G-based infrastructure AWS Wavelength Azure Edge Zones Global Mobile Edge Cloud (GMEC)
High performance computing cluster management AWS ParallelCluster Azure CycleCloud N/A
Isolated servers Dedicated Instances Azure Dedicated Host Sole-tenant Nodes, Shielded VMs
PaaS AWS Elastic Beanstalk App Service, Azure Cloud Services, Azure Spring Cloud, Azure Red Hat OpenShift App Engine
On-premises/edge devices AWS Outposts, AWS Snow Family Azure Stack Hub, Azure Stack HCI (preview), Azure Stack Edge N/A
Quantum computing Amazon Braket Azure Quantum (preview) N/A
Virtual machines Amazon EC2 Virtual Machines Compute Engine
Virtual private server Amazon Lightsail N/A N/A
VMware integration VMware Cloud on AWS Azure VMware Solution VMware Engine

Containers

AWS Azure Google Cloud
Container registry Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) Azure Container Registry Artifact Registry (preview), Container Registry
Managed container service Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)
Serverless container environment AWS Fargate Azure Container Instances (ACI) Cloud Run

Databases

AWS Azure Google Cloud
Blockchain Amazon Managed Blockchain, Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) Azure Blockchain Service (preview), Azure Blockchain Tokens (preview), Azure Blockchain Workbench (preview) N/A
In-memory caching Amazon ElastiCache (Memcached, Redis) Azure Cache for Redis Cloud Memorystore
NoSQL: Column-family Amazon Keyspaces (for Apache Cassandra) Azure Cosmos DB Cloud Bigtable
NoSQL: Document Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility), Amazon DynamoDB Azure Cosmos DB Cloud Firestore, Firebase Realtime Database
NoSQL: Graph Amazon Neptune Azure Cosmos DB Gremlin API N/A
NoSQL: Key-value Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Keyspaces Azure Cosmos DB, Table storage Cloud Bigtable, Firestore
Relational database management system Amazon Aurora, Amazon RDS (MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, SQL Server, MariaDB), Amazon RDS on VMware Azure Database (MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL), Azure SQL (Database, Edge, Managed Instance) Cloud SQL (MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server), Cloud Spanner
Time-series database Amazon Timestream Azure Time Series Insights Cloud Bigtable

Networking

AWS Azure Google Cloud
Build, deploy and manage APIs Amazon API Gateway Azure API Apps, API Management Apigee API Management Platform
Content delivery network Amazon CloudFront Content Delivery Network (CDN) Cloud CDN
Dedicated fiber connection between VPCs and private network AWS Direct Connect Azure ExpressRoute Cloud Interconnect
Domain name system Amazon Route 53 Azure DNS Cloud DNS
Load balancing Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) Application Gateway, Load Balancer, Traffic Manager Cloud Load Balancing
Network accelerator AWS Global Accelerator Accelerated Networking Premium Network Service Tier
Network area translation NAT Gateway Virtual Network NAT Cloud NAT
Satellite ground station AWS Ground Station Azure Orbital (preview) N/A
Service discovery Amazon ECS, AWS Cloud Map N/A Service Discovery (preview)
Traffic control plane AWS App Mesh Azure Front Door, Azure Service Fabric Traffic Director
Virtual WAN N/A Virtual WAN N/A
VPC Amazon VPC Azure Virtual Network Virtual Private Cloud
VPC/VM secure connector AWS Transit Gateway, AWS VPN Azure Bastion, Azure Private Link, Azure VPN gateway Cloud VPN, Direct Peering

Storage

AWS Azure Google Cloud
Object storage Amazon S3 Blob storage Cloud Storage, Cloud Storage for Firebase
Archival storage S3 Glacier, S3 Glacier Deep Archive Archive Storage Archive Storage
File storage Amazon Elastic File Service (EFS), Amazon FSx for Windows File Server, Amazon FSx for Lustre File Storage, Azure NetApp Files Filestore
Block storage Amazon Block Store (EBS) Disk Storage Persistent Disk, Local SSD
Backup AWS Backup Azure Backup N/A

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