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Established and familiar; the option with the greatest brand awarenessPopular in EuropeInnovative, exploring machine learning options such as Tensorflow
More people have experience with AWS than with its competitors
Open-source tools
AWS was named a leader in IaaS by Gartner's Magic Quadrant
Although GCP is young, Google has engine maturity
Broad geographic reach
Leader in capacity
AWS has the greatest market share
Born from education
Widest range of service offerings with many diverse options
"Follower" advantage as newer of the three
Fewest "strings attached" 

User Experience

Feature rich and reliableUser-friendly interfaceEasy to set up
Free, robust test accounts
User-friendly interface

User-friendly interface

Strong and flexible API

IAM and Enterprise

Highly extensible and flexible identity modelGreater license flexibility and portability leads to cost savingsAbility (with Forseti) to set and force policy compliance across your entire Google domain
Organizations are separate from accountsAdding Azure to existing contracts with Microsoft is less trouble than creating a new contract and existing federated Microsoft accounts can be usedAbility to view activity across your entire Google domain
Direct connect via Internet2 organizational billingStrong identity management tools IAM stack tightly integrated with Gsuite
Control Tower automates setup of multi-account AWS environments, governance, guardrails (policy management), and dashboard visibility into OU, accounts, and guardrails.Very good understanding of enterprise computing issuesFlexibility in contracting

Active Directory Federation Service makes connecting to the Active Directory easier Gsuite accounts are already provisioned for Gsuite users


Broad 3rd party support with more partners than its competitorsTight integration with on-premise Microsoft Technology,
including SQL and Exchange.
Supports Kubernetes and Docker
Platform offerings can be easily migrated from on-premise LAMP stacks (MySQL -> Amazon Aurora, etc.)Platform offerings can be easily migrated from on-premise Microsoft tools (MSSQL -> Azure SQL, etc.)Google created Kubernetes, so the integration is very tight
Serverless (AWS Lambda) supports Java, Node.js, Python, Java, C#, Go, Powershell and Ruby. Integrated with so many Amazon services making it accessible and powerful.Azure container service allows deployment of DC/OS, Swarm, and Kubernetes clustersGoogle docs accessibility, integration, and collaborative editing
VMware Cloud on AWS provides hybrid cloud for VMware customers. Possible use cases include HA, DRA, host remediation, autoscaling, and disaster recovery. IAM Stack tightly integrated with Office 365

Documentation, Support, and Community

A large amount of training and documentation; lots of learning resources are availableMicrosoft has lots of man-power they can apply to AzureSupport offers cohesive solutions
Large user communityThere is a growing community for AzureReasonably transparent
Strong front office with solutions and architects Knowledgable sales team
Support web chatExisting accounts team
Community mindshare

Re:Invent Conference, Public Sector Summit, and various local Meetups

Mature documentation and whitepapers around federal/HIPAA/etc. compliance

Sensitive Data and Security

Does Business Associate Agreements for restricted data such as HIPAA.Very willing to do Business Associate Agreements for restricted data such as HIPAADoes Business Associate Agreements for restricted data such as HIPAA. BAA includes list on a website that grows over time - pioneered this approach.
Glacier is government compliant and cost effective

FISMA compliant optionGovernment platform is Department of Justice certified

Cost and Billing

Cost effectiveEnterprise Billing tools from Microsoft (rather than a 3rd party)Cheaper than AWS for most services
Storage is cheapLeverages investment in Microsoft licencingEasy billing through Orbitera
More advanced, granular billingOften cheaper and willing to negotiate
Better forecasting tools

AWS Egress Waiver available for higher education

Unique or Desirable Features

Elastic searchAzure recovery servicesAbility to add 1-n GPUs onto a commodity VM
ScalingBuilt in regional failiure preventionAbility to choose your own instance
AWS Direct ConnectIntegration with SOAP Seemingly unlimited compute
Container management service is easy to deploy and fastAzure Virtual Data Center
IPv6 supportScalability

Big Compute: HPC and Batch


Fast-paced innovation and development of new services
Big query and Tensorflow access for advanced machine learning
Leaders in machine learning and other cutting edge technologies
Custom processor


Limitations on OS varieties available Network access can be be prohibitiveCan be difficult to contain GCP project proliferation within your domain
"Divide and conquer" mentality is monopolisticIssues with VPN support and bandwith management"Marketplace" ecosystem is far less mature than AWS and Azure
Some services lack depth and granularityThere are often problems when scaling to very large coresBeing later to the market means that GCP is less widely adopted
It isn't possible to point loads to an external IP addressUses hypervisor which is more knowledge-specificProduct offerings are often unknown and are not marketed well
Procurement through 3rd party retailers can be complicatedCentered around stacks"Follower" disadvantage

Procurement through 3rd party retailers can be complicatedStoring data solely in the USA is not an option

You need to have professional services even to just test something out or "play around"Google is constantly rearranging cloud area, such as when they merged Gsuite and GCP

Some faculty are anti-AzureSetup can be complicated 

They are Microsoft, so all the pros are there, but so are all of the consA smaller number of services is available and GCP has a smaller ecosystem compared to its competitors

Often playing "catch up" with AWSContainer focused

Ability to support legacy is limited

Not as trusted

Services come and go

Fewer direct connect points

Higher education engagement could be better

User Experience

The user interface can be confusing until you are used to it

IAM and Enterprise

Reseller often usurps enterprise organization (parent AWS account) layerIt is not possible to customize the Active Directory in AzureImmature "custom roles" function means sticking with "out of the box" IAM roles.
There is no global view of activity across the range of accountsIAM through InCommon can be a challengeLimited ability to manage as an administrator
Microsoft license reuse is a minefieldLicensing is complexPermissions can be complicated
Inflexible contract for state enterprise entitiesActive directory federation service can be a hassleIAM through InCommon can be a challenge
No official service level agreementVendor lockin means you need to commit to Azure if you're going to use itGCP has a weaker understanding of enterprise needs than its competitors
SAML support is often lacking and expensive where it is presentRequires going through a VAR - not a value add in the cloud context.
The vendor locks in IAM

IAM is not well integrated

Permissions and account structure is complicated


Doesn't always play well with integrations and has a set way to do things
No seamless integrations
There are not any directly integrated apps

Documentation, Support, and Community

Lack of technical expertiseYou have to escalate a ticket to support, which takes a while

Unsophisticated networkingThere is no phone to directly contact them; if you do get given a way to phone, you will be put on hold for a while

Less documentation makes learning harderRelationship management needs strengthening -- who do you talk to?

Mixed experiences with SMEFront office is a "hot mess" and not very helpful

Sensitive Data and Security 

Services often require a great deal of manual configuration to be properly secured

Getting HIPAA Business Associate Agreements in place can be challenging

Department of Justice did not approve AWS

Compliance challenges with GovCloud

Cost and Billing

The actual cost is often not articulated clearly and billing can be hard to understandLevel of education discount varies widely based on workload and can be difficult to determine
The billing structure can make it hard to download information because there is so much of itMultiple enrollments and entitlements (and billing) can be complex
Oracle licensing adds expenseRebilling subscriptions is a challenge
There is not a large enterprise discountInflexible contract with regards to Business Associates Agreement and government compliance
Pricing is unpredictable and often changesPricing model with SKU, forecasting and charge back leads to risk
There is no predetermined total cost of ownership

Unique or Desirable Features

Widest range of service offerings leads to a feature overloadPoor IPv6 supportFew developer support features for databases
Limitations on EC2 customizationsSQL server is only in beta as a PaaS serviceLacking Windows infrastructure

Default loggingSome overlap in products and features

There is a collection of tools with little cohesion and no clear strategy


Tools keep being developed and changed at a rate that is hard to keep up with for support purposes and is confusing and intimidating for usersRollout of changes is often a surprise and there is little warning; the roadmap for the future is often unclearRoadmap for the future is typically opaque

Missing some of the more advanced tools that its competitors have


How do regions failover?What do they do better than other cloud providers? When use Azure vs. others?What do they do better than other cloud providers? When use GCP vs. others?
How will they exercise their dominate market position?Will the open-source commitment continue?How do you keep up with a vendor that wil need a "catch-up" release cycle?
Why do people find them so trustworthy?How do they compare to others with API support?What migration services are available? Is there a migration readiness assessment?
How do you go beyond just storing and computing?Can it host Linux workloads as well as its competitors?What is the commitment to current services and products?
Is AWS as effective for research as its competitors?What is their roadmap? Where are they going? What is their roadmap? Where are they going?
Why have so many people opted to use AWS?
What are they? What are their goals?
Does it have the greatest geographic diversity?
Where do the services that they provide fit into Google's overall plans?
How does its architecture work?
What is their product strategy? (Both GCP's and Google's as a whole)
Is it the greatest source of spam?

What do they do better than other cloud providers? When use AWS vs. others?

User Experience

IAM and Enterprise

How do you create cohesive institutional deployment?How does Azure licensing fit with MS licensing?How do you do a POC on GPC? Is it possible?

How do you manage an organization on GCP?


Will Office365 - Azure communication improve?

Documentation, Support, and Community

Sensitive Data and Security 

How much more security effort is it to secure something now vs. after the campus has become more experienced?
Will HIPAA compliance become available?
How good is Cloudtrail for security?

How easy is it to get a Business Associate Agreement?

Cost and Billing

Do you have to pay extra for redundancy?

Why can't AWS disassociate master billing agreements in single universities for reporting?

Is it the most expensive option?

Is it expensive to get data out?

How do costs compare, especially for specific features?

How do we get to pricing predictability?

Unique or Desirable Features

Does Azure support DNSSEC?

What are their plans for IPv6 support?


How is Azure pushing the limits on high performance computing?What other changes are coming?
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