Networking Services: AWS vs Azure vs GCP

Networking is the backbone for any computing environment be it traditional on prem data centers or cloud hosted computing environments. On premises deployed applications work in a closed network isolation of servers to ensure availability and provide a fence against unauthorized access or attacks. While in cloud networking is also a service which comes with additional challenges such as secure and performant connectivity. 

Today we look more in detail about how networking services work in AWS, Azure and Google cloud, its key differences. 

AWS Networking Services

AWS (Amazon Web Services) offers a variety of networking services.

  • Amazon VPC (Virtual Private Cloud): Provides a logically isolated virtual network within AWS, allowing you to launch AWS resources in a defined virtual network environment. A VPC represents a single network with dedicated IP range having EC2 instances and network resources. AWS allows five VPCs per region and it can be increased with request. Low latency networks up to 10 Gbps can be achieved by getting VPCs assigned to the same placement group to ensure instances are running in close physical proximity for optimal performance but with trade off with availability if underlying hardware fails. 
  • AWS Direct Connect: Establishes a dedicated network connection between your on-premises data center and AWS, providing a private and high-bandwidth link.
  • Elastic Load Balancing (ELB): Distributes incoming traffic across multiple instances, containers, or IP addresses to improve availability and scalability.
  • AWS Global Accelerator: Improves the performance of your applications by routing traffic through the AWS global network, minimizing latency and optimizing the user experience.
  • AWS Transit Gateway: Simplifies network management by acting as a hub for connecting multiple VPCs, on-premises data centers, and remote networks.
  • Amazon Route 53: A scalable domain name system (DNS) web service that translates domain names into IP addresses and routes traffic to the appropriate resources.
  • AWS PrivateLink: Enables private connectivity between VPCs, AWS services, and on-premises networks without traversing the internet.
  • AWS VPN (Virtual Private Network): Allows you to establish secure, encrypted connections between your on-premises networks and AWS VPCs.
  • AWS Direct Connect Gateway: Simplifies the management of multiple Direct Connect connections, enabling you to connect to multiple VPCs in different AWS Regions.
  • AWS Site-to-Site VPN: Extends your on-premises network to the AWS cloud using IPsec VPN tunnels over the internet.
  • AWS Client VPN: Provides secure remote access to your AWS resources and applications using the OpenVPN protocol.
  • AWS Network Load Balancer: Provides high-performance, low-latency load balancing at the network layer (TCP/UDP), ideal for handling millions of requests per second.
  • AWS Application Load Balancer: Routes traffic at the application layer (HTTP/HTTPS) based on request content, enabling advanced routing and load balancing features.
  • AWS Global Accelerator for TCP/UDP: Accelerates TCP and UDP traffic globally by using the AWS global network infrastructure.
  • AWS Private Certificate Authority (CA): Manages the lifecycle of private certificates, allowing you to create and manage private certificate authorities.

Azure Networking Services

Microsoft Azure also offers a range of networking services that help organizations build, secure, and manage their network infrastructure in the cloud.

  • Azure Virtual Network (VNet): Allows you to create and manage private networks in Azure, providing isolation, segmentation, and control over your Azure resources. VNets are the foundation for building network architectures in Azure.
  • Azure ExpressRoute: Provides a dedicated, private connection between your on-premises data center and Azure, bypassing the public internet. It offers higher security, reliability, and lower latency compared to internet-based connections.
  • Azure Load Balancer: Distributes incoming traffic across multiple virtual machines (VMs) or instances, ensuring high availability and scalability. Azure Load Balancer supports both inbound and outbound scenarios.
  • Azure Application Gateway: Offers application-level load balancing, SSL termination, and web application firewall (WAF) capabilities. It allows you to optimize the delivery and scale of web applications.
  • Azure Traffic Manager: Provides global load balancing and DNS-based traffic routing to improve the availability and performance of your applications across multiple regions.
  • Azure Firewall: Offers network-level security by providing a managed firewall service that filters and inspects network traffic based on user-defined rules. It helps protect your Azure resources from unauthorized access.
  • Azure VPN Gateway: Enables secure connectivity between your on-premises network and Azure VNet using IPsec/IKE VPN tunnels. It allows you to extend your on-premises network to Azure and establish a hybrid network.
  • Azure Virtual WAN: Simplifies the management and connectivity of branch offices to Azure and other networks. It provides unified network connectivity, security, and optimization across multiple locations.
  • Azure DDoS Protection: Helps protect your Azure resources from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. It detects and mitigates volumetric, state-exhaustion, and application-layer DDoS attacks.
  • Azure Network Security Groups (NSGs): Provides network-level security by controlling inbound and outbound traffic to and from Azure resources based on user-defined rules. NSGs act as virtual firewalls for your Azure environment.
  • Azure Bastion: Offers secure and seamless remote access to your virtual machines (VMs) using a web-based portal directly in the Azure portal, eliminating the need for public IP addresses or VPN connections.
  • Azure Private Link: Allows you to securely access Azure services (e.g., Azure Storage, Azure SQL Database) over a private connection, eliminating exposure to the public internet.

Google Cloud Networking Services

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) provides a variety of network services.

  • Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): Similar to AWS VPC and Azure VNet, Google VPC allows you to create and manage virtual private networks in the cloud, providing isolation and control over your Google Cloud resources.
  • Cloud Load Balancing: Distributes incoming traffic across multiple instances or backend services, ensuring high availability and scalability. It offers both global and regional load balancing options.
  • Cloud DNS: Provides a reliable, scalable, and managed Domain Name System (DNS) service for translating domain names into IP addresses and directing traffic to the appropriate resources.
  • Cloud VPN: Enables secure connectivity between your on-premises network and Google Cloud VPC using IPsec VPN tunnels. It allows you to extend your on-premises network to Google Cloud and establish a hybrid network.
  • Cloud Interconnect: Offers dedicated and low-latency connections between your on-premises data center and Google Cloud Platform. It provides higher bandwidth and lower latency compared to public internet connections.
  • Network Service Tiers: Google Cloud offers multiple network service tiers, including Standard Tier and Premium Tier. Premium Tier provides enhanced performance, low latency, and higher reliability for global applications.
  • Cloud Armor: Helps protect your applications and services against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and web application attacks. It provides web application firewall (WAF) capabilities and allows you to define security policies.
  • Cloud NAT: Provides network address translation (NAT) services for your virtual machine instances in Google Cloud. It allows instances without public IP addresses to access the internet and receive inbound traffic.
  • Network Intelligence Center: Offers network monitoring, verification, and troubleshooting capabilities. It provides insights into network performance, connectivity tests, and analysis of network traffic.
  • Private Service Connect: Enables private connectivity between your VPC and Google Cloud services or third-party services. It allows you to access services privately without going over the public internet.
  • Direct Peering: Establishes direct peering connections between your network and Google’s network at various locations worldwide, improving network performance and reducing egress costs.
  • Network Telemetry: Google Cloud provides network telemetry features, such as Traffic Director and packet mirroring, to gain visibility into your network traffic, monitor performance, and troubleshoot issues.

Network Services Comparison: AWS vs Azure vs GCP

Let’s summarize by comparing the 3 cloud networking service providers:

Download the comparison table: Networking services: AWS vs Azure vs GCP overview

Download the comparison table: Networking services: AWS vs Azure vs GCP Functional

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