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The Cloud Storage Wars: Windows Azure vs. Google
So much happened in January 2010 for the cloud storage world

Azure Sessions at Cloud Expo

So much happened in January 2010 for the cloud storage world.

First was the Windows Azure Platform went from public preview to full production. Second was Google Docs opened up  for any file type upload/download, effectively making it a GDrive in the cloud.

How would these affect you? This article will compare the two cloud storage offerings from price, speed, usability, service level agreement and to developer support.

1. Price

Google’s storage cost = 25c / Gigabyte / year = 2c / Gigabyte / month. There is no additional transfer cost.

image

Windows Azure’s storage cost is at 15c / Gigabyte / month. There is additional cost for transfer data in and out.

image

Note: Google storage is clearly cheaper, about 10 times cheaper.

2. Speed

We will use Gladinet Cloud Desktop to map both in a virtual drive in Windows Explorer and compare the time it takes to complete a drag & drop upload task of each.

image

File Size: 9.3M

Azure Storage Upload: 43 seconds => 216 Kbytes/s

Google Docs Upload: 68 seconds => 136 Kbytes/s

Azure Storage is faster to upload. However, the 136 Kbytes/s is very decent upload speed too. The speed could also vary depending on whether you are close to a Google data center or a Microsoft Azure data center or which one is busier or less.

3. Usability & Tools

Google Storage is shared between Gmail, Picasa Web Albums and Google Docs,  all of which have web interfaces to use and share with friends. For the desktop PC UI interface, you have client side GUI tools such as Google Picasa,  Gladinet Cloud Desktop or Memeo Connect to connect your Google Storage account directly into your Desktop PC.

Azure on the other hand, is more geared toward developers. You won’t be able to use Azure Storage until you write some code. You can use some 3rd parties’ tools to use Azure Storage, such as Azure Storage Explorer, Cloud Storage Studio, Azure MMC plug-in,  Gladinet and others.

Google Storage is more usable out of the box. However, Azure storage may have more tools available down the road.

Note: This may not be an apple-to-apple comparison in this aspect between Google Storage and Azure Storage. A better comparison may be between Google Storage and Windows Live SkyDrive when both have web interface.

4. Service Level Agreement

Google’s SLA is different for free user, Google Apps user and Google Apps Premier Edition user. Below is a glimpse of what is offered for the premier account users, which may not be applied to free users.

Google Apps SLA.

“During the Term of the applicable Google Apps Agreement, the Google Apps Covered Services web interface will be operational and available to Customer at least 99.9% of the time in any calendar month (the "Google Apps SLA").”

Windows Azure SLA is more straight forward and applies to everyone. As quoted below:

Windows Azure SLA
”For storage, we guarantee that at least 99.9% of the time we will successfully process correctly formatted requests that we receive to add, update, read and delete data. We also guarantee that your storage accounts will have connectivity to our Internet gateway.”

5. Developer Support

Google offers Google DATA Protocol for developers. Windows Azure offers Azure SDKs which integrates directly into Visual Studio.

It is much easier to program towards Windows Azure Storage with Visual Studio so you may see more tools and internet products built on top of Windows Azure further down the road.

However, if you are using PHP, Ruby or anything other than .NET, Azure SDK may not have  a big advantage over Google APIs.

6. Which One is for You?

Since each one has advantage and disadvantage in different categories, you need to know the type of use case that fits before you select and settle on one of them.

Use case 1 – casual cloud storage user, home use,  with < 25G in need.

You can use Google Storage, with all the web tools and desktop tools available.

Note: In this case, consider Windows Live SkyDrive too, but not Azure Storage.

Use case 2 – serious cloud storage user, home use, with > 25G in need.

You can use Google Storage, with all the tools + the very low storage cost.

Note: In this case, SkyDrive tops out at 25G capacity and Azure is too expensive compared to Google Storage.

Use case 3 – serious business user

If you are concerned about Service Level Agreement, you will have to be a Google Apps Premier User or Azure user. For the Premier account, there is additional cost of $50 per user per year.

You will need to calculate the cost, factoring in the Google Apps Premier cost and compare that with the cost of using Azure Platform.

Use case 4 – Internet developer, need cloud storage support

You can re-brand Azure storage and build your Internet Application on top of Azure Storage because it was built for developers. However, if your Internet app can’t beat Google’s functionality or fill a niche that wasn’t already covered by GMail, Picasa, Docs and other established Internet apps, it may be difficult to pass the cost from Azure to your customers.

7. Conclusion

You can pick the one that fits your use case the best. If you are uncertain which one is good for you, you can use both. There are tools out there such as Gladinet that supports both.

We only saw the first month of 2010 in the development of cloud storage. What is next beyond Azure Storage and GDrive in 2010?

Read the original blog entry...

About Jerry Huang
Jerry Huang, an engineer and entrepreneur, founded Gladinet with his close friends and is pursuing interests in the cloud computing. He has published articles on the company blog as well as following up on the company twitter activities. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1998 and has lived in West Palm Beach, Florida since.

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SENAY
Teletax

SKEEN
Vitria

KOCHER
Grey Heron

GREENE
PubNub

MAGUIRE
HP

MATTHIEU
Octoblu

STEINER-JOVIC
AweSense

LYNN
AgilData

HEDGES
Cloudata

DUFOUR
Webroot

ROBERTS
Platform

JONES
Deep

PFEIFFER
NICTA

NIELSEN
Redis

PAOLALANTORIO
DataArchon

KAHN
Solgenia

LOPEZ
Kurento

KIM
MapR

BROMHEAD
Instaclustr

LEVINE
CytexOne

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

GORBACHEV
Intelligent
Systems

THYKATTIL
Navisite

TRELOAR
Bebaio

SIVARAMA-
KRISHNAN

Red Hat
Cloud Expo New York All-Star Speakers Included

DE SOUZA
Cisco

POTTER
SafeLogic

ROBINSON
CompTIA

WARUSA
-WITHANA

WSO2 Inc

MEINER
Oracle

CHOU
Microsoft

HARRISON
Tufin

BRUNOZZI
VMware

KIM
MapR

KANE
Dyn

SICULAR
Basho

TURNER
Cloudian

KUMAR
Liaison

ADAMIAK
Liaison

KHAN
Solgenia

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

SUSSMAN
Coalfire

ISAACSON
RMS

LYNN
CodeFutures

HEABERLIN
Windstream

RAMA
MURTHY

Virtusa

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE MENO
CommVault

GRILLI
Adobe

WILLIAMS
Rancher Labs

CRISWELL
Alert Logic

COTY
Alert Logic

JACOBS
SingleHop

MARAVEI
Cisco

JACKSON
Softlayer

SINGH
IBM

HAZARD
Softlayer

GALLO
Softlayer

TAMASKAR
GENBAND

SUBRA
-MANIAN

Emcien

LEVESQUE
Windstream

IVANOV
StorPool

BLOOMBERG
Intellyx

BUDHANI
Soha

HATHAWAY
IBM Watson

TOLL
ProfitBricks

LANDRY
Microsoft

BEARFIELD
Blue Box

HERITAGE
Akana

PILUSO
SIASMSP

HOLT
IBM Cloudant

SHAN
CTS

PICCININNI
EMC

BRON-
GERSMA

Modulus

PAIGE
CenturyLink

SABHIKHI
Cognitive Scale

MILLS
Green House Data

KATZEN
CenturyLink

SLOPER
CenturyLink

SRINIVAS
EMC

TALREJA
Cisco

GORBACHEV
Systems Services Inc.

COLLISON
Apcera

PRABHU
OpenCrowd

LYNN
CodeFutures

SWARTZ
Ericsson

MOSHENKO
CoreOS

BERMINGHAM
SIOS

WILLIS
Stateless Networks

MURPHY
Gridstore

KHABE
Vicom

NIKOLOV
GetClouder

DIETZE
Windstream

DALRYMPLE
EnterpriseDB

MAZZUCCO
TierPoint

RIVERA
WHOA.com

HERITAGE
Akana

SEYMOUR
6fusion

GIANNETTO
Author

CARTER
IBM

ROGERS
Virtustream
Cloud Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers

TESAR
Microsoft

MICKOS
HP

BHARGAVA
Intel

RILEY
Riverbed

DEVINE
IBM

ISAACSON
CodeFutures

LYNN
HP

HINKLE
Citrix

KHAN
Solgenia

SINGH
Bigdata

BEACH
SendGrid

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE SOUZA
Cisco

PATTATHIL
Harbinger

O'BRIEN
Aria Systems

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

BIANCO
Solgenia

PROCTOR
NuoDB

DUGGAL
EnterpriseWeb

TEGETHOFF
Appcore

BRUNOZZI
VMware

HICKENS
Parasoft

KLEBANOV
Cisco

PETERS
Esri

GOLDBERG
Vormetric

CUMBER-
LAND

Dimension

ROSENDAHL
Quantum

LOOMIS
Cloudant

BRUNO
StackIQ

HANNON
SoftLayer

JACKSON
SoftLayer

HOCH
Virtustream

KAPADIA
Seagate

PAQUIN
OnLive

TSAI
Innodisk

BARRALL
Connected Data

SHIAH
AgilePoint

SEGIL
Verizon

PODURI
Citrix

COWIE
Dyn

RITTEN-
HOUSE

Cisco

FALLOWS
Kaazing

THYKATTIL
TimeWarner

LEIDUCK
SAP

LYNN
HP

WAGSTAFF
BSQUARE

POLLACK
AOL

KAMARAJU
Vormetric

BARRY
Catbird

MENDEN-
HALL

SUPERNAP

SHAN
KEANE

PLESE
Verizon

BARNUM
Voxox

TURNER
Cloudian

CALDERON
Advanced Systems

AGARWAL
SOA Software

LEE
Quantum

OBEROI
Concurrent, Inc.

HATEM
Verizon

GALEY
Autodesk

CAUTHRON
NIMBOXX

BARSOUM
IBM

GORDON
1Plug

LEWIS
Verizon

YEO
OrionVM

NAKAGAWA
Transparent Cloud Computing

SHIBATA
Transparent Cloud Computing

NATH
GE

GOKCEN
GE

STOICA
Databricks

TANKEL
Pivotal Software


Testimonials
This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
@SteveMar_Msft
General Manager of Window Azure
 
How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
@SOASoftwareInc
 
Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
Yasser Khan
CEO of @Cnnct2me
 
One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

@Peak_Ten


Who Should Attend?
Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs & Vps of Technology, Chief Systems Engineers, IT Directors and Managers, Network and Storage Managers, Enterprise Architects, Communications and Networking Specialists, Directors of Infrastructure.

Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, & CIOs , Presidents & SVPs, Directors of Business Development , Directors of IT Operations, Product and Purchasing Managers, IT Managers.

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Cloud Expo Show Guide
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Join Us as a Media Partner - Together We Can Rock the IT World!
SYS-CON Media has a flourishing Media Partner program in which mutually beneficial promotion and benefits are arranged between our own leading Enterprise IT portals and events and those of our partners.

If you would like to participate, please provide us with details of your website/s and event/s or your organization and please include basic audience demographics as well as relevant metrics such as ave. page views per month.

To get involved, email Lissette Mercado at lissette@sys-con.com.

@ThingsExpo Blogs
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to iterate use cases, bring understanding to those seeking to explore complicated technical concepts and ...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
There is a war a-brewin’, but this war will be fought with wits and not brute strength. Ever since Russian President Vladimir Putin’s declaration that “the nation that leads in AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be the ruler of the world,” the press and analysts have created hysteria regarding the ramifications of artificial intelligence on everything from public education to unemployment to healthcare to Skynet. Note: artificial intelligence (AI) endows applications with the ability to automatically learn and adapt from experience via interacting with the surroundings / environment. See the b...
“Why incur the expense of generating and collecting all of this IoT data if you’re not going to monetize it?” Organizations are racing to embrace the Internet of Things (IoT) as the pundits create “visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads.” McKinsey Global Institute released their study “The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value beyond the Hype” in June 2015 that highlighted the staggering financial value that IoT could create! (See Figure 1.)
Recently I read somewhere this statement – As we end 2017 and look ahead to 2018, topics that are top of mind for data professionals are the growing range of data management mandates, including the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation that is directed at personal data and privacy, the growing role of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in enterprise applications, the need for better security in light of the onslaught of hacking cases, and the ability to leverage the expanding Internet of Things.
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be looking at some significant engineering investment. On-demand, serverless computing enables deve...
So data warehousing may not be cool anymore, you say? It’s yesterday’s technology (or 1990’s technology if you’re as old as me) that served yesterday’s business needs. And while it’s true that recent big data and data science technologies, architectures and methodologies seems to have rendered data warehousing to the back burner, it is entirely false that there is not a critical role for the data warehouse and Business Intelligence in digitally transformed organizations.
Will I ever understand the nuances of the advanced analytics landscape? Well, maybe the better question is will the advanced analytics landscape ever stop changing? The advanced analytics landscape, into which I include Deep Learning (DL), Machine Learning (ML), Reinforcement Learning (RL) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), seems to be in a constant state of evolution. New advanced analytic algorithms and tool sets seem to be coming out of every university, every startup, every digital media company and every technology company. And many of these new advanced analytic algorithms and tool sets a...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and optimization to employee training and insights, all ultimately create the best customer experience b...
Well, my developer friends, 2018 is your year. Businesses in practically every industry have a fever. And the only prescription? You. I know, I know. The demand for developers is nothing new. But 2018 is different. 2018 is the year where we see some of this decade's most exciting technologies become commercially viable, and others finally go mainstream. We'll see new forms of immersive entertainment, and inanimate objects will come alive in ways that really feel real. Trying to undermine this progress are intelligent and dangerous threats that must be outsmarted and outworked. There's endles...
Since releasing the University of San Francisco research paper on “How to Determine the Economic Value of Your Data” (EvD), I have had numerous conversations with senior executives about the business and technology ramifications of EvD. Now with the release of Doug Laney’s “Infonomics” book that builds upon Doug’s EvD work at Gartner, I expect these conversations to intensify. In fact, I just traveled to Switzerland to discuss the potential business and technology ramifications of EvD with the management team of a leading European Telecommunications company.
Special thanks to Brandon Kaier (@bkaier) for his research and thoughts on the Digital Twins concept. Unilever, one of the Consumer Package Goods (CPG) industry’s titans with over 400 brands and annual sales greater than $60B, recently bought Dollar Shave Club for $1B. Now normally I would not think twice about such an acquisition, peanuts in the world of mergers and acquisitions. However, this one feels different. Two billion people use Unilever products every day according to Unilever’s 2015 annual report. Dollar Shave Club only has around two million members; the vast majority of w...
From government to retail to oil and gas, it seems like everyone is exploring how to use AI in their industry or business. It’s time for you to do the same. There’s no question that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on a lot of people’s minds these days, and is beginning to grow rapidly in adoption. Quoting Accenture, Forbes reports AI-driven productivity gains of perhaps 40% by 2035, and publications like the New York Times are noting the buzz, even as they ask, why now? Even if you don’t think you’ll be adopting AI for yourself just yet, you need to at least consider the broader impact the te...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, which can process our conversational commands and orchestrate the outcomes we request across our persona...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
This month, an AI (artificial intelligence) system passed a medical exam in China for the first time. I wonder how its bedside manner will be? In addition, Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to a robot named Sophia. With all these rapid advancements, I think it is time we explore the spiritual life of robots. Up till recently, programmers coded and configured algorithms, AI, automation and machine learning system and took personal responsibility for all the code. Today, however, AI has escaped the confines of human oversight and has been empowered and employed to self-program, self-optimize, ...
The Federal Communications Commission announced that it will vote on December 14 to enact the exceptionally misleadingly titled “Restoring Internet Freedom” order. If passed, it will do the opposite of restoring anything resembling freedom — it will repeal the current net neutrality rules which were enacted to ensure that Americans would have equal access to the Internet. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re already interested in the topic. Still, some quick background: Renamed “Open Internet” a while back, net neutrality provided a regulatory framework that specifically prohibited:...
Digital technologies have altered how people and businesses interact. The potential for dislocation from ongoing digital transformation has created unprecedented levels of C-suite discussion. The decisive market leaders have heeded the warnings and taken bold actions. That said, if you’re one of those Chief Technology Officers (CTO) that previously responded to this scenario by making small incremental adjustments to your IT agenda, then you’re potentially at risk. Any relief from those prior tweaks tend to be short lived. The same issues will likely resurface.
Over the last few years, the Internet of things (IoT) has become a trending phrase for consumers and a top priority for businesses embarking on their digital transformation. Even with the growth and interest in IoT however, the meaning can still confuse people. So, what is IoT? IoT is a network of things connected to the internet and is uniquely identifiable through its embedded computing system. These “things” may include a variety of devices like home appliances, commercial vending machines, fitness trackers, industrial gateways, connected cars, and smart factories.
I love it when I get feedback from a blog that I’ve written. I appreciate the different perspectives and insights that others bring to a topic of interest. And no blog that I’ve written has drawn more comments than my blog, “Isaac Asimov: The 4th Law of Robotics.” The section of the blog that fueled the most comments stem from a scene in the movie I, Robot where Detective Spooner (played by Will Smith) is explaining to Doctor Calvin (who is responsible for giving robots human-like behaviors) why he distrusts and hates robots. He is describing an incident where his police car crashed into anot...