Please use the menu below to navigate the article sections:
With so much competition both in the job market and in the world of Cloud Computing, it is tough to decide where to start your cloud journey. The last thing you want to do is put all of your eggs into one basket and realize later on that you made the wrong choices!
There is a massive demand for all of the certifications for each of the major cloud providers – AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. In this article, we will break down the benefits of each cloud career path, and assess how cloud certifications can change your career for the better.
First, we will talk about Amazon Web Services (AWS). Amazon invented the cloud back in 2006 with the first AWS services. AWS began to develop the concept of cloud computing before anyone else.
AWS came about originally to solve the problems set through scaling Amazon.com. Nowadays, AWS are a giant corporation in their own right and if you are thinking of the cloud, you will likely think of AWS first.
AWS have been building their cloud operations and offerings successfully for a number of years. Some of the biggest companies in the world are using AWS to power their workloads like BBC, Netflix and LinkedIn.
The second biggest cloud provider is Azure. Microsoft’s cloud provider boasts an impressive host of different services and offerings – and offers a fantastic place to start any cloud-based workloads.
Microsoft’s cloud offering was initially released as ‘Windows Azure’ in 2010. Like AWS, Azure provides IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS services. The Microsoft Azure platform boasts a large range of services stretching from virtual machines, to storage services, databases, analytics, and more.
Azure also has a large number of key customers like Ebay, Walmart and LG Electronics – just to name a few.
Finally, we will discuss the Google Cloud Platform, otherwise known as GCP. Starting in 2008, GCP is a range of cloud computing services that run on the same infrastructure that Google uses for its internal management for end-user products. This includes Google Search, Gmail, Google Drive and YouTube.
Google’s end users are also some of the biggest companies in the world. GCP manages the infrastructure for companies like Facebook, Intel, and Yahoo.
AWS vs Azure vs GCP
Let’s compare the different offerings provided by the three main providers, based on a number of different factors like market share, Global Infrastructure, and the different certifications provided, as well as the potential job prospects linked to each of these certifications.
Canalys (a large market analysis firm) offers insights on the market share and the overall spending of each of the major cloud services providers:
In Q1 of 2022, the top three cloud infrastructure providers were AWS (33% market share), Microsoft Azure (21%) and Google Cloud (8%), as we would well expect. In terms of dominance, these three big three public cloud service providers (CSPs) now control a combined 62% of the market, which is up from a 58% combined market share as of Q3 of 2022.
Finally, regarding global spend of worldwide cloud infrastructure services, the overall spend reached $55.9 billion in Q1 of 2022, up 34% compared to Q1 of 2021. The cloud spend of AWS, Azure and Google Cloud grew at a combined 42% in Q1 of 2022 compared to Q1 of 2021.
This information shows that by far AWS has the largest market share, followed by Azure and finally Google Cloud.
Next, we will talk about the Global Infrastructure of each of the major cloud providers, and how this reflects their trustworthiness and redundancy when using their services.
First, here is a breakdown of the AWS global infrastructure:
- 26 Global Regions (with 8 more announced), consisting of 84 Availability Zones
- 17 Local Zones, with 28 Wavelength Zones (smaller data centers for ultra low latency applications)
- 108 Direct Connect locations (connect directly into AWS Regions)
AWS are the global leader in this regard, with a large and powerful global network that is growing constantly. Let’s next look at Microsoft Azure:
- 60 Regions, combining to multiple Azure Geographies
- Multiple Availability Zones
- Hundreds of Secure Data Centers
- Many Azure Edge Zones (small-footprint extensions of Azure placed in population centers)
Azure’s global infrastructure is slightly different – there are Geographies, containing Regions, containing Availability Zones. Azure is a large contender, with a slightly different way of working. Now finally let’s look at Google Cloud’s Global infrastructure.
- 33 Regions
- 100 Zones
- 146 Edge Locations, all serving 200 plus locations and territories
Google Cloud platform is also rapidly expanding its global presence, with new Regions being launched in Italy, Germany and Texas – just to name a few.
There are different certifications that can be gained from either of the cloud providers with different specialties and different career paths to go down.
Amazon Web services currently offer 12 certifications:
- Cloud Practitioner
- Solutions Architect Associate
- Developer Associate
- SysOps Administrator Associate
- Solutions Architect Professional
- DevOps Engineer Professional
- Advanced Networking Specialty
- Machine Learning Specialty
- Security Specialty
- Data Analytics Specialty
- Database Specialty
- SAP on AWS
You can take any exam you like in any order, and it is recommended that you start of with the AWS Cloud Practitioner, to build a good basis of knowledge. From there you can go down any path and get as many or as few certifications as you like.
There are many resources provided by AWS directly to help you prepare for your exam. Here at Digital Cloud Training we have many AWS training resources which help you with your AWS certification journey.
The AWS SysOps Administrator exam is considered the hardest among the AWS Associate level certifications. The AWS Certified Solution Architect Professional certification has the reputation of being the most challenging of them all – with employers willing to pay a premium for candidates who have this certification.
Research shows that those obtaining the Solutions Architect Professional certification currently earn between $136,500 to $198,500 – demonstrating the value of this certification.
Microsoft Azure by comparison also have 12 certifications:
- Microsoft Certified: Azure – Fundamentals Exam AZ-900
- Microsoft Certified: Azure AI – Fundamentals Exam AI-900
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Data – Fundamentals Exam DP-900
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator – Associate Exam AZ-104
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer – Associate Exam AZ-204
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer – Associate Exam AZ-500
- Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer – Associate Exam AI-100
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist – Associate Exam DP-100
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer – Associate Exams DP-200 and DP-201
- Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator – Associate Exam DP-300
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Architect – Expert Exams AZ-303 and AZ-304
- Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer – Expert Exam AZ-400
Azure fundamentals is the gateway to the rest of the Azure exams. However, there is a much larger demand for some of the other Azure certifications.
For example, it is estimated that the average salary for a Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Expert is around $135,000 – showing that this certification is definitely worth getting.
Finally, here’s an overview of the Google Cloud certifications:
- GCP Cloud Digital Leader
- GCP Associate Cloud Engineer
- GCP Professional Cloud Architect
- GCP Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer
- GCP Professional Cloud Developer
- GCP Professional Cloud Security Engineer
- GCP Professional Machine Learning Engineer
- GCP Professional Data Engineer
- GCP Professional Cloud Network Engineer
- GCP Professional Collaboration Engineer
The Google Cloud Platform may have fewer certifications, but they are also valuable. The Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect certification, for example, is linked to an average salary of $140,000.
Upon reflection, it is hard to say which Cloud Provider is the best! However, given availability, certifications, and everything else we covered in this blog post – we strongly believe that AWS is the winner. With AWS certifications, you can easily start building your career goals which will help you achieve your dream job. Plus, with 11 years of topping the scales for cloud dominance, it is difficult to imagine that AWS’ reputation as the best cloud provider is going anywhere anytime soon.
Learn how to Master the AWS Cloud
AWS Training – Our popular AWS training will maximize your chances of passing your AWS certification the first time.
Membership – For unlimited access to our cloud training catalog, enroll in our monthly or annual membership program.
Challenge Labs – Build hands-on cloud skills in a secure sandbox environment. Learn, build, test and fail forward without risking unexpected cloud bills.