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Google Cloud vs AWS vs ServerMania: How do they compare?

Large Cloud hosting providers like Google Cloud and AWS EC2 have been dominating the hosting space for the past few years. But how do they compare in price and performance to traditional Hybrid and Dedicated Servers?

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We hear from clients every day that they chose ServerMania Dedicated Servers because, not only is the personalized customer experience much better than traditional Cloud providers like AWS, but the pricing for bandwidth is significantly more affordable for their business. 

Just look at this recent customer survey we received:

"We are using our ServerMania Dedicated Server to deliver music into our Delivery Platform. AWS charges through the roof for bandwidth and this seemed like a more sensible step to take."


Developer, sparemusic.com


There is a time and a place for every type of hosting, but we wanted to explore how bare metal dedicated servers compared to Cloud providers like AWS, Google, and others in performance, price, and customer experience.

This article will provide an overview of Cloud hosting, explore example pricing comparisons between Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services EC2 and ServerMania Hybrid / Dedicated Servers, as well as compare performance across these cloud hosting platforms. We will also outline why your business may be more suited towards bare metal servers than traditional Cloud providers.

What is Cloud Hosting?

Cloud hosting is an industry buzzword which can mean many different things depending on the context. At its core, cloud hosting could be any server hosted in a data center, which would encompass Dedicated or Hybrid servers.

But when most people talk about “the cloud” they are referring to a cluster of computers, which work together to provide instantly scalable resources and optimal performance.

Cloud Hosting Advantages and Disadvantages

Cloud hosting sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? Imagine not having to worry about calculating your exact server needs because you can always upgrade, downgrade, or spin up another virtual machine.

Cloud hosting is a great technology and ServerMania is currently developing our own Cloud network. But it’s not the right choice for everyone.

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of traditional Cloud providers like AWS, Azure, Vultr, etc.

Cloud Hosting Advantages

  • Instantly upgrade or downgrade server resources
  • Automate the creation of new servers via API
  • Experience increased redundancy as server resources are typically backed by redundant technologies

Cloud Hosting Disadvantages

  • Cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud are more expensive to create equivalent servers 
  • Bandwidth costs are exceptionally high compared to Hybrid and Dedicated hosting
  • Navigating Cloud control panels, especially AWS, can be extremely difficult for novice users
  • Support is difficult to obtain and may be an extra cost to use each month

Price Comparison

We have heard from many clients that bandwidth pricing is a main concern for their business and one of the key reasons for not choosing to host their servers on a cloud platform. We wanted to see just how expensive servers and bandwidth can cost on these platforms.

We selected servers which were most compatible in terms of specs to our fleet of servers in an attempt to get a 1:1 comparison.

Comparing Cloud Dedicated Hosts

We selected several dedicated instances from traditional Cloud providers to see how the pricing stacked up to ServerMania.

AWS

Google Cloud

ServerMania Dedicated Server

Specs

C5 Dedicated Instance

36 CPU cores

120GB RAM

640GB SSD

40 CPU Cores

128GB RAM

3x 375GB SSD

Dual Intel Xeon E5-2695v4, 36x2.1 Ghz

128GB RAM

2x500GB SSD

Hardware Price

$1771.43/month

$1,013.74/month

$869.00/month

Contract Term

1 Year (price increases 27% without contract)

1 year

No contract, cancel any time.

Bandwidth Price

$1791.91 for 20TB of outbound transfer.

20TB of Americas/EMEA Bandwidth

$1,955.84/m

20TB Bandwidth @ 1Gbps included for free

Support Costs

$303.9 for support with 1 hour response times

Free

Free support with 15 minute response times.

Total Cost

$3693.01/month

$2,969.58/month

$869.00/month

 You may be thinking this is not an apples to apples comparison because no server uses 100% of their bandwidth in outgoing bandwidth. But even if AWS or Google Cloud bandwidth were free, the hardware costs are significantly higher than a bare metal dedicated server.

Comparing Cloud to Hybrid Host

We also wanted to compare smaller virtual instances to our ServerMania Hybrid Servers to see how price and performance compared for virtual servers.

ServerMania Hybrid Servers can be provisioned in just a few minutes, so they are comparable to these Cloud instances. The only difference is Hybrid Servers cannot be scaled up or down, which allows us to deliver dedicated resources to each Hybrid Server and more stable performance.

ServerMania Dedicated Server

AWS

Google Cloud

ServerMania Hybrid Server

Specs

T3 XLarge

4 CPU Cores

16GB RAM

250GB SSD

4 CPU Cores

15GB RAM

250GB SSD

4 CPU Cores

16GB RAM

250GB SSD

Hardware Price

$147.47/month (no contract) or $101.00/month (1 year contract)

$167.71/month

$59/month

Contract Term

Month to month or 1 Year Contract

No contract ($117/mo on a 1 year contract)

No contract, cancel any time.

Bandwidth Price

$921.51 for 10TB of outbound bandwidth

$1,136.64 for 10TB of outbound bandwidth.

10TB included for free

Support Costs

$303.9 for support with 1 hour response times

Free

Free support with 15 minute response times.

Total Cost

$1,068.98/month

$1,304.35/month

$59/month

"If I had the resources, I would certainly move all our infrastructure from AWS to ServerMania since AWS is very expensive to operate and lacks the customer service ServerMania has provided."


DevOps Director, Comodo

Cloud Server Vs. Hybrid Server Performance Comparison

Now that we have determined that ServerMania Dedicated and Hybrid Servers are less expensive on average than traditional Cloud hosting, we wanted to see how performance compared.

We compared Amazon EC2 and Google Cloud instances with a comparable ServerMania Hybrid instance with similar specifications.

It was expected that due to the increased cost, there might be slightly better performance from the Cloud servers on Google and Amazon EC2. However, test results revealed not only a lower price, but better performance on ServerMania Hybrid Servers. Once we compared a ServerMania server that had the same pricetag as the Cloud services, performance was even better.

Please note: We are not attempting to suggest that every ServerMania server will outperform traditional Cloud hosting. But what we did experience in testing and from client reports is that the increased Cloud hosting cost does not guarantee increased performance.

How Was Performance Compared

The GeekBench testing suite was installed on each server type, running the same version of Debian. The test was performed 5 times at the same time each day on each server to obtain the average result. 

Overall Results

GeekBench results comparing Amazon EC2 and Google Cloud instances to ServerMania Hybrid and Dedicated servers.

AWS EC2 Performance

Here is the result from the Amazon EC2 T3-XLarge Server, which has 4 CPU cores and 16GB RAM:

These servers start at $127/month with no outbound bandwidth included and no fixed IP address. Additional storage and bandwidth would be extra costs.

Full results at: http://browser.geekbench.com/geekbench3/8754866

Google Cloud Performance

Here is the result from the Google Cloud. The server was running 4 CPU cores and 15GB memory. With 250GB of persistent disk space, the server costs $167.71/month without any additional bandwidth or IP costs.

Full results at: https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/12968017

While the single core performance is slightly higher on Google Cloud, the Google Cloud base frequency is lower than our Hybrid Servers, and performance is not as high in this respect, even at nearly triple the price of a Hybrid product.

ServerMania Hybrid Server Performance

Here is the result of the ServerMania Hybrid Server, which has 4 x 3.4 GHz CPU cores and 16GB RAM:

These servers are $59/month and include 10TB of bandwidth and 1 IP.

Full results at: http://browser.geekbench.com/geekbench3/8754925

ServerMania Dedicated Server Performance

We also wanted to compare how a similarly priced ServerMania Dedicated Server performed when compared to Google Cloud and AWS.

We chose an E3-1270v6 which is regularly about $125/month. This is a 4 core, 8 thread processor @ 4.20 GHz with 32GB of RAM and 2x500GB SSD.

Full results at: https://browser.geekbench.com/v4/cpu/12968313

Google Cloud Platform vs. AWS Feature Comparison

Feature

Google Cloud

AWS EC2

ServerMania Hybrid Server

ServerMania Dedicated Server

Dedicated Resources

Affordable Bandwidth

Easy to Follow Interface

Scale Resources Upon Reboot

Dedicated Account Manager

API Available

Network Uptime SLA

99.99%

99.99%

100%

100%

Support

$100 - $250 per user for 1-4 hour response times. $15,000+ for enterprises.

$25 - $15,000+ per month.

15 minute response times  Included for free or fully managed from $119/month.

15 minute response times  Included for free or fully managed from $119/month.

Conclusion

In summary, traditional Cloud hosting services like Google Cloud and AWS EC2 are a great option for those who need to instantly scale resources and automate the creation of new servers via an API. However, this flexibility is not only significantly more expensive, it does not necessarily lead to a performance increase. It is also completely infeasible for any business with high bandwidth needs and requires you to hire staff who are competent in the API of the Cloud provider.

We would recommend reviewing the feature list above to see if there are any features of one platform over another that are important to your business. We've seen many customers who love the instant gratification of Cloud Servers, but now that their business has grown, their Cloud hosting costs on Amazon or Google are exceptionally high and becomes very expensive to migrate away.

Most businesses will find that the average 8 hour setup time of a server completely dedicated to them is not only more affordable, but will deliver significantly higher computing power and resources. To top it off, when you choose a server provider like ServerMania, you have access to a dedicated Account Manager and a 24x7 rapid response support team at no additional charge.

Want to learn more? Book a free consultation today to discuss how ServerMania can meet your server needs.

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Mark Lahn

Mark is a Content Marketing Manager at ServerMania. He focuses on providing engaging and easy to follow content to help users navigate the hosting industry.