Moving Away AWS to Google Cloud: What You Need To Know

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a fairly new entrant to the public cloud provider scene. Still, it has managed to carve a sizable market share for itself. Large companies like Spotify, HSBC, Netflix, and Snapchat have also picked GCP over AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Azure. GCP’s accelerated adoption and growing popularity are unsurprising given Google Cloud Service’s simplicity. GCP also offers many benefits, including ease-of-use, intuitive scalability, AI/ML innovations, and improved security.

Another key factor in GCP’s escalating growth is Kubernetes, which paved the way for GCP in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) segment. The IaaS model frees you from various hassles, like purchasing and maintaining server hardware. It also empowers you to seamlessly manage your data centers in the cloud.

illustration of a lady sitting in the cloud and deciding between GCP and AWS
To GCP or to AWS, that is the question.

Here, I’ll showcase all the factors you need to consider when migrating from AWS to GCP. Before we do that, though, let’s see why GCP is emerging as an affordable and de facto cloud services provider for companies across industries.

Why Choose GCP over AWS?

Affordable Pricing 

Both GCP and AWS offer competitive pricing plans for their respective cloud services. Still, GCP offers a major distinction through its pricing discounts. In fact, GCP gives you special discounts when your applications run for extended periods. That effectively means you get discounted rates to keep doing what you were doing.

Instance ParametersGoogle CloudPer-Hour PriceAWSPer-Hour Price
On-Demand / Linux / General Purpose / 2 CPUs(Memory: AWS 8 GB / Google Cloud 7.5 GB)$0.107$0.100
On-Demand / Linux / Compute Optimized / 2 CPUs(Memory: AWS 3.75 GB / Google Cloud 1.8 GB)$0.813$0.100
On-Demand / Linux / Memory Optimized / 2 CPUs(Memory: AWS 15.25 GB / Google Cloud 13 GB)$0.134$0.133
You get a discount when you use GCP more!

Latest Versions of Kubernetes

Although AWS offers Kubernetes services, companies trust GCP with the orchestration since Kubernetes is a Google-developed project. GCP gives you early access to new Kubernetes versions, on top of other Kubernetes tools and services that are highly available.

Open-Source Solutions

GCP offers different open-source solutions from Google’s garage. Having already released over 2000 open-source tools, you can be sure that GCP users will also benefit from Google’s open-source stance. Open-source is integral to modern cloud computing systems, so Google Cloud has the upper hand here.


Google has a proven track record of offering solid security and high-grade data encryption capabilities. GCP allows you to encrypt your cloud infrastructure at the application layer. In turn, that reduces security vulnerabilities arising from misconfiguration. This authentication service is similar to mTLS but for the application layer.

AI/ML Capabilities

GCP enables you to access Google’s in-house AI processor system, TPU (Tensor Processing Unit). This system offers machine learning and neural network computation. Although AWS also flaunts powerful AI services, GCP outscores it in ease-of-use and accessibility. Keep in mind that many big data and ML projects originate from Google, like TensorFlow and Hadoop, so Google Cloud is the best place to run your AI/ML workloads.

Next, let’s look at what’s involved in migrating from one cloud to another and how a checklist can help.

Learn More About The Best Software Solutions 

Cloud Migration Checklist

Even if you carry massive workload volumes, you can still migrate from a data center to a public cloud platform with minimal effort and zero frustration. Of course, the process would be different if your company functions with a few TB of data versus functioning on a petabyte-scale. 

AWS offers some advanced options, like Snowmobile, which allows you to physically transfer data using a truck. Google Cloud doesn’t have such a feature, but it has its own transfer methods for larger data quantities.

To make sure it all goes without a hitch, you need a well-thought-out plan. Here’s a checklist that can guide you to migrate to GCP seamlessly. I’ll be classifying the entire process into 3 different phases: Pre-migration, Migration, and Post-migration. Let’s get to it.

two clouds, one for AWS and another for Google Coud connected to each other.
From cloud to cloud!

Pre-Migration Stage

1. Define People and Process

Once you decide to move your workloads, you need to build a migration team with application development and IT security department members. This team will define the migration strategy and the implementation phases, and identify and resolve any issues that might crop up during the migration.

Your migration team will also have to prioritize the applications that need to move first. They’ll consider application dependencies, infrastructure type, and cloud readiness. For example, many organizations opt to migrate applications with the least dependencies for a smooth first phase. Training the migration team on cloud skills, platform functionalities, and features will also help you accelerate the process and promote a collaborative work culture.

2. Assess and Evaluate

Next, you should assess all your applications and their dependencies. In turn, that helps you finalize the best migration approach. Consider the 3 most popular strategies

  1. Rehost: migrate your application in its current form without any changes
  2. Replatform: modernize or optimize your applications to suit the destination cloud platform. For example, Converting VM applications to containers in GKE (Google Kubernetes Engine)
  3. Rebuild: redevelop applications from the ground up because they’re too old to migrate

In case you’re onboarding a migration solution, assess it on factors like cost and performance optimization, testing capabilities, monitoring features, customization options, and rollback capabilities. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready for the migration, so let’s onboard the next stage.

Migration Stage

3. Test Applications

Most commonly, testing is a pre-migration check, but I propose a different perspective.You can add testing to the migration stage to validate your readiness to migrate applications.

Testing your application before the actual migration will help expose and reduce risks, so it’ll save time. It also gives you a real-time view of your applications’ behavior in the new environment. In turn, that helps your migration team to make last-minute adjustments so you get an incident-free transfer.

Businesses often prefer using managed tools to generate test clones and run them in live environments. That also reduces the efforts your team has to make.

4. Execute in Phases

Finally, your team can execute the migration project. Because your company may have tens of thousands of applications, your team may have to operate in phases. Following an agile methodology, you can start with applications with light dependencies.  Then, you can raise the complexity gradually as you review each phase’s results.

You also can use a migration tool that allows applications to revert to their original form in case any error happens. That mitigates the risk of data loss, but it also helps your team be confident and stable. At that, you should be done migrating, but you can still do more. Let’s take a look at your final stage.

Post-Migration Stage

5. Optimize for the Long-Term

You’ve successfully executed your migration plan, but that isn’t the end. You also need a long-term action plan for cost optimization, cloud security, and performance management. At that, the cloud allows you to optimize cost with built-in features like cost control and usage reporting. You also can optimize performance with flexible storage space management. 

Familiarize your team with best GCP practices, tips, and security measures. Third-party tools can also enable you to effectively monitor the environment, build cloud firewalls, manage security, and enable disaster recovery measures. Now you know what migration entails, let’s discuss what steps you need to take to migrate from AWS to GCP.

Steps to Migrate from AWS to GCP

Here, I’m giving you 8 steps to streamline your digital asset migration from AWS to GCP. I’ll also be using Google Cloud Migrate for Computer Engine.

Infographic of the stepwise procedure to migrate from AWS to GCP
The great migration.

1. Create Access Management Permissions 

This includes configuring your Google Cloud account and creating an infrastructure project on the Migrate for Computer Engine

2. Set up a Connection Between AWS and Google Cloud

Using tools like Terraform, implement a secure site-to-site connection between AWS and Google Cloud using VPNs (Virtual Private Networks).

3. Set up AWS Networks

Define the access rules within the migration network that includes components and networks. Setting up rules to enable traffic access between migration components is also important. 

4. Create IAM Groups & Credentials

The Amazon IAM service allows you to configure and implement access policies, which the Migrate for Computer Engine Manager uses to enable permissions on Google Cloud. 

5. Enable Migrate for Computer Engine Manager

The Migrate for Computer Engine Manager is like an orchestrator that lets you control migration operations through a web UI.

6. Define Cloud Extensions

Cloud extensions form a channel, or a passageway, for virtual machine (VM) storage between AWS and Google Cloud.

7. Create a Test Clone

A VM test clone validates VM migration. Since it doesn’t use live data from the source, it helps verify the migration process. 

8. Migrate VMs

Once the test clone is executed successfully, you can proceed with migrating VMs. You do this in batches of VMs, called waves.

Final Thoughts

Cloud computing has exploded in the last two years, so many cloud service providers have entered the scene. Most notably, we’re seeing GCP emerge as a popular service provider because it’s offering cost-effective pricing. What’s more, GPC also provides a simple methodology and advanced AI/ML features. Further, GCP keeps adding new features regularly, and they’re expanding the cloud computing scope. That all makes GPC an attractive option, so if you’re looking to switch, you’ll need an effective migration strategy.

Secure Your Cloud Environment


Why is cloud migration important?

Cloud migration allows you to expand your business easily and ensure improved security, easy accessibility, and reduced operating costs. Many cloud service providers are available on the market, so you’ll need to undertake thorough research into the ideal cloud infrastructure for your applications.

Which cloud service provider is better: GCP or AWS?

GCP is offering on par, and even better, cloud services than AWS. GPC also gives you seamless Kubernetes integration, secure infrastructure, affordable prices, and AI/ML capabilities.

Which is more affordable–AWS or GCP?

AWS and GCP constantly cut prices to stay competitive, so it’s difficult to compare pricing structures. GCP’s pricing programs like Committed Use and Sustained Use Discount offer significant value to businesses when compared to AWS’ On-Demand prices.

Why are businesses migrating from AWS to GCP?

Businesses moving to GCP from AWS often state these 3 reasons for their switch: simpler networking, cost benefits, and easy scalability. Users also vouch for Google’s customer service and partner programs.

What are the most common misconceptions associated with the cloud ecosystem?

No matter which service provider you pick, several misconceptions are still associated with cloud.. Mainly, businesses put off  their move to cloud because they have concerns about infrastructure security and financial implications. That said, the cloud environment is the most secure way to manage your workloads, and it’s also very cost-effective when compared to on-prem servers.

What are the essential tools to migrate from AWS to GCP?

You’ll need various tools to automate and manage cloud migration, like Terraform, Ansible, Jumpcloud, Docker, and Kubernetes. Other tools may also help you with cloud migration, and you can choose the ones that best suit your purposes.


Migrate workloads to the public cloud

Learn in detail the essentials for migrating to the cloud here

Customers explain why they migrated from AWS to GCP

Read the testimonies of customers who moved from AWS to GCP.

Overview of key launches from AWS to GCP

Read a detailed account of the key launches from AWS & GCP in the past year.

Curious about GCP?

Learn more about Google Cloud Platform.

AWS Official Website

Learn more about AWS from their website.

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