AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Terminology Comparison

API endpoints 

Single entryway that allows multiple APIs or microservices to act cohesively

  • AWS: API Gateway
  • Azure: API Management
  • GCP: Cloud Endpoints


Scales resources (of a group) up or down based on usage and rules

  • AWS: Auto-scaling group
  • Azure: VM Scale Sets
  • GCP: Compute Engine Autoscaler

Availability Zone (AZ)

Distinct locations (within regions) where resources are housed – designed to be isolated from failures in other AZs

  • AWS: Availability Zone
  • Azure: Availability Zone
  • GCP: Availability Zone

Compute Instances 

Scalable compute instances (servers)

  • AWS: Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
  • Azure: Azure VM
  • GCP: Compute Engine

Content Delivery Network (CDN) 

Global network that delivers content based on the geographic locations of the user

  • AWS: Cloudfront
  • Azure: Azure CDN
  • GCP: Cloud CDN or CDN Interconnect

Data Warehouse

Central repositories of integrated data from one or more disparate sources

  • AWS: Redshift
  • Azure: SQL Data Warehouse
  • GCP: BigQuery

Domain Name System (DNS) 

Naming database in which internet domain names are located and translated into IP addresses

  • AWS: Route 53
  • Azure: Azure DNS or Traffic Manager
  • GCP: Cloud DNS

Identity and Access Management (IAM)

Manage access to cloud services and resources securely

  • AWS: Identity Access Management (IAM)
  • Azure: Azure Role-Based ACL (RBAC) or Azure AD
  • GCP: Cloud IAM

Internet Gateway

VPC component that allows communication between instances in VPCs and the internet

  • AWS: IGW

Load Balancing

Pushes traffic (in a balanced way) across multiple targets in multiple AZs

  • AWS: ELB
  • Azure: Load Balancer or Application Gateway
  • GCP: Cloud Load Balancing

Managed Data Stream Processing Service

  • AWS: Kinesis
  • Azure: Stream or Data Lake Analytics
  • GCP: Dataflow (processing) or Pub/Sub (ingest)

Managed Kubernetes (K8s) Service 

Allows you to run K8s without needing to install and operate your own K8s cluster

  • AWS: Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)
  • Azure: Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
  • GCP: Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)

Managed NoSQL Database Service

Distributed non-relational database service

  • AWS: DynamoDB
  • Azure: Cosmos DB
  • GCP: Cloud Firestone, Cloud Bigtable or Cloud Database

Managed SQL Database Engine 

High performance managed SQL engine that runs on a cloud’s managed SQL service

  • AWS: Aurora
  • GCP: Cloud Spanner

Managed SQL Database Service

Distributed relational database service capable of running multiple SQL engines

  • AWS: Relational Database Service
  • Azure: SQL Database or Azure Database for MySQL
  • GCP: Cloud SQL

Messaging Queue Service 

Fully managed message queuing service that enables you to decouple and scale microservices, distributed systems, and serverless applications

  • AWS: SQS Queues
  • Azure: Azure Queue Storage or Service Bus
  • GCP: Cloud Pub/Sub

Network Address Translation (NAT)

Enable outbound internet traffic from instances in a private subnet

  • AWS: NAT Gateways
  • Azure: NAT Gateways
  • GCP: Cloud NAT

Network Peering

A networking connection between two VPCs that enables the routing traffic between them using private IP addresses

  • AWS: VPC Peering Connections
  • Azure: Virtual Network Peering
  • GCP: VPC Network Peering

Network Routes/Routing 

A set of rules that are used to determine where network traffic from subnets and/or gateways are directed

  • AWS: Route Tables
  • Azure: Azure Virtual Network Routing
  • GCP: Routes

Object Storage 

Scalable, highly available storage for objects

  • AWS: S3  Buckets
  • Azure: Blob Storage
  • GCP: Cloud Storage

Pub/Sub Messaging 

Fully managed pub/sub messaging service that enables you to decouple microservices, distributed systems, and serverless applications

  • AWS: SNS Topics
  • Azure: Event Grid
  • GCP: Cloud Pub/Sub


Worldwide locations where resources are hosted

  • AWS: Region
  • Azure: Region
  • GCP: Region

Security Groups 

Contains a list of security rules that allow or deny network traffic to resources

  • AWS: Security Group
  • Azure: Network Security Group
  • GCP: Compute Engine Firewall Rules

Serverless Container Service

Run containers without managing servers

  • AWS: Fargate
  • Azure: Azure Container Instances (ACI)
  • GCP: Cloud Run (+GKE)

Serverless Functions 

Event-driven, serverless computing service that runs code in response to events and automatically manages the computing resources required by that code

  • AWS: Lambda Functions
  • Azure: Azure Functions
  • GCP: Cloud Functions

Serverless Orchestration 

Task, processes, and workflow orchestration

  • AWS: Step Functions
  • Azure: Logic Apps


Logical subdivision of an IP network. Can be private or public

  • AWS: Subnet
  • Azure: Subnet
  • GCP: Subnet

Third Party or Guest Access 

Grant access to resources in your cloud account, another cloud account you own, or a third-party account

  • AWS: Cross-account Roles
  • Azure: RBAC – Guests
  • GCP: Cloud IAM – Service Account

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

A logically isolated section of the cloud where you can launch resources

  • AWS: Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
  • Azure: Virtual Network (VNet)
  • GCP: Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

VPC Endpoints 

Privately connects VPC to other cloud and endpoint services

  • AWS: VPC Endpoints
  • Azure: Virtual Network Service Endpoint
  • GCP: Private Services, Private Google Access and/or Shared VPC

VPN Gateway

Private connection to VPCs

  • AWS: Virtual Private Gateway
  • Azure: Azure VPN Gateway
  • GCP: Cloud VPN