AWS vs. Azure vs. GCP Storage Comparison

Cloud Based Storage Options:

  • Object Storage
  • Block Storage
  • Instance/Server Storage (Ephemeral)
  • Archival Storage
  • Content Delivery Networks
  • Queue Services
  • Database Services
  • Caching Services
  • Import/Export Services


Amazon’s block storage service is called “Elastic Block Storage” (EBS) and supports three types of persistent disks: Magnetic, SSD and SSD with provisioned IOPS. Maximum volume sizes range from 1TB for magnetic disks, up to 16TB for SSD disks.

Object storage service is “Simple Storage Service” (S3), with four different SLAs: standard, standard - infrequent access, reduced redundancy and Glacier (for archiving). All data is stored in one availability zone, unless manually replicated across AZs or regions.


Microsoft’s storage services are all referred to as Blobs. Page Blobs and Disks are Azure’s block storage service. Storage defined as standard (magnetic) or as Premium (SSD), with volumes of up to 1TB.

Offered in four different SLA levels: Locally redundant storage (LRS) where redundant copies of the data are stored within the same data center. Zone redundant storage (ZRS), where redundant copies are stored in different data centers within the same region; and geographically redundant storage (GRS) which performs LRS on two distant data centers, for the highest level of durability and availability.  


There are two options for either magnetic or SSD volumes; however the IOPS count is fixed. Ephemeral (local) disks are fully configurable and are part of the block storage offering.

Object storage is called Google Storage, and divided into three classes: Standard, Durable Reduced Availability for less critical data (similar to RRS in S3) and near line, which is for archives.

Physical Data Transport:


  • Import/Export Disk
  • Snowball


  • Import/Export Service


  • Offline Media Import/Export (Third Party Tool)

Active Directory Federation Services Integration with AWS IAM

 Business Value:

  • Secure SAML Integration (Security Assertion Markup Language)
  • Connects with AWS IAM seamlessly
  • Using existing infrastructure
  • No need to recreate all our users in IAM
  • Map IAM policies to AD groups
  • Provides an audit trial (using Cloudtrail)

Microsoft Recommendations for ADFS

  • HA AD servers (recommended 4 AD servers)
  • Minimum dual ADFS 2.0 standalone servers
  • Load balancer for ADFS

ADFS and AWS Authentication Process:

Setting up AWS IAM with ADFS:

  • Requirements:
  • AD + ADFS setup
  • Downloaded ADFS metadata
  • Create default groups in AD – AWS-PROD and AWS-Dev groups
  • Create a test user in these groups
  • Create Identity provider on IAM
  • Create IAM roles and grant SSO permissions
  • Setup ADFS Trust and mappings

AWS steps:

  • Create identity provider on IAM

Upload the metadata:

Create a New Role:

Set permissions:

Create AD groups as new AWS Roles:

  • CIS compliant, the users and access policies are managed from a single console. Applied CIS GPO benchmarks are applied at Domain Controller level and applies controls.