Firebase Vs AWS - A Full Technical Comparison

Firebase Vs AWS – A Full Technical Comparison


Nowadays, every organization is providing their services through an application. 

And, every app requires a hosting server to get live and being an active member of the internet. In this technological era, enterprises often choose serverless architecture for hosting purposes rather than the physical on-premises servers. 

When it comes down to hosting an app on serverless architecture, then having a discussion on Firebase VS AWS is commonly seen. 

These are the most reliable and scalable platforms, providing every essential feature and backed by industry giants. 

It is common to see a debate on, is firebase good for large database or not. Whether we use AWS or not. 

So, let’s move further and explore these technologies to get answer to all our queries. 

An overview – AWS vs Firebase

What is AWS (Amazon Web Services)? 

AWS is a cloud platform, providing serverless architecture functionalities to a wide array of small, medium and large enterprises. 

It is one of the most popular and rapidly growing cloud platforms, offering more than 200 services in an affordable, agile and future-oriented manner. Its services include, but not limited to: 

  • Infrastructure as a Service
  • Database for App’s Backend
  • Machine Learning 
  • Artificial Intelligence based Computing
  • Data Analysis
  • Network configuration for Internet of Things

In addition, it has the largest community of customers and partners, which are active over the globe, accessing the computing services from data centers at remote locations. You can avail its services by directly creating your account on the AWS platform and straightforwardly integrating it with your company’s system. 

Figure 1https://www.statista.com/statistics/967365/worldwide-cloud-infrastructure-services-market-share-vendor/#:~:text=In%20the%20third%20quarter%20of,with%20eight%20percent%20market%20share.

Also, as per the Statista evaluation, AWS is a dominating leader in the cloud vendor industry, maintaining its share of 32% from the past three to four years. 

Advantages of AWS 

Individual Component Configuration

It offers the features to setup different environments for development and testing. 

As a result, engineers are able to save time and precisely focus on every element comprising in the application. You can easily configure all the protocols and verify their working and compatibility with each other. 

Extensive Variety of Databases

By selecting AWS as your cloud partner, you can pick out the most relevant database for your enterprise. Databases offered by AWS are: 

  • Relational Databases
  • Key-value Databases
  • In-memory databases
  • Document Databases
  • Wide Column Databases
  • Graph Databases
  • Time Series Databases
  • Ledger Databases

Whether you have a high-traffic application, a gaming software, content management system, fraud detection or have to embed database with industrial telemetry, you can fulfill your business needs with AWS. 

Seamless Implementation and Deployment

You can leverage the benefits of automated code deployments with AWS, as it offers CodeDeploy, an exclusive service for automatically updating and maintaining the applications. 

You can use it with Amazon EC2, AWS Lambda and AWS Fargate along with your on-premises IT infrastructure. It handles each operation efficiently and assures to eliminate the downtime probability.  

With AWS, you can be free from the hassle of errors of manual implementation. 

Resource Accessibility and Availability

AWS provides you secure channels for accessing the resources and performing your operations. 

Once you create your account on its platform, a dedicated interface known as AWS Resource Access Manager is allocated to you, which you can use across your organization’s departments. 

Moreover, you can access your account from any system and scale up and down the assigned resources anytime.

Effortlessly Scalable

With growing business, traffic on your website will also increase. 

AWS leverages you to modify the current services in a click. Also, you can update your cloud settings to handle more traffic your budget along with implementing automation for executing user-requests. 

Disadvantages of AWS

Low availability of AWS Experts

As AWS is first choice of many organizations, but there are very cloud practitioners and architects, who are expert in handling AWS operations. 

If you hire an AWS certified, you must invest in continuing their education for always having an updated infrastructure for your enterprise. 

Service Limits

By default, AWS set the limitation of resource utilization, such as: 

ServiceDefault Limit
EC2 Instance20 per region
Elastic Load Balancer10
Virtual Private Cloud5
Elastic IP5 per region
High I/O Balancer10

Support Fee

If you face any difficulty in your implementation or while running your application on AWS, you have to pay an additional technical support fee for availing the dedicated tech support services. 

It has a base price of $29/month for  a developer account. However, if you have a business greater than $100 and $15,000, then it can increase up to $1M as per your usage. 

What is Firebase

From Startups to large MNCs, Firebase helps to build and run robust applications through its Backend-as-a-Service architecture. 

Google is the chief supporter of Firebase and it is also the reason behind its adoption by the development teams. You can integrate it with Google Cloud, Google Ads, Play Store, Data Studio, Big Query, Jira, Slack and many more platforms for reaching out to billions of users. 

Further, industry experts classify it into the NoSQL database, as it stores and processes JSON-like files, which have a set of key-value pair. 

It eases the overall backend procedure by offering essential tools under different categories. 

The first category is Build, second is Release and Monitor and third is Engage. 

You can flawlessly utilize any tool by navigating to the official website of Google Firebase.

Figure 2https://www.similartech.com/technologies/firebase

As per the reports of Similartech, the market usage of Firebase is decreasing with a rate of 0.97% as compared to usage of AWS in the top industries, such as IT, Tourism, Financial and Government Sector. 

Advantages of Firebase 

Controllable Quality

With Firebase, you can easily control the quality of your application. You can embed dynamic links for enabling the users to navigate to correct page. 

Also, it offers a dedicated testing environment, called as Test Lab for performing different tests on every application’s component. 

As a result, you can ensure user that app is virus and malware and there are no vulnerable loopholes, preventing unauthorized access and data breach. 

Dedicated Database Resources

You can be hassle free from writing queries to enter, retrieve and process the information in the database. 

It offers NoSQL databases through its Cloud Firestore service for your data-driven business solutions. As a result, you can quickly handle large volume of data and structure it as well. 

In addition, Firebase offers automated updates to schemas and fields, reducing the developer’s effort. 

Agility 

As Firebase is a recent Google release, it is highly-compatible with advance technologies. 

It makes you capable to extend the functionalities of your current enterprise system by providing its unique services through a single interface. 

You can connect it with from anywhere and upgrade the structure of executing core business operations. 

Integration and Compatibility with other Google Tools

Firebases uses the Google Analytics engine, leveraging you to use every tool associated with it. 

It helps the marketing team to gain an insight about the user and leads to modify the business strategies for optimizing the ranking and sales. 

In addition, you can also analyze the user’s journey, behavior and device used for accessing the application. 

Fast, Secure and Real-time

Firebase employs advance security systems covering edge-to-edge components of your application. It also assures the data integrity, 

Also, all the data is transmitted in encrypted format, allowing only legitimate users to access it. 

Disadvantages of Firebase

Focused on Android

It is a platform independent platform, but still it has more tools for Android as compared to iOS. 

You can integrate with Android Studio and other Android development SDKs but it is complex to embed with iOS-app creation platforms and frameworks. 

Only limited amount of services and features are available for iOS devices.

Limited Data Migration 

Migrating from firebase to any other database is a complex and time-consuming task. You have to perform multiple operations and sometime configure each component individually for moving your data. 

Its limited query capabilities can also be a barrier in your migration procedure. 

Database Limitation

When you use firebase, database is a single file, which made it difficult for defining the relations, leading to increase the human effort in database updation. 

However, its advance and complex structure can also be beneficial for some organizations, depending on the business requirements. 

Comparing worthy opponents

Amazon S3 vs Firebase Storage

With Amazon Web Services, you will get the advantage of using object storage for storing and retrieving any amount of data, anytime and from anywhere. 

Also, Amazon employs expert cloud architects, who consistently check the durability of the storage and ensures to reduce the cost without hardware refresh cycles. In addition, you can quickly audit your data and protect it from malicious actors by activating in-built security mechanisms. 

You can build a data lake, backup and restore crucial data aligned with your native applications. 

Moreover, you can directly access the data from virtual AWS storage and run big data analytics with artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. 

On the other hand, Firebase also provides a secure data storage facility and guarantees smooth download and upload of files, even during high-traffic over the application. 

When you first start using the Firebase as your backend, you can use a storage space up to 5GB for free, but for AWS, you have to pay a minimal fee for base cloud storage plan. 

In the terms of storage and features, AWS is a good choice instead of Firebase. You have to pay a little fee for it, but its storage features are unmatched.

A quick answer to a most raised question: Is Firebase good for large database or AWS 

After closely analyzing the functionalities and working of both Firebase and AWS, we must consider AWS for large and complex applications. 

Let’s find out why AWS? 

If you have to innovate an application, which must be high in performance and perform every database operation quickly, then Firebase is the perfect technology for you. 

But, if you have an exponential user-base and an application based on new technologies, such as a software handling various IoT devices, then you must go with AWS. 

There are many few large organizations, who depends upon serverless architecture, but some, who wants to reduce their expenses of hardware maintenance, chooses Amazon Web Services. 

Firebase Functions vs AWS Lambda

Companies consider both Firebase and Lambda for implementing serverless architecture for their applications. 

Processes executed using Firebase are known as Firebase functions and for AWS, serverless processes are called as Lambda functions. You can smoothly design and develop your server-side logics with both of them and scale them according to your business demands. 

Furthermore, you can only use Node.js environment with Firebase and on the contrary, Python, PowerShell, Ruby, C# and Go are compatible with AWS. 

In addition, AWS can transmit and move the data in the IT infrastructure simultaneously, without affecting the application’s performance. Whereas, Firebase used its Firestore module for calling and triggering the functions. 

AWS Lambda is the winner of this round too, as with you will have the below-listed benefits and these are not available with Firebase functions: 

  • You don’t have to manage the servers, saving the maintenance cost to the company. 
  • Scale as your organizations grows. 
  • Comply with all the NIST and government regulations for using cloud computing. 

AWS Security Mechanisms vs Firebase Authenticity

In the terms of securing the user data and maintaining the privacy of an organization, AWS and Firebase are at same page. You can rely on both of them for protecting your identity and information. 

Let’s discover their security features. 

Firebase Security: 

  • Uses encryption for converting the files into cypher texts. 
  • Enables HTTPS for every data transaction. 
  • It also secures data at rest in Cloud Firestore, Crashlytics, Test Lab and Realtime Database. 
  • You can restrict the employees to access the personal information of each other. 
  • Enhance the security with Two-factor authentication. 

In addition, you can enable the Firebase authentication for allowing only legitimate users to access the application. And, this authentication mechanism can help you to setup login on third-party platforms. 

You can also allow user authorization through email and SMS by sending OTPs and verification mails. 

As a result, there will be low risk of cyber threats and only legitimate users will be a part of your organization’s ecosystem. 

AWS Security: 

  • You can control and monitor the data at rest and limit the person accessing it. 
  • AWS aligns with all the NIST and ISO standards for maintaining the security. 
  • It validates authenticity of every third-party API before configuring it in your application. 
  • Follows a strategic security plan, inclusive of four phases, namely, Prevent, Detect, Respond and Remediate. 
  • You can avail the consulting services from Amazon Web Services for implementing latest ecosystem and security practices. 

What to Choose

Selecting a single architecture from AWS and Firebase is a complex task, as both have unique features and functionality. 

As we see, AWS offers more options in configuring database, whereas Firebase provides only NoSQL database for our applications. 

On the other hand, you can use Firebase freely for some time and perform your basic operations. In the case of AWS, you have to pay fee for the basic plan, but it is more scalable. 

At last, not least, you must check your business requirements before selecting any of these for your project. From my personal experience, you should use AWS for large applications and Firebase for the small and medium business solutions. 

Author Bio:

Jemin Desai is a Technical Product Manager and tech-savvy at Positiwise Software Pvt Ltd, AWS Development Company. He has more than 20 years of experience for implementing the latest technologies in designing top-notch products for multiple clients. He can do all with perfection, from market research to feasibility analysis and aligning the project with accurate methodology. By turning his writing hobby into a passion, he’s been providing scholarly articles to various audiences.