What’s the difference between GCP and AWS Regions?

To understand the global infrastructure of a cloud provider, consider a coffee shop. If an event such as a flood, or power outage impacts one coffee shop location, customers can still get their coffee by visiting a different location only a few blocks away.

A cloud provider’s global infrastructure provides high availability that consisting of several components: Region, Zone, and Edge locations. 

A Region represents independent geographic areas that hosts cloud services. Each Region is isolated from each other unless you allow traffic out of that Region. Thinking back to our coffee shop analogy, all the coffee shops in the Northeast could be considered Northeast Region Coffee. If all Northeast coffee shops went out of business, it wouldn’t affect any Coffee shops located in the Northwest. And a Region consists of Zones. 

A Zone is where cloud resources are deployed generally consisting of two or three independent data centers located tens of miles apart from each other but close enough to have low latency or in our case coffee shops. Let’s say there are three coffee shops in town, one of the coffee shops loses power, however the other two coffee scops can still service customers in town. Zones provide high availability to cloud services and applications in the cloud.

An Edge location is part of the cloud provider’s network also known as Point-of-Presence that places cloud services closer to the user improving the user’s experience and convenience. 

Choosing where your applications are located affects qualities like user experience, availability, durability, and latency. 

Comparing Regions and Zones in Google Cloud and AWS

Google and AWS both use Regions to provide Cloud services to customers. 

One difference is that Google will have at least three Zones in each Region, whereas AWS uses Availability Zones to provide high availability. Every region will have at least two availability zones in an AWS Region.

Google Cloud infrastructure is based in five major geographic locations: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

Google Cloud currently supports 106 Zones in 35 regions

AWS Cloud infrastructure functions in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Australia

The AWS Cloud spans 96 Availability Zones within 30 Regions.

The Google and AWS networks have many of the same attributes with some slight differences! Regardless of which cloud provider you use selecting a region should include four key factors.

  1. Compliance
  2. Proximity to your customers
  3. Available Services within a Region
  4. Pricing


“Global Locations – Regions & Zones  |  Google Cloud.” Google, Google, https://cloud.google.com/about/locations/. 

Indeglia, Shaun. “GCP Networking- Regions and Zones.” Medium, Google Cloud – Community, 11 Nov. 2022, https://medium.com/google-cloud/gcp-region-and-zones-4eb4bf1f99ab. 

“Select Geographic Zones and Regions  |  Architecture Framework  |  Google Cloud.” Google, Google, https://cloud.google.com/architecture/framework/system-design/geographic-zones-regions. 

“Whitepapers.” Amazon, Earthpledge Foundation, https://docs.aws.amazon.com/whitepapers/latest/aws-overview/global-infrastructure.html. 

Apronomics: December, 2022

Apronomics, is a play on the word ‘macroeconomics’ which seeks to provide a general perspective in three specific domains. Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3. This is monthly and sometimes twice a month TL;DR “too long; didn’t read” digital glance that serves as a quick consumption style for those looking for hot topics in Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3.


  • AWS: Secured a $723,878,930 five-year fixed-prices agreement with the Department of Navy (DoN). This agreement provides DoN access to AWS’s Commercial Cloud environment, AWS Profession Services, and AWS training and certifications courses (Link)
  • AWS: AWS re:Invent 2022 delivered to a different audience. With possible recession fear looming, AWS aimed their success stories and use cases at the C-suit hoping the executives would invest their traditional computing dollars in AWS. Operations could be exponentially cheaper however, AWS needs to tell the customer how to do it not just talk about it (Link)
  • Oracle: “triple-digit” bookings growth in IaaS and will invest $2.4 Billion quarterly to meet future growth. Oracle had acquired Cerner to focus on the healthcare sector which helped contribute to their growth alongside their Fusion Cloud and NetSuite businesses (Link)


  • HPE: Hewlett Packard Enterprise express interest to buy Nutanix. Nutanix offers customers a software-defined hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) which competes with the HPE solution, SimpliVity (Link)
  • PAN: Palo Alto Networks recently announced its intent to acquire Cider Security for $195M. Cider’s App Sec Platform “InCider” secures a customer’s code from source to deployment offering risk identity and vulnerability across a company’s code, IAC, and supply-chain. PAN may be looking to expand Ciders offering as part of Prisma Cloud (Link)
  • Cisco: Cisco announces three security enchantments for AWS Security LakeAWS Verified Access and AWS Control Tower


  • Fleek: A Web3 developer platform has raised $25 Million in Series A funding. Funds will allow Fleek to focus on building out edge networks, bringing content closer to the user via their decentralized content delivery network (CDN) (Link)
  • Yuga Labs: A blockchain technology company responsible for the Board Ape Yacht Club and Otherside will appoint Activision Blizzard President and COO Daniel Alegre as new CEO beginning the first half of 2023 (Link)
  • Solidity and Clarity: As the demand for Web3 picks up developers are shifting their development stack to include new languages like Solidity and Clarity. Both are used to bring smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps) to blockchain. Solidity is used for Ethereum while Clarity is used for Bitcoin (Link)


Apronomics: November, 2022

Apronomics, is a play on the word ‘macroeconomics’ which seeks to provide a general perspective in three specific domains. Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3. This is monthly and sometimes twice a month ‘Digital Glance’ (DG) which provides a practical yet quick consumption style for those looking for hot topics in Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3.


  • Gartner: Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services (Link)
  • AWS: AWS re:Invent – November 28 – December 2, 2022 (Link)
    • Emerald sponsors: Accenture, Cisco, Datadog, Deloitte, Intel, MongoDB, TrendMicro, VMware
  • Microsoft: Announced its ISV Success Program for Microsoft Partners which offers software providers the ability to sell their software via the Commercial Marketplace (Link)
    • “In 2021, marketplace transactions grew an estimated 70% to $4 billion, which is 3x faster growth than the public cloud at large”
    • Customers can purchase software solutions and retire every dollar against their cloud consumption commitment


  • Cisco: Plans to provide networking, cyber security, and general IT training to 25 million people over the next 10 years (Link)
  • Dynatrace: Announced its observability “Data Lakehouse”, (Grail) at Dynatrace Innovate
    • Grail is a causational (cause and effect relationship) data lakehouse with a massively parallel processing (MPP) analytics engine, leveraging Dynatrace Query Language (DQL) a new query language (Link)
  • Cato: Cato Network Reaches $100M ARR in just Five years (Link)
    • “Cato provides the world’s most robust single-vendor SASE platform”
    • Cato has become the fastest growing Enterprise Network Security Startup
  • VMware: Takes advantage of ‘cloud adjacency infrastructure’ by partnering with Equinix offering VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal, a new offer that will enable enterprises to use VMware’s software environment as a cloud service on Equinix’s bare-metal cloud (Link)


  • Google: Announced its Cloud’s Blockchain Node Engine; a fully managed node-hosting service helping scale Web3 development. Google announced that is working with Solana ($SOL) to launch dedicated Solana nodes in the cloud as early as next year (Link)
  • FTX: Impure business practices lead to the collapse of the second-largest crypto exchange underscoring the importance of truly decentralized systems


Apronomics: October, 2022

Apronomics, is a play on the word ‘macroeconomics’ which seeks to provide a general perspective in three specific domains. Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3. This is monthly and sometimes twice a month ‘Digital Glance’ (DG) which provides a practical yet quick consumption style for those looking for hot topics in Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3.


  • Google: Hacking Google Series (Video)
  • Google: Google cloud and Coinbase Launch New Strategic Partnership to drive Web3 Select customers, starting with those in the Web3 ecosystem, to pay for its cloud services via select cryptocurrencies (Link)
  • Google: Google closes $5.8B Mandiant acquisition (Link)
  • Microsoft: Microsoft Ignite – October 12-14, 2022 (Link)
  • Microsoft: Cisco and Microsoft together deliver outcomes to customers. Cisco was a big focus at Microsoft Ignite this year. Microsoft Teams will have the ability to run Teams natively on certain Cisco collaboration devices and will be manageable in the Microsoft Teams Admin Center (Link)
  • Zesty: secured $75M Series B funding. Zesty aims to reduce cloud costs while ensuring app performance (Link)


  • Flexera: 2022 – State of the tech spend had some interesting and not-so-surprising data points. (Link)
    • Significant reduction in Customer data centers in the next 24 months – 24% of respondents
    • Top 3 Vendor spent by Organization – Microsoft, AWS, Oracle
    • Managed Service Provider use in top three categories – Cybersecurity, Big Data, Cloud Operations
  • Zscaler: Acquires ShiftRight. With this acquisition, Zscaler hopes to address alert fatigue for SecOps professionals and be able to give customers the ability to investigate their paid SIEM service “log streaming” (Link)
  • Nile: A startup company led by Cisco’s former development chief Pankaj Patel and co-founded by John Chambers initial offer is a network-as-a-service (NaaS) solution and is hosted on AWS (Link)


  • Chainlink: SmartCon 2022 (Sept. 28-29) connects Web2 and Web3 industry leaders and an expansive ecosystem to explore Web3 innovation
    • Chainlink Co-Founder Sergey Nazarov kicked off the flagship SmartCon 2022 conference with a keynote, “Building a Web3 World Powered by Cryptographic Truth. Learn more – Chainlink Fundamentals


Upgrade to ISE 3.1 on AWS

Below is the prep work for migrating from ISE2.4 to ISE3.1+ for AWS, and the migration steps are here, but I have summarize them below.

Cisco ISE is available as an infrastructure-as-code solution leveraging AWS CloudFormation making the deployment of ISE a very light lift. I’ll be walking you through how to deploy ISE on AWS in a later post.

Step 1 – Base, Plus, Apex, and Device Admin licenses need to be migrated to Smart Licenses
Step 2 – VM licenses need to be converted
Step 3 – Migration can occur. Once licenses are prepped and converted, you go to the AWS Marketplace ISE BYOL listing and choose your deployment size. 

ISE Licensing

  1. AWS ISE requires ISE 3.1+
    1. If upgrading to 3.1 from an existing 2.X release, it is required that a customer migrate their existing licenses to the new licenses and then upgrade to the 3.0 release. I.e. These are the Base, Plus, and Apex license that need to be upgraded. Device Admin licenses are grandfathered and need to be upgraded to a Smart License as well.
  2. This requires a Cisco Smart License Account. 
  3. Please refer to the Migration Guide for instructions.

ISE VM – You need to register the VM Common license for ISE 3.1 and later.

  1. Customers need to migrate their ISE License to the new “Common License.”
    1. To migrate the legacy VM license to the VM Common license, customers need to obtain the $0 upgrade Product ID (PID), “L-ISE-VMC-UPG=, from Cisco. This is the same PID regardless of what current size of VM license you have today.
    2. https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/security/identity-services-engine/ise-licensing-migration-guide-og.html

2. To obtain a VM Common License for a net new deployment you’ll need the new VM PID, “R-ISE-VMC-K9=” Refer to the table below for a 1:1 mapping.

These VM licenses are valid in Cisco ISE 3.0 and earlier releases. Again, when you upgrade your Cisco ISE to Release 3.1, you will need to have VM Common license.  

Upgrade FromUpgrade ToRatio

How to migrate license

To migrate the legacy VM license to the VM Common license, customers need to obtain the $0 upgrade PID, “L-ISE-VMC-UPG=,” in CCW. See ISE Licensing Migration Guide for the detailed process.

Support for VM and License

Q. What support do customers receive with the new ISE licenses?

A. The same as with current subscription licenses. With the new ISE software licenses, customers receive embedded SWSS—which covers 24x7x365 Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) support and software updates. However, now Essentials will also have this support.

More Question and Answers here

Support associated with the legacy VM licenses

When customers upgrade the version of their legacy VM to VM Common license, they can continue to receive support based on the support contract purchased on legacy VM license PID. They can renew the support until the legacy VM license PID is EOL and reaches the last service renewal date per the EOL bulletin. There is no support for migration. For seamless support, the customer should request the legacy VM PID to be replaced with the desired VM PID in order to renew and receive support.