Cloud Computing

Azure vs. AWS: Cloud Platform Comparison

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So, the question is often asked, ‘Which is the right cloud for you?’ The battle is always heated up between Azure vs AWS and to measure this, the comparison is listed below. Read on to know more about it.

With the introduction of Amazon Web Services (AWS), in 2004, it has immersed very strongly to provide a competitive landscape. And another big name in this competitive world is Microsoft Azure, operating since 2010. Although it is not as long as AWS, it is gaining speed and is definitely giving a tough competition.

But choosing one over the other is not so easy. While AWS is known for its key services like stability and reliability with a wide range of compelling offerings, on the other hand, Azure is a cloud offering which is done by the authors of the closed source tools. However, both these services by now had got enough time to create stable, profitable and flexible products and uplift their performance.

Azure vs AWS Comparison

In order to compare AWS and Azure, there are certain points that need to be considered. Read on to know more about them in details.

  1. AWS vs Azure Server Capacity: Although they are the big boy’s of the cloud computing world, AWS is much bigger than that of Azure. And so the question follows- How much bigger? The server capacity of AWS is 6 times larger when 12 competitors are combined together. As a result, the cloud hosting services usually operates on thin margins, making bulk profits from the volume. Thus, it becomes crucial to capture as much market share possible.  So how do these tech giants achieve this? They regularly cut down the price of their offerings, especially the compute-storage combo. This Azure vs Amazon war has resulted in giving an advantage to other companies.
  2. AWS vs Azure Pricing: Depending on capacity, the amount of data that needs to be transferred, performance, advanced features, auto scaling and load balancing, the cost is usually decided. The figures of cost are also dependent on how often you use cloud instances. The main difference in pricing stands at a point when Microsoft Azure pricing even includes rounding up the last minute, whereas Amazon web services pricing includes rounding up the last hour.
  3. Support Plan: The biggest differences between AWS and Azure lie on the support plans. While the support plans for Azure are billed as a flat monthly fee, AWS bills are tied to monthly usage. Hence in Amazon cloud computing, the support cost can grow exponentially if you are a heavy user. Both these services offer tech supports and in the case of any issues, there is a dedicated account manager, who can solve very easily if anything goes wrong.
  4. Reliability and Uptime: Both the computing system provides greater than 99. 95% service availability. If the uptime drops below that figure, the credit is provided back to the customer. While both the service providers have been reliable, popular services like Netflix, Office 365 and much more similar services have been affected due to periodic outages experienced by both the service providers.
  5. Set up and user friendliness: For Windows admin, Azure is more convenient because of the fact that there is no need to learn a new platform. To create a hybrid cloud environment, it is easy with cloud instances to integrate on-premises Windows servers. AWS, on the other hand, provides a lot of flexibility, power, and room for customization and even support for third party integrations. Even for heavy users, this is a great platform for hosting Linux instances.

Comparison Inside The Box

Although it is not very easy to do a direct side by side comparison, here only the close ones have been highlighted. While the list is far from complete, the table is just an attempt to make comparisons, to draw a cloud review.

  Microsoft Azure Amazon Web Services
Available Regions Azure Regions AWS Global Infrastructure
Computer Services Virtual Machines Elastic Compute Cloud
  Cloud Services Azure Websites and Apps Amazon Elastic Beanstalk
  Azure Visual Studio Online None
Container Support Docker Virtual Machine Extension EC2 Container Service
Scaling Options Azure Autoscale Auto Scaling
Hadoop Options HD Insight Elastic Map Reduce
Government Services Azure Government AWS GovCloud
Desktop Services Azure Remote App Amazon WorkSpaces

Amazon App Stream

Storage Options Azure Storage Amazon Simplge Storage
Block Storage Azure Blob Storage Amazon Elastic Block Storage
Hybrid Cloud Storage StorSimple AWS Storage Gateway
Backup Options Azure Backup Amazon Glacier
Storage Services Azure Import Export Amazon Import/ Export
  Azure File Storage AWS Storage Gateway
  Azure Site Recovery None
Content Delivery Network Azure CDN Amazon CloudFront
Database Option Azure SQL Database Amazon Relational Database Services

Amazon Redshift

Networking Options Azure Virtual Network Amazon VPC
  Azure Express Route AWS Direct Connect
  Azure Traffic Manager Amazon Route 53
Load Balancing Load Balancing for Azure Elastic Load Balancing
Administration and Security Azure Active Directory AWS Directory Service

AWS Identity and Access

Management

Management Services and Options Azure Resource Manager Amazon Cloud Formation
Other Services and Integrations Azure Machine Learning Amazon Machine Learning
  Azure Functions AWS Lambda


Another one Good Comparison Table

  Microsoft Azure Amazon Web Services (AWS) Google Cloud Platform
Available Regions Azure Regions AWS Global Infrastructure Google Compute Regions and Zones
Compute Services Virtual Machines (VMs) Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Compute Engine
App Hosting Cloud Services
Azure Websites and Apps
Azure Batch
Azure Scheduler
Logic Apps
Amazon Elastic Beanstalk Google App Engine
Serverless Computing Azure Functions AWS Lambda Google Cloud Functions
 ALM & Code Editor Azure Visual Studio Online AWS CodeDeploy None
Container Support Docker Virtual Machine Extension (how to) EC2 Container Service

Container Engine

Container Registry
Scaling Options Azure Autoscale (how to) Auto Scaling Autoscaler
Analytics/Hadoop Options HDInsight (Hadoop) Elastic MapReduce (EMR) Google Cloud Dataproc
Government Services Azure Government AWS GovCloud None
App/Desktop Services Azure RemoteApp Amazon WorkSpaces
Amazon AppStream
None
Object Storage Azure Storage (Blobs, Tables, Queues, Files) Amazon Simple Storage (S3) Cloud Storage
Block Storage Azure Blob Storage (how to) Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) Persistent Disk
Hybrid Cloud Storage StorSimple AWS Storage Gateway None
Backup Options Azure Backup Amazon Glacier Google Cloud Storage
Disaster Recovery Planning Azure Site Recovery None None
Content Delivery Network (CDN ) Azure CDN Amazon CloudFront Cloud CDN
Database Options Azure SQL Database Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)
Amazon Redshift
Cloud SQL
Cloud Spanner
NoSQL Database Options Azure DocumentDB Amazon Dynamo DB Cloud Bigtable
Cloud Datastore
Caching Azure Managed Cache (Redis Cache) Amazon Elastic Cache None
Data Orchestration Azure Data Factory AWS Data Pipeline BigQuery
Cloud Dataflow
Networking Options Azure Virtual Network Amazon VPC Cloud Virtual Network
  Azure ExpressRoute AWS Direct Connect Cloud Interconnect
  Azure Traffic Manager Amazon Route 53 Cloud DNS
Load Balancing Load Balancing for Azure (how to) Elastic Load Balancing Cloud Load Balancing
Administration & Security Azure Active Directory AWS Directory Service
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Cloud Identity & Access Management (IAM)
Multi-Factor Authentication Azure Multi-Factor Authentication AWS Multi-Factor Authentication Cloud Identity-Aware Proxy (IAP) (Beta)
Security Key Enforcement
Monitoring Azure Operational Insights Amazon CloudTrail Cloud Console
  Azure Application Insights Amazon CloudWatch Stackdriver Monitoring
Stackdriver Logging
Queueing Azure Service Bus
Azure Event Hubs
Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) Cloud Pub/Sub
Notifications Azure Notification Hubs Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) None
Secure Credentials Azure Key Vault (Preview) AWS Key Management Service Cloud Key Management Service
Compliance Azure Trust Center AWS CloudHSM Google Cloud Platform Security
Management Services & Options Azure Resource Manager Amazon CloudFormation Cloud Deployment Manager
API Management Azure API Management Amazon API Gateway Cloud Endpoints
Automation Azure Automation AWS OpsWorks
AWS Config
Compute Engine Management with Puppet, Chef, Salt, and Ansible
Automated Image Builds with Jenkins, Packer, and Kubernetes
Search Service Azure Search Amazon CloudSearch None
Analytics Azure Stream Analytics Amazon Kinesis Cloud Dataflow
Cloud Dataprep (Beta)
Email Services None Amazon Simple Email Services (SES) None
Media Services Azure Media Services Amazon Elastic Transcoder Cloud Video Intelligence API
Machine Learning Azure Machine Learning (Preview) Amazon Machine Learning Cloud Machine Learning Engine
Workflow Azure BizTalk Services Amazon Simple Workflow (SWF) None

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Conclusions

Amazon Web Service

  • For scalable and automation offerings
  • Global and local availability
  • For any robust application
  • For different levels of security
  • If you are in need for the most robust feature set.

Microsoft Azure

  • If you are a fan of Microsoft technologies
  • If you are okay with scalability limitations
  • User of Office 365 or Azure PaaS
  • If you want to use only a single provider
  • In search for a contingency plan for AWS
  • For financial benefit.

Although to keep the competition alive, both these provider keep cutting off their price, but at the same time, service quality and innovation are never compromised. While, at this moment Amazon continues to rule the marketplace as an infrastructure and as a service provider, but for how long exactly? So, keep on guessing and hope for a shift!

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About the author

Steven Hansen

Steven Hansen is a founder of Techeries. He is a specialist in digital security solution business design and development, virtualization and cloud computing R&D projects, establishment and management of software research direction. He also loves writing about data management and cyber security.

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