Microsoft Azure vs AWS : Choosing the Best Cloud Solution
Cloud computing has become a key driving force for every business today. Organizations are adopting cloud to innovate, cut costs and increase agility, moving applications out of on-premise data centers. The top industry giants in the cloud market space are –
Though each can help you upgrade your team into the 2021st tech-ready company, it’s vital to make an informed decision before choosing your cloud. Here is a comparison between Azure and AWS with key considerations to help you make your decision in the cloud.
About Microsoft Azure
Azure has created tremendous success for Microsoft as a global cloud-based system. It provides cloud services and resources that include storing and transforming data depending upon the business requirements. Its cross-premises flexibility makes it easy for developers and engineers from any background to work with it.
Previously known as Windows Azure, it was renamed as ‘Microsoft Azure’ in 2014 making it a public cloud platform for their customers. Azure is viewed as both a Platform as a Service (PaaS) and an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering.
About Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Amazon Web Series is one of the most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud computing platforms. Though Microsoft predates Amazon, Amazon Web Services (AWS) came before Azure, existing in the cloud computing market for more than 10 years. AWS offers over 175 fully-featured services from data centers globally. Its offering services are categorized as Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Software as a Service (Saas).
Comparing the Clouds
Here is a curated list to help you make the best choice for your organization.
Microsoft Azure vs AWS: Market Growth
As per the Canalys report, October 2020, the worldwide cloud market grew 33% this quarter to $36.5 billion. AWS has 32% of the market and generated more revenue than the other three largest combined. Azure is at 19% of the market, Google Cloud at 7%, Alibaba Cloud close behind at 6%, and other clouds with 37%.1
AWS has made a substantial lead in the market growth. As per a press release by Amazon, AWS announced $11.6 billion in revenue for Q3 2020, compared to $8.9 billion in revenue for Q3 in 2019. 2
On the other hand, Microsoft offers no revenue specific to Azure. They have combined Azure Cloud revenue with other services such as SQL Server, Windows Server, Enterprise Services, etc. under the title “Intelligent Cloud”. Though Amazon and Microsoft continue to account for over half of the worldwide market, AWS is the current market leader.
Microsoft Azure vs AWS: Features and Services
As the leading platforms, Azure and AWS are pretty similar in terms of basic capabilities. They both share common services of public cloud i.e self-service, security, instant provisioning, auto-scaling, compliance, and identity management. However, AWS offers 140 services across the computing, database, analytics, storage, mobile, and developers tools.
Here’s a head to head comparison between the two:
One standard requirement before investing in cloud services is understanding the computing power to keep your office up and running. For computing purposes, AWS has computers to perform the calculation, processing, and computing of data. It can scale up to thousands of processing nodes with help of cloud service providers based on the requirement.
AWS uses elastic cloud computing (EC2), as a primary solution for scalable computing. AWS EC2 users can configure their virtual machines (VMs), select pre-configured machine images (MIs), or customize MIs. Users have the freedom to choose the size, power, memory capacity, and number of VMs they wish to use.
On the other hand, Azure’s compute offerings are based on a virtual hard disk (VHD) to create a VM. This can be pre-configured by Microsoft, the user, or a separate third party and relies on virtual scale sets for scalability purposes. The key difference is that EC2 can be tailored to a range of options, while Azure VMs pair with other tools to help deploy applications on the cloud.
One of the key functionality of cloud service providers is their storage capability. AWS’s storage is called Simple Storage Service (S3) while Azure’s storage is referred to as Blob storage. Though AWS’ storage is the longest-running, Azure storage capabilities are equally reliable.
AWS’ storage relies on machine instances, which are virtual machines hosted on AWS infrastructure. Temporary storage is allocated when an instance starts and terminates when an instance stops. Users can also get block storage that is similar to a hard drive and can be attached to any EC2 instance or kept separate.
AWS’s cloud object storage solution offers high availability and automatic replication across regions. Users can get object storage through S3 and data archiving through Glacier. Azure, on the other hand, offers temporary storage through D drive and block storage through Page Blobs for VMs which is similar to S3.
Azure offers two classes of storage – Hot and Cool. Cool storage is comparatively less expensive than Hot but one has to incur additional read and write costs. Both have an object size limit with a slight difference. AWS has an object size limit of 5 TB, while Azure has a size limit of 4.75 TB.
Regardless of whether you need a relational database or a NoSQL offering, both AWS and Azure have robust database offerings. Amazon’s RDS (Relational Database Service) supports six popular database engines – MariaDB, Amazon Aurora, MySQL, Microsoft SQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle while Azure’s SQL database service is solely based on MS SQL Server.
Both systems work perfectly with NoSQL and relational databases. They’re highly available, durable, and offer easy, automatic replication. Azure’s interface and tooling make it easy to perform various DB operations while AWS has more instance types which you can provision and get that additional control over DB instances.
Content Delivery and Networking
Network performance is critical in a cloud solution. Cloud users are in need to find a network that is isolated and secure. AWS uses a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for users to create private networks within the cloud. For cross-premises connectivity, it uses API gateways and for networking, it uses elastic load balancing for smooth operation. A user can create subnets, private IP ranges, route tables, and network gateways within the cloud.
Similarly Azure offers Virtual Network (VNET) for users to create isolated networks as well as subnets, private IP ranges, route tables, and network gateways. Both platforms offer firewall options and solutions to extend on-premise data centers into the cloud.
Microsoft Azure vs AWS: Pricing
Cost is a major factor for organizations planning to move to the cloud. The good news is that both the platforms offer a free introductory tier with restricted usage limits to give users a glimpse of the services before they make a purchasing decision. They even offer credits to help start-up companies who are considering moving to the cloud.
Both the platforms offer a pay-as-you-go model with a slight difference – AWS charges users per hour while Azure charges per minute. However, Azure is a little less flexible than AWS when it comes to pricing. AWS users pay less with more usage, saving more with increased usage. While Azure offers short-term commitments to its users allowing them to choose between pre-paid or monthly charges.
Microsoft Azure vs AWS: The Best Choice?
Comparing Azure and AWS is a difficult process as both continue to launch new pricing structures, new products, and new integrations. The decision to choose the right cloud platform depends on your team, your business requirements, and what you prioritize most. Regardless of the comparison, thorough research on what your organization needs, really helps.
Want to find out more about Azure and AWS? Our experts can help your team be stronger than ever. Luckily, iLink is positioned to help you regardless of which platform you choose and is a recognized partner at Microsoft as well as Amazon Web Service. We have the right experience to help you decide before you move to the cloud.
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