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Microsoft Azure Vs Amazon AWS; How To Choose The Best Cloud Vendor For Your Brand

  • November / 26th / 2021 | Gangadhar Heralgi
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Selecting the best cloud service provider is a careful decision, dependent on a variety of factors. You may already know that choosing the right vendor demands understanding your specific business needs.

If you already have that checklist of specific requirements and minimum expectations, then the next step is assessing potential providers and comparing one against the other to select the best cloud vendor that delivers optimum value and benefits that your organization expects from the cloud. In this article, we will discuss about the main difference between microsoft azure vs amazon aws.

Microsoft Azure vs Amazon AWS; The Basics

What is Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud service platform owned by Microsoft. At inception, it was called Windows Azure and today, offers a range of cloud solutions ranging from storage to networking, analytics and computing. At its core, Azure is both an Infrastructure as a Service offering and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Azure is especially powerful due to its parent company, because only a few companies can offer as much infrastructure support as Microsoft. However, Azure came after AWS although the parent company Microsoft predates Amazon.

What is AWS?
AWS is also known as Amazon Web Service and like it’s parent company offers a robust toolset that keeps growing at a heightened pace. AWS has also been in the cloud computing market for over 10 years, which is why it remains the frontrunner. Currently AWS leads the cloud services market, with an annual operating profit margin of over 25% and over $12.22 billion in 2016. Nevertheless, AWS is categorized as Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Microsoft Azure vs AWS: Similar Core Features and Services

The first thing you might realize when comparing Azure vs Aws is that they both seem to offer similar systems that solve similar sets of problems. Both have a lot of common elements that define them as public cloud services such as auto-scaling, compliance, identity management, instant provisioning, security, and self-service.

Azure offers four service categories including:
● Compute
● Performance
● Networking
● Data management and databases

In the same vein, AWS offers four service categories including:

● Compute
● Networking
● Database
● Content delivery and storage

However, when you dig deeper, you realize that there’s actually a lot of differences across each of these categories which is why a side-by-side comparison of Microsoft Azure vs AWS is important. For instance, AWS delivers more depth with over 140 services across developer tools, storage, mobile, analytics, database, and computing. This might be due to their long years of experience. However, each also has unique advantages that might be suitable for one organization but be a loss for the next.

Computing Power and Scalability; Azure vs AWS
Computing power is a basic requirement for every IT team. This is because you need a cloud service provider that can offer enough horsepower to meet your office demands daily and especially high-traffic periods.

On the grounds of scalability, you will love that AWS uses elastic cloud computing (EC2), which means your available resource footprint can shrink or grow on-demand, with a local cluster offering only an aspect of the resource pool available on all jobs.

AWS EC2 users can either choose pre-configured machine images (MIs), configure their own virtual machines (VMs), or customize their own machine images. So, users can choose the number, size, and memory capacity of their virtual machines. This is also alongside other services like EC2 container services, Autoscaling, AWS lambda, and Elastic Beanstalk for app development.

In contrast, Azure users can pick a virtual hard disk (VHD) to create a virtual machine that may be pre-configured by them, Microsoft, or a separate third party. For scalability, this system relies on virtual scale sets.

So the difference here is that Azure VMs will pair with other tools to deploy applications on the cloud, while AWS EC2 can be customized to a wide range of options.

You also require adequate storage for successful cloud deployment. In this aspect, both AWS and Azure offer almost equal capabilities.

AWS’s storage depends on machine instances, which are virtual machines hosted on the AWS infrastructure. Therefore, storage remains fixed on individual instances, with temporary storage allocated once per instance and destroyed once you terminate the instance. You can also get block storage (that works like a hard drive) attached to an instance. You can also get data archiving via Glacier, and object storage via S3. Hence, Azure’s storage capabilities are remarkably eligible.

Both Azure and AWS provide all the basic features such as server-side data encryption and REST API access.

In contrast, Azure offers temporary storage using block storage and D drive via Page Blobs for VMs with Files and Block Bobs doubling as object storage. Azure provides two storage classes; Cool and Hot. Cool storage is cheaper but there’s additional read and write expenses. AWS, on the flip side, offers S3 Standard and S3 standard infrequent Access.

While AWS

Nevertheless, both AWS and Azure support Big Data, relational databases, and NoSQL. Both also offer unlimited allowed objects, but Azure limits object size to 4.75TB while AWS limits it to 5TB.

AWS and Azure offer comprehensive database offerings which serve your needs whether you choose NoSQL offering or relational databases.

However, while Azure’s SQL database is dependent on Microsoft SQL, Amazon’s relational database service (RDS) spans across six popular database engines including Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Microsoft SQL, MariaDB, and Amazon Aurora.

Both systems support relational and NoSQL databases and are highly durable, and available with easy automatic replication.

Nevertheless, AWS provides more instance types but Azure’s interface and tooling are easier to understand and navigate across diverse database operations.

Network and Content Delivery
Finding a secure and isolated network with superb network performance is one of the critical concerns for your organization. This is both a privacy and security issue.

AWS allows users to create their own isolated private network through AWS’s virtual private cloud (VPC). This private network utilizes elastic load balancing during networking and API gateways for cross-premises connectivity,

Inside a VPC, you will have plenty of options such as creating route tables, network gateways, subjects, and private IP ranges.

Azure offers a different approach. Azure uses a virtual network instead of a VPC. So users can create private IP ranges, network gateways, subnets, and isolated networks. You will need a VPN gateway for cross-network connectivity. A load balancer and application gateway handle the load balancing.

Nevertheless, Azure and AWS offer firewall solutions and options to augment your on-premises data center into the cloud without compromising on your data.

Pricing structure

Pricing is also an important factor but shouldn’t be the basis of your comparison of Microsoft azure vs amazon AWS. What you would love is that Azure and AWS offer introductory tiers to test how their systems integrate with your on-premise software. Both also offer a pay-as-you-go pricing structure so you can change or end your contract at any time. However, there is still a notable difference in their billing structure.

Microsoft Azure charges per minute with short-term commitments so you can choose between prepaid and monthly charges. Azure also allows you to choose BT MPLS ExpressRoute pricing which means you can expand your private business network into the cloud with just the functionality you require at a price you can afford at the time.

In contrast, Amazon web services (AWS) charges per hour purchasable instances as:
● On-demand (pay for what you use)
● Reserved (reserve an instance for up to 3 years with upfront costs based on use
● Spot (bid for additional capacity)

Azure Benefits and Drawbacks

Microsoft Azure stand’s out because it adapted its pre-existing on-premise solutions for the cloud. This means if your organization already uses Office, Windows Server, SQL Server, Dynamics Active Directory, Sharepoint, and lots more, it’s quite easier to integrate with Azure than AWS. If you are already an existing Microsoft customer, you will also enjoy delightful discounts on Azure. However, Azure is a younger program, which means it’s less enterprise-ready than AWS.

AWS Benefits and Drawbacks

As said earlier, AWS has been around for over 10 years and is today a market leader in cloud services. As the first on the scene, you will enjoy a more mature service. It also has pre-existing infrastructure that most competitors don’t. However, AWS’s pricing structure might be a downside for some companies. It’s difficult to understand its pricing structure thereby making it more challenging to manage costs.

Microsoft Azure vs AWS: Which is the best cloud service, provider

There’s no clear winner between both cloud service providers as they continue to release attractive new products and integrations. Therefore, the choice between both would depend on the needs of your organization. Nevertheless, AWS provides an intuitive system and easy-to-read documentation making it an easy platform to deploy and start using from the get-go. In contrast, Azure might be the preferred choice especially if you already use Microsoft on-premise solutions.

  • November / 26th / 2021 | Gangadhar Heralgi
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