Cloud & Infrastructure: What solution is better for your business, Azure or AWS?
Companies big and small are increasingly reliant on cloud infrastructure. And why wouldn’t they be? With goliaths like Amazon and Microsoft expanding their networks, cloud platforms have become much better than on-premises solutions. You can save money, be able to scale faster, and benefit from increased resource flexibility, not to mention superior computing power.
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Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are two of the biggest names in public cloud computing. But which one is right for you and your business? To help you make that decision, let’s talk about what each provider brings to the public cloud table and key differences between them.
AWS Main Offerings
Main offering is EC2 instances, with related services like Elastic Beanstalk, EC2 Container service, AWS Lambda, and Autoscaling.
Simple Storage (S3), Elastic Block Storage (EBS), Elastic File System (EFS), Import/Export, Glacier archive backup, and Storage Gateway
- SQL – Amazon Relational
- Database Service
- NoSQL – Amazon Dynamo DB
- Automated server load balancing
- Connectivity to your on-premise systems.
Azure Main Offerings
Main offering is Virtual Machines (VMs), with tools like Cloud Services and Resource Manager, Autoscaling service, etc.
Azure Storage, Azure Blob block storage, Table, Queue, and File Storage. Also offers Site Recovery, Import Export, and Azure Backup.
- SQL – Azure SQL Database
- NoSQL – Azure
- Document DB
- Automated server load balancing.
- Connectivity to your on premise systems.
Let’s move to the thorniest issue of them all – cost.
In a global financial context that was already bound for recession, COVID-19 amplified the underlying issues. In turn, many organizations had to restructure, scale down, and even suspend activity.
AWS: Amazon has a pay-as-you-go model, where they charge per hour. Instances are purchasable on the following models:
- On-demand: Pay for what you use without upfront cost
- Reserved: Reserve an instance for 1 or 3 years with upfront cost based on the use
- Spot: Customers bid for extra capacity available
Azure: Microsoft is really pushing for the growing business segment with affordable cloud solutions. A couple of years ago, Azure services were up to 5 times cheaper than similar configurations on AWS. Although the difference is not as stark today, Azure is still more cost-effective than Amazon. Aside from cheaper services, you also benefit from free extended security updates, as well as a generous Hybrid benefit program. Microsoft’s pricing is also pay-as-you-go, but they charge per minute, which provides a more exact pricing model. Azure also offers short-term commitments with the option between pre-paid or monthly charges
What about integration with other apps and infrastructures?
As a small business, being able to leverage existing processes and machines will make the transition easier and save you money without disrupting the current workflows.
Beyond business-ready solutions, Azure’s growth was powered by the underlying infrastructure flexibility. With it, you can easily integrate and manage on-premises machines, edge computing, as well as other clouds.
For the longest period of time, AWS was a no-go in terms of such hybrid solutions. This meant that companies had to work completely through its cloud and with its services. As opposed to using what was already there, which is possible with Azure, Amazon forced companies to rebuild everything around it.
From many perspectives, AWS is still breaking ground on the hybrid cloud front, but it’s trailing behind Microsoft quite a bit. A lot of small businesses already use Office 365, Teams, Visual Basic, and Windows, and the fact that Azure can easily integrate information from this software remains an attractive proposition. This is the reason that 95% of fortune 500 uses Azure for their businesses.
Both of these services have their own set of pros and cons. So it is not about one provider out shining the other. It is all about the requirements of your business. Irrespective of the provider you choose, you’ll be acquiring the advantages of a hyper extensible cloud solution that can fulfil your ascending business needs. The choice entirely depends on every company’s needs and how the result of an Azure vs. AWS comparison helps them achieve those needs.
Data Visualisation – The rundown