Amazon AWS vs Microsoft Azure

Comparision between two leading clouds

Learn more

Amazon AWS or Microsoft Azure

Which one to choose from?

Modern IT world made tremendous growth as cloud service companies touch our lives and make this world a far better place. AWS and Azure are two big names with so many unique feature and are best in their own. But as a user which should I rate most?

An upper sight may lead to think AWA has an unprecedented edge over Azure, but as we move closer the decision is not going to be that easy. To decide which one should we prefer a number of factors needs to be taken in considerations such as storage capabilities, computing power, pricing models, mobility, data availability etc.

Now we will have comparison on certain standards and let’s see which is going to be prove better….

Computing Platforms (Virtual Server)

AWS with Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Instances: - With AWS EC2 users can configure their own VMs or can select any pre-configured machine images, or even customize MIs. Users have flexibility to choose size, power, memory capacity
and number of VMs from different regions and availability zones with which to launch from.

Azure with Azure Virtual Machine: - In case of Azure you have to choose Virtual Hard Disk (VHD), equivalent to Machine Instance for creating VM. Here also pre-configured VHD are available from Microsoft or user or third party can also configure it. Amount of cores and memory need to be specify by the user

Storage capabilities

AWS with S3, EBS, EFS & S3 Glacier: - AWS generates a temporary storage which gets allocated once an instance started and
gets destroyed as instance terminated. We can also get block storage (like hard disks) which can be attached or separated from an instance. S3 offers you the object storage and Glacier offers the data archiving services. You can avail supports for relational & NoSQL databases with Big Data Support as well.

Azure with Block Blob, Page Blob, Azure Files and Azure Backup: - With Azure You can get temporary storage through D drive. Object storage can be availed by Block Blobs and Files; Block storage you can get through Page Blobs. It also supports relational & NoSQL databases along with Big Data through Azure Table & HDInsight. Additionally, with Azure you can get site recovery, Import Export and Azure backup for additional archiving & recovery options.

Networking Features 

AWS with Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): - With VPC users can create isolated networks with the cloud itself. VPC avails a user
some features like creating subnets, route tables, private IP ranges and network gateways.

Azure with Virtual Network: - Here the name given is VNET which also gives you the power to create isolated networks as well as subnets, route tables, private IP address ranges and Network gateways. With both companies one can avail solutions to extend the
on premise data centre into the cloud and firewall options.

Charges and Pricing Models

AWS with Pay as you go model: -  Here user need to pay on hourly basis. One can purchase Instance on following models: -
1.   On Demand:- Without any upfront cost needs to pay on the basis of what you use.
2.   Reserved:- With upfront cost reserve an instance for1 to 3 years
3.    Spot:-Youcan put bid for extra available capacity

Azure with Pay as you go model:- Here user need to pay on per minute basis which gives you more exact pricing model. With the options of pre-paid and monthly charges you can have short term commitments with azure.

Plans for Supports

AWS:- Here pricing is based sliding scale tied to your monthly usage. A heavy user could have have to pay high amount as a bill
of support.

Azure:- Here a flat monthly bill will be fixed that need to be pay for support.

Integrations and Open Source

AWS :- AWS has upper hand in this case with better relationship with the open source community. You can have more options for open source integrations in this platform which includes Jenkins & GitHub. Linux server can also be integrated and runs with AWS.

Azure:- If you are regular windows user and using development tools such as VBS, SQL database, Active Directory then Azure can offer native integrations for these tools. Your AD accounts can be used for signing in into office 365 or Azure SQL instances.
.net developers can geed support over azure. Azure is not too much embraced with open source but nowadays you can hook up with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Apache Hadoop clusters in Azure.

Repository and Corresponding Support

AWS: Amazon targets to offer mature analytics by meeting with new demands for new services and needs. For example, AWS Elastic Map Reduce adds supports Hadoop. Some quite useful Machine Learning tools & features have been added with IOT. One can create a high performance Computing environment and build mobile apps according to needs. Docker support is also added up.

Azure: Microsoft also offers Hadoop support with HDInsight. Windows server 2016 provides integration with Docker for both Windows containers and Hyper-V containers. The platform has support for windows as well as linux.

Compliance

AWS: Amazon claims to have many compliant offerings which includes certifications in ITAR, DISA, HIPAA, CJIS, FIPS and more. The security features only allows the screened the persons for cloud access. Which makes it feasible for those agencies who handles sensitive information.

Azure: Azure also having more than 50 compliant offerings which includes ITAR, DISA, HIPAA, CJIS, FIPS. The security features all also as good as Amazon so that only screened members can access a sensitive cloud space.

Adaptability

AWS: Amazon offers quite good power, flexibility, customization areas with integrated supports of third party add-ons. You need
to follow a learning curve with AWS

Azure: If you are aware with Windows and a regular user, Azure will be easier to use and configure without following a learning curve. A hybrid environment can be easily created by integrated on premises Windows servers with cloud instances. Many tools such as SQL database and Active directory works very well with azure.

Licensing and Mobility

AWS: If you are new to cloud Amazon offers you the option to buy new licence (bundled with EC2 or relational Database service
instances) or else you can use previously purchased licenses (BYOL) as a part of their partnership with Microsoft. It is a case where user can use Dedicated Hosts or Software Assurance to move their licenses to the cloud. Before migrating a Licence, user have to make sure that all Microsoft Server application products migrated to cloud Service provider via License Mobility through Software Assurance Program must be covered with active software Assurance. List of eligible products, which includes Exchange Server, SQL Server Enterprise Edition, and Share point server much have server applications in their list. AWS licensing details can be found here.

Azure: Microsoft also lets you license mobility for qualifying application servers, but one should determine if their server fits the requirement for mobility without paying anything extra for new license. Windows Server itself is NOT eligible (eg, running on-premises Windows Server with SQL server). If you spin up a VM in the cloud running the same stack, you will pay for two Windows server licenses since that license is charged per usage and not eligible for mobility. However, a SQL license is eligible, so you can use that to run SQL server in the cloud. Read more about Azure licensing mobility here.

Hybrid Cloud Support

AWS: Snowball Edge is introduced by AWS which is a 100TB hard drive for sharing workloads between its cloud and clients’ data
centres. A hybrid element is also added as it partnered with VMware to its portfolio to allow its customers to burst into its cloud environments. However it is still on the way of developing its hybrid nature.

Azure: Azure has strong support for hybrid cloud services with platforms such as Azure StorSimple, Hybrid SQL Server, and Azure Stack, a new hybrid cloud platform product that allows you to bring nearly full public Azure functionality to your own on-premises data centres with same pay-as-you go pricing model.

What we concluded?

AWS and Azure offers services of quite same standards so you can’t judge which one is better than other still it all depends on your professional & Business needs.