Cloud computing is used for data storage and networking. You as a business or network engineer need to deduce between using Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS) for your cloud computing needs.
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This can be a challenge as both options offer comprehensive management services, and are recognized for their cloud capabilities. Azure is hot on AWS’ heels for the top spot, but what makes them unique?
This article compares the similarities and differences between the two cloud giants and gives you an idea of which one is right for you.
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Cloud computing is the use of a virtual computer system for data storage and management. Cloud computing services provide on-demand access to your uploaded data at a cost. These services are often used by large firms and small-medium enterprises (SMEs).
What Is Azure?
Azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft in 2010. Azure makes it possible to build, test, deploy, and manage applications and services through Microsoft data centers.
Azure has the second-highest market share, under AWS. Azure is available in more than 60 regions worldwide and 140 countries, offering more than 100 types of services.
Azure is unique because it has more data centers and delivery points when compared with other cloud services, allowing it to deliver faster content and a fantastic user experience. You can also store any type of data and share it across virtual machines (VMs).
What Is AWS?
Amazon Web Services (AWS) began back in 2006. It aims to provide cloud computing services to large enterprises but has had success with smaller businesses and individuals, making it the top-rated open-source cloud platform.
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Amazon’s service has the top market share and is available in more countries worldwide than Azure or any other platform. AWS offers more than 200 types of services to over a million people around the world.
AWS has an excellent track record. The services the platform provides offer many features and flexibility, especially in their secure cloud-computing environment.
One notable feature is the Elastic Beanstalk, a service for deploying applications that orchestrate various AWS services. These include EC2, S3, Simple Notification Service, auto-scaling, and Elastic Load Balancers.
AWS vs Azure: The Most Important Differences and Similarities
The main differences between Azure and AWS are in its pricing, developer tools, and network. The main similarities are the essential capabilities, service, and security. Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences in more detail.
Difference: Pricing Models
They both have pay as you go models, but Azure is cheaper and far less complex than AWS. As one example, if you were to opt for an instance that was on-demand for Windows, memory optimized, and had four CPUs and 16 GB Memory it would cost $0.85 per hour for Azure, and $0.95 for AWS. To check the full details of the different prices be sure to look through the Azure or AWS website.
In pricing, both Azure and Google Cloud are closer in similarity than Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS. This is because they try to match AWS at a lower price, while AWS being the more popular does not.
Difference: Developer Tools
The AWS Developer Tools are designed to help you build software like Amazon itself, whether the mobile application or website. These tools have features to help build software and infrastructure.
If you only need a strong platform-as-a-service (PaaS) provider or Windows integration, Azure is the better choice, but if you are looking for infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) or a diverse set of tools, AWS is the best solution.
Amazon offers a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) to create isolated networks within the cloud. Within a VPC, a user can create subnets, route tables, private IP address ranges, and network gateways.
Azure offers Virtual Network (VNET) that gives users the ability to create isolated networks and subnets, route tables, private IP address ranges, and network gateways.
Both companies offer the ability to extend on-premises data centers into the cloud.
Azure and AWS provide software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (Paas), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). These services provide handy software, frameworks for developers, hardware, and networking.
They both offer Load Balancers, which is a software-defined, fully-distributed, and managed service for your traffic.
An additional similarity is both have object storage capabilities (Amazon Simple Storage Service and Azure Blob Storage). To store and manage data as objects rather than block storage. They also offer hybrid cloud environments mixing public and private clouds.
Security is top-notch with both cloud-computing services. AWS and Azure provide similar high-quality security through their data centers and architected networks, which protect identities, information, applications, and devices.
Similarity: Basic Capabilities
AWS and Azure share the common elements of what a public cloud service should do, which is offer self-service, be secure, have compliance, auto-scaling, and identity management.
Azure vs AWS: Pros and Cons
The main pros and cons of Microsoft Azure vs Amazon AWS involve a range of points: Integration, development options, management tools, GUI management, global reach, and costs.
- Easy Integration. Many businesses are already using Microsoft applications and a Windows server, making it an easy integration option.
- Cost-Effective. Compared with AWS, Azure is the cost-effective choice. But compared to Google Cloud Platform, Azure is not the cheapest option on the market.
- Better Developer Options. You can use Linux, Windows, SQL Server, and SQL Database. Azure also offers the ability to integrate machine learning algorithms into your apps.
- Incomplete Management Tooling. Although it has a good set of management tools, it is relatively insufficient compared to Google Cloud and AWS.
- Poor GUI management. The management GUI is browser-based for managing all aspects of your system. The interface provides facilities to help you troubleshoot problems. Azure’s management GUI is currently not as up to par with AWS.
- Less Support. Because of the money behind AWS, their online support is a huge pro. Azure will likely develop in this area in the coming years. However, for the time being, it is not up to AWS’ active directory.
- Large Market Share. AWS has exceeded over a million users worldwide. The majority of which are mid-size companies and their market share is around 33%.
- Global Reach. AWS is on a global scale in 190 countries and operates in over 77 availability zones.
- Great Online Support. It has, compared to other services, an outstanding technical support team. However, this comes at a price which you can see in the cons section.
- Downtime. Compared to Azure and Google Cloud, AWS has more downtime.
- Support Fee. Although AWS has excellent online support, this is not a free service, adding to AWS’s overall higher costs.
- Costs. Many professionals are confused by the cost metrics on AWS, receiving charges that they don’t understand. If you add this to the fact that it involves support fees, the price gap between AWS and Azure grows.
Should You use Azure or AWS?
You will not go wrong by choosing either Azure or AWS, the top two services available today. Many business owners, developers, cloud engineers, and architects enlist the services of both companies.
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They both have advantages and disadvantages, so your decision depends on your career, what features and elements you need, and what you prefer.
If your company is switching to one of these two, then definitely stick to what the organization prefers. If you are a newcomer to the cloud, consider what your business needs are and which cloud service fulfills it. Below are some extra benefits of Azure vs AWS to help you make your decision.
Advantages of Choosing Azure
The advantages of choosing Azure involve its cost-effectiveness, flexibility, big data insights, and popularity of Microsoft products. Azure, unlike other cloud service providers, has high availability and redundancy because of Microsoft’s global footprint. That means in the event of an IT disturbance in the operations; your business can continue as normal.
Advantages of Choosing AWS
AWS is the market leader and has been since its inception. It is ahead of both Azure and Google Cloud. AWS has a vast global reach and offers thousands of more jobs than GCP. If you need many features for the work you do, there is no doubt that AWS will have the goods you need.
Another part of the AWS Global Infrastructure is POP (Points of Presence). The POPs are used to deliver content to end-users at high speeds. AWS also has VPC networks in different regions that can be linked using VPC Peering. Therefore, either VPC can communicate with each other, as if in the same private network.
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