Are you looking to move your data and workloads to the cloud to cut costs and improve scalability and agility? In that case, chances are – you have already considered either of the three major cloud providers – AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud. Of these, if you’ve zeroed down on AWS and Azure based on their market share (AWS has 32% market share and Azure is at 19% of the market as of October 2020) and wondering which environment to choose out of these two, we can help.
This blog will detail the differences between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, both of which offers Infrastructure-as-as-Service (IaaS) – hosting and maintaining core infrastructure, including hardware, software, servers, storage, and applications in a highly scalable environment, charging customers for what they use.
According to Gartner, the IaaS market is estimated to be around $64.3 billion in 2021, up from $50.4 billion in 2020.
While AWS and Azure both largely offer similar basic capabilities like autoscaling, flexible compute and storage, pay-as-u-go pricing, instant provisioning, identity access management, and self-service features, there are some areas where one scores over the other.
Key Strengths of AWS
With more than 175 services across infrastructure technologies like compute, storage, and databases and emerging technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence, data lakes and analytics, and the Internet of Things, one of the key strengths of AWS is the breadth and depth of its services.
Secondly, AWS has a head start since it started in 2006, much before Azure or other cloud players. Focused on building enterprise-friendly solutions, AWS ranks highly on policy and monitoring features, security, platform configuration options, and reliability. Gartner’s 2019 IaaS global Magic Quadrant states, “Enterprises using AWS benefit from the early adopters, which help to push new technologies into the mainstream, de-risking such services and making them easier to consume and manage as a result.” Moreover, with multiple third-party software services, the partner ecosystem and strategy are also better than other service providers.
Is It All Positive?
While having multiple options to pick from that AWS provides is attractive, it can also be challenging to navigate the large numbers of features on offer, and some see AWS as a complex vendor to manage.
Key Strengths of Azure
One of the key strengths of Azure is that it’s a Microsoft product. How is that a strength, you might ask! Many C-level executives prefer to source their enterprise computing needs from one place. With Microsoft already popular for offering productivity and enterprise software, Azure is a popular cloud storage choice for many enterprises. As Gartner states, “Enterprises that are strategically committed to Microsoft technology generally choose Azure as their primary IaaS & PaaS provider.”
Secondly, with more than half of its workloads running on Linux, Microsoft is open to open source technologies, contributing to its increased adoption.
Microsoft has also become increasingly open to open source technologies, with around half of its workloads now running on Linux.
Is it All Positive?
Azure has faced a series of outages over the years, more than AWS. Moreover, the quality of their technical support has made many enterprises choose AWS over Azure.
AWS or Azure – which is better?
While each has its strengths and areas of improvement, the table below highlights the key differences to help you make an informed decision.
|Open source friendly||Gradually opening to the open-source model|
|Excels in government cloud offerings – AWS GovCloud||Not so deep penetration in government sector with Azure Government|
|Flexible pricing||Less flexibility in pricing compared to AWS|
|Yet to strengthen support for hybrid clouds||Can easily integrate onsite servers with cloud instances|
|Extensive partner ecosystem, including both Windows and Linux||Limited partner ecosystem with Linux|
|Superfast for big data with EBS storage||Standard storage cannot fully support big data|
|Individual access to machines||Machines are grouped into cloud service|
|Pay by the hour||Pay by the minute|
|Amazon Glacier for long-term data archiving and retrieval||No long-term data archiving and retrieval option|
|More secure – user-defined roles with exceptional permission controls||Less secure – provides permissions on the whole account|
Though AWS leads the way with its offering and maturity, Azure is catching up gradually. The expansive list of tools and services that AWS offers, along with its enterprise-friendly features, make it a strong proposition for large organizations. On the other hand, organizations that have already invested in Microsoft prefer Azure.
Comparing both these services and choosing one over the other depends on your business needs. Research on what you need and who can address it best. If you are considering moving to AWS, Rapyder – an Advanced AWS Consulting Partner with expertise in managed Amazon cloud services, cloud migration, DevOps, and well-architected framework – can help you migrate seamlessly. To know more or discuss your cloud migration strategy, contact us.