Guide To Choosing The Right IaaS Provider – AWS Or Azure?

Guide to choosing the right IaaS provider
February 23, 2021
Guide to choosing the right IaaS provider

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 offer 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 offer similar basic capabilities like autoscaling, flexible computing and storage, pay-as-u-go pricing, instant provisioning, identity access management, and self-service features, some areas score over others.

Key Strengths of AWS

With more than 175 services across infrastructure technologies like computing, 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 had 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 AWS provides is attractive, it can also be challenging to navigate many features, 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 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.”

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 its workloads 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 friendlyGradually opening to the open-source model
Excels in government cloud offerings – AWS GovCloudNot so deep penetration in government sector with Azure Government
Flexible pricingLess flexibility in pricing compared to AWS
Yet to strengthen support for hybrid cloudsCan easily integrate onsite servers with cloud instances
Extensive partner ecosystem, including both Windows and LinuxLimited partner ecosystem with Linux
Superfast for big data with EBS storageStandard storage cannot fully support big data
Individual access to machinesMachines are grouped into cloud service
Pay by the hourPay by the minute
Amazon Glacier for long-term data archiving and retrievalNo long-term data archiving and retrieval option
More secure – user-defined roles with exceptional permission controlsLess secure – provides permissions on the whole account

AWS leads the way with its offering and maturity, but Azure is catching up gradually. AWS’s expansive list of tools and services, 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 these services and choosing one over the other depends on your business needs—research 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.

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