AWS vs Azure – Which is Best for You?

By Cloud Computing
Microsoft Keyboard

Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are two of the world’s most popular cloud computing platforms. Both are used by thousands of businesses across the globe. The question most people want to know, however, is which is best?

In this post, we take a closer look at both Azure and AWS, discussing which is best for your business.

What they offer

First and foremost, what do they two platforms offer?

By and large, they provide the same infrastructure-as-a-service model, whereby infrastructure is hosted and managed by a third-party provider. Hardware, servers, software and storage are all managed by the provider, with applications hosted in their external environment.

This includes similar platform-as-a-service and software-as-a-service options. In any case, customers are only charged for what they use, with the option to scale up or down whenever required.

Both AWS and Azure offer all the features you would expect from a public cloud provider, from instant provisioning and autoscaling to comprehensive security and compliance. However, AWS does offer a wider range of services, with well over 100 services from categories like:

  • Compute capacity
  • Storage
  • Databases
  • Migration
  • Networking
  • Development
  • Monitoring
  • Security
  • Analytics
  • AI
  • Mobile
  • Messaging

Usage

One area which potential customers consider is usage and existing customers. While this should never be your sole decision-maker when comparing the two, it does give an indication of which is most popular among like-minded businesses – like comparing a bustling restaurant with an empty one as you look for somewhere to eat.

AWS has more than a million active customers including the likes of Airbnb, Vodafone and Adobe. On the other hand, Azure is a bit more tight-lipped on the usage of its platform. More than 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Azure. However, according to Business Insider, a lot of these are customers who have been given Azure as part of their Windows or Microsoft Office subscription.

In terms of market share, Amazon was the dominant provider, with 51.8 percent compared to Microsoft’s 13.3 percent in 2017.

Pricing and free tiers

Of course, no business is run on an unlimited budget, which is why pricing is also important when comparing AWS and Azure. Unfortunately, there is no definite answer in terms of which is more cost-effective, as it depends on the specific package, pricing model and any discounts.

What is worth noting, however, is that both providers offer free tiers. AWS has an always-free tier with impressive functionality like a million AWS Lambda requests and 4,000 Step Functions per month. On the other hand, Azure offers a free service tier including things like free virtual networks and 10 apps on App Service.

Finding a difference

The main difference between AWS and Azure is the developer-friendly nature of AWS. Generally, Azure targets for larger organisations whose main focus is Microsoft products. They simply want these applications moving to cloud infrastructure.

On the other hand, AWS is considered the more experienced cloud platform, with a vast network of dedicated developers growing since 2006. It offers more exclusive functionality, with a range of tools and services tailored to specific processes.

Because Azure is a Windows platform, it’s arguably more familiar to users, while AWS has a lot more power for customisation and third-party integrations.

Depends on you

All in all, the choice between AWS and Azure depends on your company’s specific requirements. As mentioned, AWS is favourable for specific functions, customisations and bespoke integrations, while Azure may be advantageous if you’re looking for something relatively ‘simple’. That said, both platforms require significant experience and expertise to set up and it’s important for businesses of all sizes to get the right support.

If you’re looking for assistance with cloud computing, Green Cloud Hosting can help. We are an AWS Partner and Microsoft Partner, so we can always offer the best support for your company, regardless of which platform you choose. Not only that, we can provide impartial advice on which platform is best for your business.

Feel free to get in touch with our team to talk more about cloud computing for your business.

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