AWS vs Azure

AWS vs. Azure: Which cloud computing platform
  • Jun 12, 2023
  • Posted By: Robert
  • Category: Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has absolutely sky-rocketed in the last decade, and is still following a constant upward trajectory. The introduction of public access cloud computing platforms changed the way organizations functioned, and permanently so.

From dissolving the need for local storage, to resolving core computing issues, cloud platforms can usher in a new wave of efficiency into your organization. Popular tech names like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and so on, have all dipped their hands into the cloud computing market. In fact, the public cloud market is worth nearly 545.8Billion USD.

AWS vs Azure cloud computing platform

However, there are two cloud computing titans who are at each other’s necks, with broadly similar, yet unique offerings. Amazon’s AWS (Amazon Web Services) (34% market share) and Microsoft’s Azure (23% market share) are the top cloud computing platforms out there, holding 1ST and 2ND  places in market share, respectively.

However, if you had to choose one to bring into your organization, which is best? Azure or AWS? Well, let’s take a closer look at both these platforms.

AWS vs. Azure

Comparison Parameter Amazon Web Services Azure
Parent company Amazon Microsoft
Nature Follows an open-source model Strained open-source community ties
Government cloud offerings Better at handling government cloud offerings as compared to Azure The functioning of Azure’s government cloud offerings is still very restricted, requiring colossal amounts of improvement
Pricing Adaptable pricing Considerably less adaptable or flexible pricing structure
Hybrid solutions Keeps on improving with time Offers the ability to link local servers with the cloud
Big data capabilities Offers EBS storage, which is great for big data Offers standard storage, which might make it difficult to handle big data.
Machine monitoring Offers the ability to monitor specific machines Offers the ability to monitor machines that fall under the same domain name, but varied domain ports
Elastic Compute Cloud Offered by AWS on pay-per-hour basis Offered by Azure on pay-per-minute basis

Big three dominate global cloud market

What is Amazon Web Services Cloud?

Amazon Web Services, or AWS, holds the largest market share in terms of public cloud computing platforms. The platform is equipped with over 200 services, from data centres in 190 countries spread out all over the world.

With more than 1 million active users, Amazon Web Services comfortably covers around 34% of the cloud computing market share. In fact, more than 90% of the Fortune 100 companies use AWS Partner Network (APN). As a result, AWS caters to brand names such as Netflix, BBC, Facebook, Adobe, Airbnb, Hitachi, and so on. On top of that, 2013 marked a 600 Million USD deal signing between AWS and the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) to take care of their cloud computing requirements.

The cloud service can now be accessed in 99 availability zones, which translates to 31 different geographical locations around the globe. As a result, AWS paves the way for cost-effective and scalable cloud computing solutions.

Lastly, here is a list of services that AWS offers:

  • Database
  • Security tools
  • Compute service
  • Storage
  • Management tools
  • Developer tools
  • Delivery of content
  • Networking, and much more.

What is Microsoft Azure Cloud?

Azure is Microsoft’s answer to cloud computing platforms, and it proudly takes the spot after AWS in terms of market share. With over 200 products and services in its arsenal, the Azure platform can aid in building, running, and managing various processes across multiple clouds.

In fact, Azure produced about 75.3 Billion USD in revenue, with its user count almost about to hit 1 billion. The platform provides more than 90 compliance offerings, and invests around 1 Billion USD every year in data security. The platform offers a plethora of cloud services, such as networking, storage, analytics, and computing.

How this works is that the prospects can access the required services via the Azure portal. They can then leverage these services in order to formulate their own cloud-based resources (databases, virtual machines, etc.). Some of the top annual contracts held by Microsoft Azure include Verizon, MSI Computer, LG Electronics, CenturyLink, and so on.

All-in-all, Azure offers about four distinct types of cloud computing, namely:

  • Software-as-a-service (SaaS)
  • Platform-as-a-service (PaaS)
  • Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)
  • Serverless functions

Which is best, Azure or AWS?

The two market leaders, Azure and Amazon Web Services, control a sizeable chunk of the cloud computing market. AWS takes the lead, however, Azure has held its own steady share as well. Both these cloud computing platforms differ from each other in important aspects, and it all comes down to what would work better for your organization.

Which is best, Azure or AWS?

To understand that, let’s perform a brief AWS vs Azure product comparison, and break the differences down a little better. Here are the various aspects you can leverage to compare the two cloud computing platforms:

1.  Storage

One of the most key functionality requirements from a cloud computing platform is good storage capability. Running cloud services requires data processing, which must be stored at some point, and AWS’ storage offerings are the most established.

On the other hand, Azure’s storage capacities are extremely dependable. Both AWS and Azure excel in this category, offering all of the crucial features such as server-side data encryption, REST API access 3, and so on. Azure’s storage technique is known as Blob storage, while AWS is known as Simple Storage Service (S3).

AWS’ cloud object storage service makes way for high availability as well as automated replication across several locations. Simultaneously, Azure uses page blobs and temporary storage for VM-based volumes. Azure’s Block Storage option is equivalent to AWS’ S3. Azure provides two types of storage: cool and hot.

2.   Computational power

The primary function of a computer is to calculate, analyze, and compute. The right cloud computing platform/service provider can aid you in scaling to hundreds of thousands of processing nodes in a matter of minutes.

If you wish to upgrade processes (e.g., increase graphic processing, rapid data analysis, etc.), you can switch to cloud offerings instead of upgrading your hardware.

AWS’ primary computing solution comes in the form of EC2 instances, which provide flexible computing on demand and can be customized for a variety of purposes.

The Elastic Beanstalk, AWS Lambda, Autoscaling, and EC2 container service, are also useful for app deployment. On the other hand, Azure’s compute services are based on virtual machines (VMs) and contain a variety of different tools for deploying cloud-based applications. These applications include the likes of Resource Manager, Cloud Services, and so on.

3.   Machine learning

Machine learning is a very critical facet of every public cloud computing platform out there. The platform needs to be able to train itself and keep constantly learning in order to keep increasing efficiency.

To make machine learning model creation faster and easier, AWS leverages SageMaker and Azure uses machine learning studio. How do they differ, though? Well, both AWS and Azure offer an end-to-end ML pipeline in the form of a managed service, in order to help you design, train, and deploy a machine learning model faster, but they do so in different ways.

Amazon SageMaker is solely based on code, as opposed to Microsoft Azure, which provides a simple drag-and-drop UI. Here, you can simply use a canvas to architect the model-building process. Unlike Amazon SageMaker, Azure’s Studio does not require prospects to dive deep into data engineering intricacies, Python coding, open-source frameworks, etc.

4.   Pricing

Cost is a big draw for organizations considering a cloud migration. AWS and Azure both provide free starting tiers with limited use restrictions, allowing consumers to test their services before purchasing. Furthermore, both offer incentives to entice start-ups to use their cloud systems.

AWS has a pay-as-you-go model, which is charged on an hourly basis. Whereas Azure has a pay-as-you-go model and prices per minute. AWS may help you save even more money by increasing your usage, i.e., you end up paying less for using more.

Users of Microsoft Azure have the option of pre-paid or monthly payments for short-term commitments. In terms of pricing flexibility, Azure remains a little less accommodating than AWS. However, the pricing model works, given the band of fortune 500 companies and other giants having integrated the cloud platform with their technology stack.

Wrapping Up

As organizations have the luxury of selecting the most appealing capabilities from each of these cloud service companies to enable a multi-cloud approach, there is no conclusive winner in this AWS vs. Azure contest.

Businesses that want excellent availability and durability should consider hosting across numerous data centres. It is quite challenging to compare Azure with AWS because both are introducing new pricing models, products, and connectors.

So, choose the cloud service platform that fits your niche cloud integration requirements, bringing a new wave of efficiency into your organization.