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Azure vs AWS: Which is Better?

By October 6, 2021 4 min read

Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have more in common with superheroes than one might think. Cloud storage firms affect millions of lives, and they continuously work to improve the world.

In the battle of Azure vs AWS, both are superheroes in their own rights, but who sits at the throne? Let’s find out.

Azure vs AWS: An Overview

With 33 percent of the global market share in public cloud services, AWS leads the pack, followed by Azure with 13 percent, and Google Cloud with 6 percent, reported the Synergy Research Group. 

Azure and AWS have similar core characteristics in terms of configurable computing, storage, networking, and price. In addition, both share common elements of a public cloud system, such as autoscaling, self-service, security, compliance, identity access management features, pay-as-u-go pricing, and instant provisioning. 

Yet, AWS is the largest cloud computing platform in the world, with more than a million customers, two million servers, hundred-thousand weather-forecasting computer cores, and more than ten billion dollars in annual revenue. 

Meanwhile, Azure Active Directory currently services more than five million organizations and adds a hundred and twenty thousand new customers per month. In addition, four million developers are registered with visual studio team services, who, along with others, send and receive two trillion messages per week, processed by Azure IoT alone. 

More than 40 percent of Azure’s revenue comes from start-ups and ISVs, where Azure is clearly dominating AWS cloud services. 

Azure vs AWS

Azure vs AWS: Who Wins?

Azure vs AWS: Key Differences

Difference Points

AWS

Azure

Platform

AWS is an on-demand cloud computing platform by Amazon

Azure is a public cloud computing service by Microsoft

 

Model

Right from its inception, AWS has an open-source model 

A lot of functionalities are tied with MS services, making Azure a partially open-source model

Government Cloud Solutions

In terms of government cloud products, AWS  has an advantage over Azure. AWS GovCloud (US) gives the flexibility to build secure cloud solutions that comply with the FedRAMP high baseline

When it comes to government cloud products, there is a limited reach in Azure. It is subject to stick to the following government regulations FedRAMP, DoD IL4 and IL5, CJIS, IRS 1075, ITAR, CMMC, NIST 800-171, and others

Ecosystem

AWS provides a software marketplace with an extensive partner ecosystem that includes both Windows and Linux

Azure’s partner ecosystem is continuously growing, despite its restricted Linux alternatives

Data Support

For massive data, EBS storage is lightning fast

For big data, standard storage is insufficient, necessitating the use of premium storage

Infrastructure

Big data requires more developed cloud infrastructure

Azure’s services are continuously improving for big data depositories

Accessibility 

Machines can be accessed individually

Machines are grouped into cloud services and respond to the same domain name but different ports

Data Archival and Retrieval 

Long term data archiving and retrieval is possible through Amazon Glacier

No long term data archiving and retrieval option yet

Flexibility 

User-defined roles with exceptional permission controls give security. AWS’ implementation of granular IAM and security groups is also quite noteworthy

Permissions are managed and authorized by Azure Active Directory. Unlike AWS, where each account’s users, federation, and access must be configured individually, Azure allows you to do so from a single location.

Azure vs AWS: Pricing Details

Once the features of both these platforms are apparent, the final decision boils down to pricing. 

For quite some time, the rates for these platforms have been low due to increased competition among cloud service providers. 

Both AWS and Azure offer free trials with limited use limits, allowing consumers to check out their services before purchasing. The companies also give credits to entice start-ups. While AWS has a pay-as-you-go model that charges per hour, Azure has a pay-as-you-go model that prices per minute. 

AWS instances are available for purchase based on the following models:

  • Reserved instances: Paying an upfront cost based on the usage, one can reserve an instance for one to three years.
  • On-demand instances: Pay for what you use without paying any upfront fee.
  • Spot instances: Bid for more capacity based on availability.

On the other hand, Microsoft Azure offers short-term commitments to its users, allowing them to choose between prepaid or monthly retainer fees. 

Azure vs AWS: Real-world Applications

Both AWS and Azure technologies have contributed tremendously to cloud storage, web development, and SaaS systems. 

AWS

NASA, for example, has leveraged the AWS platform to make its massive repository of photographs, movies, and audio data easily discoverable in a single centralized location, allowing users to view distant galaxies. People in Need, a non-profit group, uses AWS to scale an early warning system that alerts roughly 400,000 people in Cambodia when floods are imminent. Not only has this technology saved hundreds of lives, but it also provides a cost-effective solution that may benefit other risk-prone areas.

Azure

The Azure IoT Suite was utilized to construct the Weka Smart Fridge, which keeps immunizations safe. This technology has aided non-profit medical organizations in ensuring that their immunizations reach people who would otherwise be unable to receive them. Azure is also being utilized to identify solutions to the world’s impending freshwater shortage. For example, Nalco Water, Ecolab’s main water operations business, employs cloud computing and advanced analytics to build solutions to assist organizations in reusing and recycling water, thanks to their partnership with Microsoft Azure.

These are just a few examples of the services and capabilities of these platforms. There are numerous other uses, which are impossible to list in this brief blog.  

Azure vs AWS

Azure vs AWS

So, given everything we’ve discussed so far, is one cloud service provider superior to the other? Well, you can be the judge of that. However, the market share should not be the only deciding factor when selecting a cloud provider for your project. There are many other parameters to consider. And so, your final pick should be based on your project’s needs and how the findings of the above Azure vs AWS comparison correspond with those needs.

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Summary
Azure vs AWS: Which one is better for your business?
Article Name
Azure vs AWS: Which one is better for your business?
Description
They both offer broad capabilities, services, and tools, but which is better for your business? Here ends your search for the Azure vs AWS battle.
Ankit Sahu
Ankit is a writer and researcher who has extensively worked on blogs, emails, websites, applications, video scripts, and social media content for Govt. of India (Ministry of MSME and CBSE), global brands (Reebok and Abbott Healthcare), and homegrown brands (Republic TV, TimesPro, Chitale Bandhu and Kolte Patil Developers).
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