Which Is Better: Azure or AWS?

Which is better: Azure or AWS?
Difference between Azure and AWS

Which Is Better: Azure or AWS?

Anyone new to exploring the cloud computing world would want to select a platform that is easy to learn and get started on. It is important to familiarize yourself with different cloud services before using cloud computing. Cloud computing is an integral part of Data Science and Big Data. Many organizations compare the differences between Azure and AWS to determine which will work best for them. 

AWS and Azure are both great performers; that’s why choosing between the two can be a bit difficult, and it depends on the requirements of the business organization and its decision. These two cloud computing platforms have a lot more common than one might think. They work towards helping companies make the lives of millions of people easier and make the world a better place to live in. 

When comparing Azure and AWS, a surface-level glance might make you believe AWS has the edge over Azure. However, as you delve deeper into the functions of both the platforms, it is not as simple to make a decision. To decide which one is the best cloud service provider, take multiple factors into account. These include data transfer, cloud storage, and pricing. 

The Origins

Cloud Service Providers have made our lives exponentially easy. They are used in various industries, from schools to NASA. Before exploring the key differences between Azure and AWS, let’s examine how each of these platforms was introduced to us. 

In the 2000s, Amazon was struggling with its development platforms. AWS was created by Amazon as a side business to fix the jumbled messes in the company’s IT infrastructure. Amazon’s IT infrastructure was inefficient, and to detangle that mess, the software team and Amazon executives decided it was necessary to execute and operate scalable data centers. Today, AWS is the most successful cloud company on the planet, Google and Azure being the closest rivals. 

AWS provides cloud solutions as required by different companies of all sizes. The most notable companies that utilize AWS’s cloud services include Hulu, Expedia, Netflix, Ubisoft, and Spotify. AWS is a customizable and complex platform that is best for companies with non-Windows services. 

On the other hand, Microsoft Azure entered the world of cloud computing with Azure, an online version of Windows that runs from the company’s own data centers. It was initially created for developers to set up apps in the cloud. Azure soon became the core service that grew, and today, it supports hundreds of apps. 

Key Differences Between Azure and AWS

Both the cloud platforms have, in one way or the other, contributed to the betterment of society. For instance, AWS is used by NASA to make a repository of videos, audio files, and pictures in one location to give the public access to images of our galaxy. 

Similarly, the NGO People in Need has used AWS to create an early warning system that alerts thousands of people in Cambodia about the floods. This cost-effective method has helped save millions of lives in many regions at risk. 

Azure has helped create the Weka Smart Fridge, which stores vaccines properly. It has helped several medical facilities around the world to ensure vaccines reach people who don’t have access to medicines. Azure has also helped find solutions to the freshwater crisis. Nalco Water has worked with Azure within the Ecolab to develop advanced computing and analytics solutions that help companies recycle water. 

Both Azure and AWS are respected members of the Cloud Platform community. They share the largest piece of the pie when it comes to Cloud services, with Azure holding 29.4% of all apps workload and AWS taking 41.5%. 

In 2017, the market share of AWS was 47.1%, and the Q4 revenue was $3.66 billion. Azure’s market share stayed at 10%, with $6.9 billion as revenue. Azure’s revenue figures are greater because of Office 365. In 2018, the revenue from Azure grew exponentially; it was over 90%, which was way over AWS’s growth rate. 

Here are some key differences between Azure and AWS.

Compute Power

AWS users can choose pre-configured machine images, configure their own VMs, and customize MIs. They can choose the power, size, memory capacity, number of VMs, availability zones, and different regions they can launch from. On the other hand, Azure users can opt for Virtual Hard Disk or VHD. It is the same as Machine Instant used to create VM. VHD can be pre-configured by the user, third-party, or Microsoft. The Azure user has to specify the memory and cores.

Storage Capacity

AWS allows the users to take advantage of temporary storage allocated once the instance starts; the storage is terminated with the instance. It also provides block storage, which is similar to hard disks. The block storage can be attached or separated from an instance. You can archive your data with Glacier and use object storage with S3. It supports NoSQL databases and Big Data

Meanwhile, Azure offers temporary storage via D drive and block storage with Page Blobs. Files and Block Blobs serve as object storage. Azure supports relational databases, Big Data, and NoSQL through HDInsight and Azure Table. It also offers site recovery, Azure Backup, and Import Export as additional recovery and archiving options. 

Network

AWS offers its users Virtual Private Cloud or VPC so they can design isolated networks in the cloud. In VPC, the user can create route tables, subnets, Network gateways, and Private IP addresses. In the case of Azure, the users are offered Virtual Network or VNET. It gives users the ability to create route tables, private IP addresses, subnets, and so on. Both platforms offer their users solutions to extend the data center into the firewall and cloud option.

Pricing

AWS has a pay-per-use model where the user is charged per hour. Instances are purchased in the following ways:

  • Reserved: You reserve an instance for a couple of years by paying upfront. 
  • Spot: Customers enter bidding for extra capacity available.
  • Demand: Pay for the services you use without the upfront cost.

Azure also offers pay-per-use, but it charges customers per minute. It provides a more accurate pricing model, making it easier for customers to evaluate how much they are charged. It also provides short-term commitments with monthly or pre-paid options

Support Plans

AWS provides its services for a fee that depends on the monthly usage. So, if you are a heavy user, your bill could be very high.

In contrast, Azure users have to pay a flat monthly rate.

Open Source and Integration

AWS has a good relationship with the open-source community. Therefore, plenty of open-source combinations are available in the platform, including GitHub and Jenkins. Linux servers also work with AWS. Azure is used if the user already has Windows Tools, such as database, SQL, VBS, and Active Directory. Azure offers local integration for them. For instance, you can use the same AD accounts used for signing-in to your Azure SQL or Office 365. It is also excellent for .net developers. In terms of open-source support, Azure is catching up quickly. Software, such as Apache Hadoop cluster and Enterprise Linux, work in Azure.

Orchestration Support and Containers

Amazon goes out of its way to meet demands for new services that result in mature analytics offerings. Machine learning tools have been added to the AWS, and new features at IoT allow customers to create more apps and high-performance computing environments. It also supports Docker

Microsoft also works towards meeting new technological and customer demands. Hadoop support is provided through Azure HDInsight. While Window Server 2016 offers support for Docker for Hyper-V containers and Windows Container. Azure can also run Linux and Windows containers, making it a close competitor to AWS

License

Amazon provides different licensing options for the cloud. Consumers can buy new licenses (Relational Database Services) or use their previously purchased licenses covered by their partnership with Microsoft. Users can use Software Assurance or Dedicated Hosts to move their previous licenses to the cloud. Before migrating their licenses, one must ensure all the Microsoft Server application products are migrated to Cloud Service Provider through License Mobility.

The server applications must be on the list of eligible products for the license to successfully migrate to Cloud Service Provider. Eligible products include SQL Server Enterprise Edition, SharePoint Server, and Enterprise Edition.

Microsoft Azure also offers license mobility for application servers. However, users have to ensure their servers fit the mobility requirements to avoid paying extra licensing fees. Windows Server is not eligible for mobility. 

Hybrid Capabilities

Microsoft provides strong support for hybrid cloud services as it has been a longtime IT service provider. It does so with platforms like Azure Stack, Hybrid SQL, and Azure StorSimple. Azure Stack is a brand new cloud platform that allows users to bring full functionality to their own data centers while paying the same pay-per-use pricing model offered for the public cloud. AWS launched Snowball Edge, which is a storage device used for moving workloads between your datacenters and clouds. It partnered with VMware, allowing customers to burst into cloud environments, adding a hybrid element in AWS’s portfolio. However, AWS has only recently introduced hybrid cloud services. There is room for more developments. 

Compliance

Amazon has long-term relationships with different government agencies, and the compliance offerings include certifications such as ITAR, HIPAA, FIPS, DISA, and moreAWS provides excellent security, and only people who are screened can access the cloud. This security feature is great for government agencies handling sensitive information.

Microsoft has over 50 complaint offerings that include HIPPA, FIPS, CJI, ITAR, and DISA. Microsoft Azure provides the same security as Amazon. Only screened people can have access to the cloud, making it a useful tool for government agencies.

User-Friendly

When it comes to user-friendliness, Amazon offers more configurations and features if one is willing to learn about the system. IT professionals lean more towards AWS because they claim it offers flexibility, more power, support several third-party integrations with customizations room. However, learning AWS is challenging. 

Azure is much easier for people who are familiar with Windows. It is easy to use because of the ubiquity of the Windows Platform. Hence, a Windows user doesn’t have to learn anything new. The integration of on-premises servers with the cloud is simple, and tools like Active Directory and AQL database work well within Azure

The Difference Between Azure and AWS in Terms of Certification

When it comes to learning the two cloud platforms, both Azure and AWS have advantages and disadvantages. Considering they are both top players in the cloud space, it can be difficult to choose which one to learn. To narrow down the benefits of each platform’s certifications, we must understand what makes them different from each other. 

AWS Certification

AWS Certification
AWS certification

Even though Azure holds a greater market share, AWS is the largest cloud computing service platform on the planet today. AWS certification is considered to carry extra weight because of its marketability and the fact that many organizations utilize this platform. AWS certification also provides access to AWS-certified LinkedIn Community and other AWS-certified professionals. There are many AWS certifications to choose from for developers and professionals, such as AWS SysOps Associate, AWS Solution Architect Associate, AWS DevOps Associate, Cloud Architect, and AWS Developer Associate

Azure Certification

Azure Certification
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft provides Azure certification. Candidates already familiar with the in-house platforms get the added benefit of learning how the system works in little to no time. Over 55 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Azure. Therefore, the demand for Azure certification has increased. Also, finding a job in one of the Fortune 500 companies is another reason for an increase in demand for Azure certification. Additionally, 365,000 new organizations have adopted Azure services, and that number is increasing with each passing day, hence increasing the demand for Azure-certified professionals. There are several certifications to choose from, such as Architect Microsoft, Cloud Architect, Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions, and Implementing Microsoft Azure

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Conclusion

Both Azure and AWS are reliable, resolute, and adaptable. They help solve several world problems and help make our lives easier. They can be adapted to meet customers’ needs and help companies solve various logistical and social issues. They help organizations do the work required for the betterment of society, and many professionals have been able to revolutionize technological industries without breaking the bank.

Everything that we have available today in terms of technology is all because of Cloud platforms like AWS and Azure. They have made it possible for companies, such as Facebook, Uber and Salesforce, to exist. We tend to take such technological feats for granted; however, if you look closely at the things we were able to achieve because of Cloud Service providers, you would know how crucial they are for the functioning of our society. 

After shedding light on the various differences and advantages of both Azure and AWS, it is clear that there is no single winning offering. You need to choose between the two while taking into account their features and services. Companies familiar with Windows Services should opt for Azure, whereas others should go for AWS. Both platforms have different pricing models and provide new products and integrations. Choosing a platform all comes down to extensive research on your part to determine how each one fits your goals and needs.