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AWS vs. Azure: Key Differences between AWS and Azure

Ketan Agnihotri  Print   9 min read  
17 Sep 2020
23 Nov 2020
Beginner
2.07K Views

The Software industry want to adopt modern way of application development by building and deploying software on cloud. Cloud industry is continuously evolving around software development, deployment, security, reliability & performance. How can we solve business problems with cloud? How can we focus on adding business value by developing great software and delivering great customer experience? You will get answers to these questions while reading this blog, so let’s get started!

What is AWS?

AWS stands for Amazon Web Services which was launched in 2002. AWS is the world’s driving supplier of cloud services, giving IT infrastructure arrangements as per demand for companies of all sizes. Companies like Expedia, Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, and Ubisoft trust AWS to innovate and manage their system workload to run. AWS provides more than 100 services on a pay-as-you-go pricing model. AWS has the biggest and most energetic community, with millions of dynamic clients.

What is Azure?

Microsoft cloud commonly referred as Azure is a public, private & hybrid cloud computing platform provided by Microsoft launched in mid 2000s. It empowers you with wide range of cloud services which helps in data storage, analytics, virtual computing, software development, deploying production ready application and making them accessible on global network. It also enables you with various tools and frameworks to meet your business goals.If you're modern to the world of cloud computing, you may need to choose a cloud computing platform that can assist you effortlessly get begun with cloud computing. It is greatly vital for one to familiarize themselves with different driving cloud benefit given by available cloud providers. Cloud computing is the stage of choice in today’s world of modern software development. AWS, Azure, Google, IBM, Alibaba, oracle are the available cloud computing platform. Among these, AWS and Azure has majority of the market share. So, lets understand the key differences between Azure and AWS.

Compute Services

AWSEC2Elastic Beanstalk (PAAS)AWS Lambda (Serverless)
AzureVirtual MachineApp Service (PAAS)Azure Functions (Serverless)

Networking

AWSVPCDirect ConnectRoute 53ELBCloud Front
AzureVirtual NetworkExpressRouteAzure DNSAzure Load BalancerCDN

Storage Services

AWSS3SQSEFSAmazon Glacier
AzureBlob StorageQueue storageFile StorageAzure Backup

Database Services

AWSRDSDynamo DBRedshift
AzureSQLDocument DBSQL Data Warehouse

Price Calculator

If you follow pricing war between cloud computing providers, then you will notice that prices are continuously failing down. Both provides price calculator that helps you to estimate cost of the services you are planning to use. Pricing may get complex sometimes. You can try their services under free tier.

AWS price calculator : "https://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html"

Azure price calculator : "https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/pricing/calculator/"

Other Differences

ParameterAWSAzure
Launched year20062010
Availability Zones60+140+
PricingPer hour billingPer minute billing
CacheElastic cacheRedis cache
Application TestingDevice farmDevTest labs
KubernetesElastic Kubernetes Services (AKS)Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS)
API ManagementAmazon API GatewayAzure API Gateway
Media ServicesAmazon elastic transcoderAzure Media Services
Artificial IntelligenceLex, Polly, SegeMaker, AML, TensorFlowMachine Learning Studio, Bot Services, Cognitive Services
Internet of things (IoT)IoT platform GreenGrassIOT Hub, EventHubs
AnalyticsAthena, EMR, KinesisStream Analytics, HDInsight

Container and Orchestration Support

AWS has fully managed services like Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR), Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) to support orchestration of the containerized application.

Azure has Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) to make app deployment and management easy. Container Registry to store and manage container images. Service Fabric supports microservices development and orchestrate to run containers securely.

Compliance

AWS has compliance certification offerings like CSA, ISO 9001, FISMA, HIPAA, GDPR, PCI DSS CJIS, FIPS and more. You can check the latest list by visiting https://aws.amazon.com/compliance/programs/

Azure has more than 90 compliance certification offerings like HIPAA, GDPR, PCI DSS CJIS, FIPS and more. You can check the latest list by visiting https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/trusted-cloud/compliance/

Integrations and Open Source Community

AWS has better interoperability with open source community like Jenkins, GitHub, Linux.

Azure works well and has better native integration with Microsoft tools and technologies. Azure is catching up rapidly with open source community tools and technologies.

Support Plans

AWS has range of Developer, Business, Enterprise support plans. You can check them by visiting https://aws.amazon.com/premiumsupport/plans/

Azure has support Basic, Developer, Standard, Professional direct plans. You can check them by visiting https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/support/plans/

Licensing

AWS supports different types of licensing options. You can buy new customer licenses or BYOL i.e. ‘bring your own license’. For more information, please visit "https://aws.amazon.com/windows/faq/#licensing"

Azure license allows you as an Administrator to add user account to use cloud offering and subscription account gets charged monthly.  You can understand more about license mobility through Software Assurance by visiting "https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/license-mobility/"

Hybrid Cloud Capabilities

AWS is upgrading and constantly adding hybrid cloud capabilities by adding new services like Snowball Edge.Azure has strong hybrid cloud capabilities with platforms like Azure Stack which let you get public Azure functionalities to your on-premises data centers. From above comparison we can understand that most of the services are available in both AWS and Azure. However, AWS's biggest win is that it was launched first in market (2006) and for almost two years there was no serious competition to it. Availability of the services has been considered as service level agreement (SLA) by both Azure and AWS. Now that we know various features and services available in AWS vs similar services provided by Azure, below are key advantages and disadvantages of choosing one of the platforms:

AWS Advantages 

  • Provides wide and growing array of cloud offerings and services.
  • Customizable compute services which lets you choose platform/framework/programing languages etc.
  • Great support for business intelligence and data analytics.
  • Available for open source development and many programs by major software vendors are available on the AWS platform.
  • Offers flexibility for integrating third party tools.
  • Data centers available across globe.
  • AWS has Virtual Private Cloud.

AWS Disadvantages 

  • Less open to third party or private cloud providers.
  • Due to too many available services options it’s difficult for customers to make a right choice as per business needs.
  • Requires technical background due to which AWS lacks in customer support services and one must spend on enterprise level support.
  • Cost structure is difficult to understand.

Azure Advantages 

  • Azure is based on windows platform, hence if you are familiar to windows it’s very easy to learn and use.
  • Feature rich services for quick deployments and make environments production ready.
  • Provides assistance in migrating to Azure cloud.
  • Azure is open for hybrid cloud platform.
  • Have built in integration in visual studio development environment.
  • Supports single-sign-on and secure logic capabilities.
  • Azure has a virtual network cloud.

Azure Disadvantages 

  • Limited functions around services as compared to AWS.
  • As per some customers feedback, lacks in disaster recovery management.
  • Less flexible for non-windows based platforms.
Conclusion

Both Cloud computing platforms are well equipped with powerful capabilities, new integration, new products, changing pricing structure and it is troublesome to choose one. AWS and Azure hold majority of market share and constantly upgrading. Azure is incredible when it comes to hybrid cloud computing and Microsoft technology stack, while AWS has more adaptability with open source technology eco-system and additional highlights. Final selection bubbles down to the business prerequisites of your organization has. So, choose them accordingly.Dot Net Tricks Azure online training is delivered by Microsoft MVP Mr Shailendra to help you earn azure real-time focused Hand's-on skills and get azure certification

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