Insights

AWS vs. Azure

The reason for the rise in popularity of Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is because companies don’t have to deal with managing their hardware, software, core infrastructure, or servers. In addition, IaaS is very scalable with the payment model of only charging what clients use. In fact, one of the biggest areas of business digital transformation can be found in cloud computing, which not only increases agility but also helps to drive down overall IT costs and spending.

Today, there isn’t any question that two of the biggest players in the cloud computing market are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure. Even if there were initial concerns over security, and data ownership, those issues have been addressed by both platforms.

And, of the two, AWS managed services has mostly dominated, but Azure seems to be picking up the pace and gaining speed in the cloud computing race. One of the reasons is because Microsoft’s current CEO Satya Nadella has designated the company as “Cloud First,” and their current initiatives follow this mantra. So then, the battle of the two major platforms is heating up.

There isn’t any doubt that customers pick their favorites for a reason. AWS has many attractive features, but so does Azure. As such, there is the ongoing battle of AWS vs Azure. Yes, Amazon took the lead and paved the way with Azure gaining traction in 2010. Yet, who will win the battle royale of AWS vs. Azure? Continue reading to learn more.

Start with the basics

AWS managed services come in four classes under the IaaS umbrella, they are:

● Networking
● Database
● Content delivery and storage
● Compute

Regardless of the IaaS offering, you will get Amazon’s Active Directory and AWS CloudHSM’s key storage service. Then there are the management tools such as Cloudwatch, Config, and Cloudtrail.

Azure also provides four classes listed below:

● Performance
● Compute
● Networking
● Data management and databases

Working with an Azure service provider, you can also access Azure’s management tools including MFA, Active Directory Federation Services, Azure Active Directory, and more.

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Compute

Computers are used for processing, and computing – right? So then, with the right cloud provider, you should have the ability to scale 1000’s of processes within a matter of minutes. If you need more power, expand your usage.

In terms of AWS managed services, you will be working with EC2 instances for on-demand scalable computing, which can also be customized. Further, other services include EC2 containers, Autoscaling, Elastic Beanstalk, and AWS Lambda.

With Azure, you are dealing with VMs and other tools such as the Resource Manager and Cloud Services. Nonetheless, AWS offers around 100 services for compute, database, networking, mobile, IoT, security, enterprise applications, storage, and more. Let’s get further into AWS vs Azure.

What about legacy apps?

One of the main challenges to cloud migration are legacy apps and systems. For companies who still need access to legacy apps, then the best solution would be a hybrid cloud environment. So then, you can keep some of your systems on premise.

Who offers a more comprehensive hybrid cloud solution? For this case, Azure seems better equipped since Microsoft understood the demand for hybrid clouds during the early days of cloud computing. Your Azure service provider can demonstrate how to use the Azure Stack to run your applications on your on premise servers. You can even configure your computing to access Azure as needed. With other features such as Hybrid SQL Server and Azure StorSimple, transitioning to a hybrid cloud environment couldn’t be easier.

AWS is still playing a bit of catch up, but they do offer DynamoDB Local, Direct Connect, and Storage Gateway to make switching to a hybrid cloud much more seamless.

The database battle

In terms of AWS vs Azure, they both offer database services. For instance, Amazon has the Relational Database Service (RDS), and Microsoft has SQL server. Both offer automated replication and high availability.

If you are working with big data, in a more sophisticated cloud environment, AWS works quite well with relational databases and NoSQL. AWS uses EMR to configure an EC2 cluster for integration with other services. On the other hand, Azure does support big data too with Azure Table and Azure HDInsight. If you need analytical support, Azure offers the Cortana Intelligence Suite which includes HBase, Storm, Hadoop, and Spark.

With AWS RDS, you gain support for Amazon Aurora, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL. In contrast, Azure’s SQL only supports Microsoft SQL.

Final thought

The battle between Microsoft Azure and AWS managed services has been heated for months, and experts everywhere are placing bets on who’s going to win the race. AWS vs Azure: What’s your final decision? Either platform will offer comprehensive services so it really boils down to what makes the most sense for your organization. As a certified AWS managed services and Azure service provider, our professionals at SSI are happy to demonstrate how either of these powerhouses can offer unique competitive advantages for your organization.

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