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What is the Difference Between Azure and Cloud?

The cloud offers a wide array of providers, products, and services. In fact, Gartner forecast the cloud services market to reach $266.4 billion. There are actually 1000s of providers, but few are household names like Microsoft Azure services, Amazon Web Services, or Google. Nonetheless, migration to the cloud continues at a rapid pace. Organizations enjoy the cost-savings, cyber security, disaster recovery, scalability, and business continuity from cloud-based architectures.

In this piece, we’re going to compare Azure vs cloud or Google Cloud. Our dissection is unbiased, and we will explain the differences in layman’s terms.

Moving to the cloud?

If you’re thinking of migrating to the cloud, you’ve probably done some research on the big three: Microsoft Azure services, AWS, and Google cloud. It’s impossible to research the cloud and not look into the largest ecosystems available. Even before the onset of the cloud, Microsoft and Google were already global technology leaders. They are both well-known for their innovation and consumer-friendly products and services. In 2019, Gartner labeled both Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure services as leaders for cloud infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Further, Azure and Google are in the top five of public cloud providers. Despite this being a Azure vs. cloud piece, they are both taking market share away from AWS.

Take a look at the features

Microsoft Azure services offers over 100 cloud products, and so does Google cloud. You have to be extremely detail-oriented to determine which differences matter the most. To save you time, we’ve categorized them for you below. Let’s begin:

Compute

Microsoft Azure services and Google cloud both offer virtual machines (VMs). Microsoft calls them Azure virtual machines while Google calls them Compute Engines. Azure offers boot-disk-only and full machine VMs where the cloud is boot-disk-only. Both have autoscaling included. Both VMs off the following capabilities:

● Deploy, auto-scale, and terminate VM instances.
● Install multiple OSs on each VM.
● Create VM instances with boot disk.
● Manage VM instances restriction-free
● VM tags

The differences start with VM access. For instance, you have to include our own key if you want SSH-based access with Azure services. In contrast, Google’s Compute Engine lets you create an SSH key as needed. You can also select machine types from general purpose, compute-optimized, storage-optimized, high-performance, shared core, and GPU options. You also get 100s of VMs with Azure services or the cloud.

Networking

Both Microsoft Azure and Google offer expansive global network infrastructures. They also both offer hybrid services for cloud and on-premises servers. However, Azure services has a greater range of regions for storing data, including 58 regions and 140 zones.

Storage

Storage is important, especially in the era of big data. Microsoft Azure services offers block storage in the form of page blobs that run on an Azure VM and are stored on Azure VHDs. Google cloud offers SSD and HDD storage. Azure services also offers Azure Blob Storage, which is distributed object storage that comes with replication, versioning, change notifications, object encryption, and lifecycle management. Where Azure Blob Storage uses reliable containers, Google cloud uses buckets. Azure services also offers an account-level unique key.

Compliance

Currently, Azure services offers the highest level of compliance relative to any cloud provider. Azure services meets over 90 compliance standards throughout 50 regions globally including PCI-DSS, HIPPA, GDPR, ISO, and more.

Firewalls

In Azure vs cloud, both offer firewalls. Azure services offers Azure Firewall, Azure Web Application Firewall, and Azure Firewall Manager which are all firewall-as-a-service options and cloud-native.

Skilled talent

Microsoft employs over 3,500 cyber security experts vs Google’s 550. In this regard, Azure services has a clear advantage.

Support plans

Google cloud offers these three tiers: Basic, Development, and Production. The pricing ranges from free to around $250/month/user. The higher the tier, the more support, communication, availability you receive. Response times are also enhanced at a higher tier plan. Google cloud even offers Premium support at around $150,000 annually.

Azure services offers these five tiers: Basic, Developer, Standard, Professional Direct, and Premier. Pricing is associated with the offerings of each tier level. The highest tier is Premier.

Uptime

Uptime is critical in the always-on world. Any outages will impact productivity and consumer trust negatively. Customers won’t be able to make purchases during an outage. Both Amazon and Google provide a guaranteed monthly uptime of 99.99%. However, Azure services seems to be the most reliable service based on customer uptime reviews. You can also check on uptime via Azure Status or Google Cloud Status. Moreover, each provider includes histories on incident status. Azure services does offer more robust failover options compared to Google cloud though.

When comparing costs, don’t forget to include these variables:

● Storage
● VMs
● Locations/regions
Security
● Uptime
● Expert personnel

In terms of Azure vs cloud, they both offer 100s of varying services with each serving a distinct purpose. We understand it can feel overwhelming. Both Azure services and Google cloud offer a pricing calculator so you can better determine what it would cost to meet your cloud-based needs.

Final thought

Turbocharge your infrastructure with cloud-based security, auto-scaling, and performance. When selecting the right cloud option, seek out reliability and capability. Also, consider brand reputation, technical know-how, and risk management. If you need assistance, contact SSI’s team of cloud experts today.

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