AWS vs Azure: Which one to Choose for Better Cloud Computing

AWS vs Azure

With 60% of the world’s data stored on the cloud, the use of cloud computing is on a boom. Cloud infrastructure generates more than $178 billion in revenue per year.

Massive Numbers. Right?

Do you know who are the key players in this domain? It is Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Both companies are tech giants, but if you have to choose one among them, how will you do that?

This blog will answer everything from what they exactly are, their features, origin, and differences to pricing.

Let’s begin!

What is AWS?

Released in 2006, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a comprehensive cloud computing platform. It is the first cloud service provider in the market to introduce a pay-as-you-go cloud computing model.

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From startups to million-dollar companies are leveraging the benefits of AWS to grow their brands. Here are some of the key stats:

  • The customer growth rate of AWS is 31%, which is the highest among cloud service providers.
  • According to the latest 2024 insights, the market share of AWS is 50.1%.
  • Over 2.38 million businesses are using AWS cloud computing services. 

Pros of AWS

Ease of Use

  • AWS offers a user-friendly interface known as “AWS Management Console”, which provides access to many applications and services.
  • Whether you need a powerful web hosting platform or a space to run your software smoothly, this platform has got you covered.
  • The process of using AWS is straightforward because it provides clear guides and instruction manuals that let you access everything easily. 

Flexibility & Affordability

  • This is one of the major benefits of AWS, i.e., scalability and flexibility. You can use its on-demand infrastructure according to your requirements without worrying about costs, as all the services are billed per use.
  • Especially for small businesses that are tight on budget can take the best advantage of AWS. Unlike other platforms that force you to pay for unnecessary services, AWS doesn’t do such tactics.

Encryption & Security

  • Security measures provided by AWS guarantee to keep the data safe and secure.
  • Big players like NASDAQ, HealthCare.gov, and Dow Jones trust AWS for their cloud needs, proving it’s reliable and super secure. With tools like Identity and Access Management (IAM) and CloudTrail, you can keep tabs on all the tasks done by different users.

Unlimited Server Capacity

  • Does your cloud server needs involve supporting high-traffic websites or securing email hosting? If yes, AWS is the right cloud computing platform for your business needs.
  • The flexibility to expand or scale down operations without disrupting services adds to its appeal.

Diverse Array of Tools

  • AWS offers a diverse range of 70 additional services, which include database solutions, software support, mobile application tools, analytics capabilities, and networking resources.
  • With all-encompassing management of your needs through a single platform, it eliminates the complexity of juggling multiple providers. Opting for this service enhances efficiency and saves you from the hassle of dealing with various service providers.

Cons of AWS

Amazon’s EC2 Limitations

  • One major disadvantage of AWS is its regional limitations on resources, meaning your location can impact the extent of available resources.
  • For new users, AWS imposes restrictions on resource usage to prevent excessive spending.

Resources Constraints

  • AWS imposes default restrictions on resources, and these limits differ based on your location.
  • There’s limited information available for Amazon EC2 and Amazon VPC console resources. If you find yourself needing more resources than the default limits permit, you do have the option to request an increase in these limits.

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What is Azure?

Azure, officially known as Microsoft Azure, is the cloud-computing platform launched by Microsoft on February 1, 2010. It offers a variety of cloud services, including computing power, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning, and more.

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It allows individuals, businesses, and organizations to build, deploy, and manage applications and services without investing in and maintaining physical infrastructure.

Pros of Azure

Data Security

  • Azure prioritizes security and has established itself as an IaaS security leader.
  • It offers robust identity and access management, encryption, threat detection, and compliance features to safeguard data and applications.

Scalability

  • The demands of every business vary over time; to match those, scalability plays an essential factor. Microsoft Azure allows brands to scale as per their requirements.
  • For instance, a brand uses the platform for 28 days out of 30. But for some reason, the activities on the rest 2 days were increased, and as a result, more computing power was used. In such conditions, the platform’s power can be easily powered up.

Higher Availability

  • Microsoft Azure cloud platform offers high availability and redundancy globally.
  • It commits to an impressive 99.95% uptime guarantee, translating to less than 4.5 hours of downtime annually- that’s pretty impressive!

Cost-Effective

  • Whenever businesses think about adopting cloud platforms, the one thought that can make or break their decision is cost. But when you choose Azure, you don’t have to worry about this. Why? 
  • It offers a pay-as-you-go model, allowing entrepreneurs to pay for specific resources for developing or expanding the services.

Disaster Recovery

  • Azure boasts numerous compliance certifications, making it a trusted cloud service option.
  • With features like multi-factor authentication and advanced disaster recovery capabilities that can swiftly restore data within hours, Azure goes the extra mile to meet the security demands of businesses.

Cons of Azure

While Microsoft Azure offers valuable services, it has certain considerations, as detailed below.

Management Issues

  • In an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) setup like Azure, the responsibility of managing computational capacity shifts from your local data center to the cloud.
  • Unlike Software as a Service (SaaS), where end-users directly access information, Azure demands skilled management and maintenance, including tasks like patching and server monitoring.

Requires Platform Expertise

  • Utilizing Azure effectively goes beyond local servers and demands specific expertise. Unlike traditional on-premise servers, understanding how the various components operate together in Azure is crucial.

Recommended: What is Azure Security? 7 Best Practices for Microsoft Azure Active Directory (AD)

Table Format Difference Between AWS and Azure:

SpecificsAWSMicrosoft Azure
Launch year20062010
Cloud storage offeringsS3, Buckets, EBS, SDB, Domains, SQS, CloudFront, AWS Import/ExportBlob Storage, Disk Storage, Standard Archive, Azure drive, Containers.
Networking Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) networkVirtual Network (VNET)
Computing powerAWS uses Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)Azure uses select Virtual Hard Disk (VHD)
DNS names and records managementRoute 53  Traffic Manager, Azure DNS  
Dedicated private networkDirectConnectExpressRoute
Content Delivery NetworksCloudFrontContent Delivery Network (CDN)
SLA Availability99.9%99.9%
Availability zones105 Availability Zones within 33 geographic regions164 Availability Zones
Pricing ModelPay-as-you-go model and charges per hourPay-as-you-go, which charges per minute

Which is Better for Cloud Computing?

The debate between AWS and Azure for cloud computing is never-ending. The choice between choosing the one depends totally on your business business requirements and preferences.

Both AWS and Azure are robust cloud platforms, and the “better” option often comes down to individual use cases. Many organizations opt for a multi-cloud strategy and use the strengths of both platforms for different aspects of their operations.

Our experts suggest you go through the unique considerations and choose the one.

Recommended: What is a Cloud Hardware Security Module? How to Choose the Right Cloud HSM?

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta is a Cyber-Security Enthusiast who constantly updates herself with new advancements in the Web/Cyber Security niche. Along with theoretical knowledge, she also implements her practical expertise in day-to-day tasks and helps others to protect themselves from threats.

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