Choosing the Right Cloud Platform for Your Business: Azure vs AWS

AWS vs Azure

Despite the reluctance of businesses to embrace new ways of working, it is vigilantly noticeable that cloud computing has seemingly entered the mainstream of digital transformation. Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are leading the way so far it seems.

While collectively, these three cloud providers dominate the space, their approach to cloud computing is dictated strongly by their background. Amazon has immense know-how when it comes to collating and aggregating massive amounts of data, Google’s heritage stems from an analytical background, and Microsoft’s strength comes from computing. This comparative blog post will undermine their strengths and righteousness of each for each specific business cases.

As we proceed through the stream, tie these activities to your business objectives to find the right fit. Also, it’s important to note that your best fit may not turn out to be a single cloud provider. This includes pricing, features, development and more. It’s all for your benefit from the right choice of providers you make.

So, we are here to help you make your choice:

Microsoft Azure vs Amazon Web Services (AWS)

However, while these two are continually compared in a manner that suggest there must be one leading horse — the reality is different. In fact, we actually have the fortune of selecting the most attractive features from each provider, to enable a multi-cloud strategy.

For the presence of a very little rather demand-centric differences between the two platforms, it is handy to understand the more comparable point between them.

The five areas of comparison are as follows:

I.  Features

II.  Compute

III.  Database & Storage

IV.  Networking

V.  Pricing


Features are an interesting factor to compare.

A.  While both Azure & AWS cover data analytics & visualization, most believe Azure is the most progressive in this area. In reality, all two have their way of categorizing the different elements, so start with projects requested, and then work with partners to figure out the best solutions. For a business to sustain the growth rate whilst moving to the cloud needs to focus one firstmost fact before deciding on the platform, that they recognize possibly more economical and efficient alternatives. Where it’s more about whether your business requires efficiency or reasonable costing in the first place, all other becomes the later priority. And then you choose between these two contingent platforms.

B.  AWS has the widest regions of cover in terms of flexible service. Amazon even has one dedicated data center opened in China. AWS hence still offers the widest range of services across storage, compute, analytics, database, mobile, networking, management tools, developer tools, security, IoT and enterprise applications. Azure, on the other hand, claims to the consistent hybrid cloud. However, AWS has been around for the longest. When it comes to choosing, you need to focus on your business span and continuity plan first. The decision then lies to decide if your business is planning to expand geographically or service flexibility.

C.  Keeping pace with advanced technology, both vendors have included machine learning tools and some features aimed at cutting-edge technology like serverless computing (Functions with Google and Azure, Lambda for AWS) and the IoT. Customers can tap into any cloud system to build a mobile app or even create a high-performance computing environment depending on their needs. Naturally, both vendors are strong in machine learning as they can draw on deep wells of internal expertise.

D.  AWS & Microsoft Azure, both offer mostly similar basic capabilities around flexible compute, networking and storage. Both share typical elements of a public cloud: autoscaling, self-service, and instant provisioning, plus compliance, security, and features of identity management. They’ve all invested a lot in their cloud services, and have big parent companies to continue doing so. This has given us analytics offerings that are more mature. For instance, with Hadoop clusters, support is provided by Azure (HDInsight), AWS (Elastic MapReduce) and Google (Dataproc).

E. Amazon uses different codes and names to break down their cloud products. From compute, storage, database, migration to game development and more. When it comes to AWS solutions, there is equally a significant degree of categorization. These solutions cover websites, backup and recovery, archiving, disaster recovery, DevOps and big data.

Azure provides an enormous array of features as well, but they add value by delivering specific capabilities based on the number of users. Take their Enterprise Agreements (EA). From committing usage to Azure, these enable large organizations to earn benefits. The pros include more competitive pricing and flexible billing. Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning Studio allows specialist developers to write, test and deploy algorithms, as well as a marketplace for off-the-shelf APIs.

Compute, databases, storage, and networking


AWS Offerings

a.  For compute, the EC2 instances are AWS’s primary offering. It can be customized with a massive number of options. It also offers related services like the EC2 Container service, for app deployment, the Elastic Beanstalk, AWS Lambda, and Autoscaling.

b.  AWS storage includes its Elastic Block Storage (EBS), Simple Storage (S3), Import/Export large volume data transfer service, Elastic File System (EFS), Glacier archive backup and Storage Gateway, which integrates with on-premise environments.

Azure Offerings

a.  The offerings of Microsoft include its Azure Blob block storage, core Azure Storage service, as well as Queue, Table and File storage. Offers Import Export, Site Recovery, and Azure Backup too.

Azure & AWS Offerings

a.  With connectivity to on-premise systems and automated server load balancing, Azure & AWS typically offer amazing networking capabilities.

b.  Both support relational databases, from Redshift, Amazon Relational Database Service, Azure SQL Database, Google Cloud SQL, along with Google Bigtable, Amazon DynamoDB and NoSQL databases with Azure DocumentDB.


Having established the various features and opinions around Azure and AWS, we are now moving onto implementation.

In order to ensure the best business scenarios, both Azure & AWS have heavily driven down their prices and continue to use their scale to achieve low costs. This has been enormously beneficial both for customers, and the embracing of cloud computing.

In addition to the general reduction in costs, both providers have elected to exploit the more modern means of PAYG(Pay As You Go) pricing. But rather than just doing such on a monthly basis, they do so on an hourly basis. Even more impressive, Microsoft Azure actually does so based off minute-by-minute usage. AWS has introduced a different beneficial cost calculation for larger and diverse enterprise on the other hand. To be more specific, we’ll come up with a cost breakdown, comparison of AWS vs Azure pricing, in one of our upcoming blog.

To ensure you focus on your business more we, Brain Station 23, are offering hassle-free cloud billing introducing complete payment in local currency (BDT).

Your reasoning for picking one service over another will differ from other businesses. However, there are particular aspects of competing clouds that offer benefits in certain circumstances. That can always be compared. So, let’s advocate specific use cases in separation for each now.


Why AWS?

a.  The depth and breadth of the AWS offering is seen as a plus for AWS. AWS has built out its suite of cloud services since 2006, gaining a good head start on the competition.

b.  All its offerings are built to be enterprise-friendly so that they appeal to CIOs as well as its core audience of developers.

c.  AWS cloud offers rigorous flexibility and openness.

When is AWS not for you?

a.  Hybrid cloud strategy is an area AWS falls short in. AWS, unlike others, has proven to be dismissive about the advantages of on premise private clouds.

Why Azure?

a.  Microsoft already has a firm footing within many organizations. This is seen as a significant pull for Azure, where Microsoft can smoothly play a part in assisting those companies transition to the cloud.

b.  Azure links well with primary Microsoft on-premise systems like the System Center, Windows Server and Active Directory which is a very common scenario for industries like financial sectors, enterprise organizations, and large businesses.

c.  Additionally, while both AWS and Azure have PaaS capabilities, this is a particular strength of Microsoft’s.

d.  If your business seeks a cloud solution for expansion in a comparative short customer/market range. The scale of its offering can become another upside of Azure. While many see this as an attraction in many senses as in the huge number of features that are on offer.

When is Azure not for you?

a.  If your business seeks complex cloud solution and expands in a comparative large customer/market/business range.

b.  If your organization prefers to keep sensitive data within your own data centers, like those in the financial sector, using public clouds for other purposes.

c.  Azure can be somewhat restrictive in comparison to AWS since the other one provides users with enough options for supporting other platforms.

d.  Azure might not be the best option if you want to run anything other than Windows Server. However, Microsoft has been open to embracing open source platforms lately if a little slowly.

AWS continues to lead the way, in very broad terms, regarding maturity and offering the widest range of functionality. However, the gap is certainly closing. Its expansive list of services and tools, along with its enterprise-friendly features make it an attractive proposition for big organizations. While its massive, continuously growing infrastructure offers economies of scale that allow aggressive price cuts.

Now it appears, Microsoft has begun to bridge the gap of maturity and offering the widest range of functionality, between the two. With its plans to strengthen ties with its on-premise software and ongoing investment in building out the Azure cloud platform, it will continue to bridge that gap. Microsoft Azure will continue to be a strong proposition for organizations already invested heavily in Microsoft regarding technology and developer skills, of which there are undoubtedly many.

To learn more about our partnership with both of the pioneer cloud providers, navigate to cloud services. For further assistance in choosing the right cloud solution for your specific business, consult our cloud experts right away. We, Brain Station 23, are one of the top cloud service providers within your range.

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