AWS vs. Microsoft Azure: Which Cloud Solution is Right for You?

AWS vs. Microsoft Azure: Which Cloud Solution is Right for You?

Businesses are migrating to the cloud in large numbers, but for many, it can be difficult to choose the right cloud provider. Compute and storage just scratch the surface when it comes to services that cloud providers offer. If you’re beginning your search and are unsure where to start, consider taking a look at two of the leading cloud providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

AWS and Azure offer many of the same elements and capabilities, like autoscaling, pay-as-you-go pricing, and identity access management features. So what sets these two cloud giants apart? In this article, we’ll analyze the pros and cons of cloud computing through both AWS and Microsoft Azure.

Compute

Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) offers reliable, scalable computing on demand. It’s designed to make web-scale computing easier and more intuitive. Amazon EC2 enables “compute” in the cloud, giving you complete control of your computing resources and making it easy to scale by only charging you for the capacity that you use. Amazon EC2 reduces the amount of time it takes to obtain and boot new instances, saving you hours. Amazon EC2 provides the following features:
  • Preconfigured instance templates
  • Secure login information
  • Instance store volumes
  • Elastic IP addresses
  • Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs)
AWS also offers the largest range of services for cloud computing, with close to 100 services across compute, storage, analytics, developer tools, IoT, security, and enterprise applications.

Azure Compute

Azure’s compute model utilizes virtual machines (VMs) to offer a variety of options for various workloads. Create Linux and Windows VMs in seconds, and scale up to thousands of VM instances within minutes.

Govern, monitor, and back up your VM environments with Azure Blueprints. Protect your data from ransomware with Azure Backup. Gain intelligence insights with Azure Monitor. Save money with Azure’s pay-as-you-go model. Microsoft Azure offers solutions to all of your computing needs.

AWS offers the largest range of services for cloud computing.

Storage

AWS has the longest running storage service, but Azure also provides extremely reliable storage options.

AWS S3

AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) is an object storage service with leading scalability, security, and performance. It automatically creates and stores copies of all S3 objects, safeguarding against errors and threats.

Amazon S3 gives you complete control over your cloud storage, allowing you to create and configure all S3 access points. You can then limit S3 storage access to a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for added security and scale up or down as necessary.

With Amazon S3, you also have access to a wide range of cost-effective storage classes. Each class supports different data access levels, allowing you to save money without sacrificing performance. Easily manage your data and access controls through AWS.

Azure Storage

Microsoft Azure provides a variety of storage options that are secure, highly-available, and easy to scale. With encrypted security and managed storage services, Azure is designed to meet the data storage needs of any application.

Azure Blob is Microsoft’s object storage solution for the cloud. Blob storage is perfect for:

  • Sending files directly to a browser
  • Storing files for distributed access
  • Streaming video and audio
  • Backup and disaster recovery

In addition to blob storage, Azure Files allows you to set up network file shares that can be accessed by multiple VMs. You can access these files from anywhere in the world with a Shared Access Signature (SAS) token. This provides you with greater access to your data, while still enforcing high levels of security.

Get highly-secured cloud storage at a massive scale with Microsoft Azure.

Databases

Amazon RDS

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) simplifies the process of managing a relational database in the cloud. It automates time-consuming administration tasks, freeing you to focus on your applications.

Amazon RDS allows you to choose from a variety of database engines:

  • Amazon Aurora
  • PostgreSQL
  • MySQL
  • MariaDB
  • Oracle Database
  • SQL Server

Enjoy a variety of benefits with Amazon RDS, including easy administration, high durability, enhanced security, and lower costs.

Azure SQL Database

Microsoft Azure offers one of the best fully-managed SQLs in the cloud. Azure SQL Database is an intelligent, scalable, cloud database service that includes automation, unified management, and a cloud billing model.

Azure’s built-in machine learning helps you maximize performance and monitor activity through Intelligent Insights. Advanced data security protects your database from malicious threats through access control and advanced threat protection capabilities. With Azure SQL Database, you don’t have to sacrifice security for performance.

Get highly-secured cloud storage at a massive scale with Microsoft Azure.

Content Delivery and Networking

Amazon VPC

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) enables you to launch AWS resources in a virtual network that you define. Gain complete control over your virtual networking environment and easily customize your network configuration.

Amazon VPC provides advanced security features, allowing you to define network access control lists and restrict access to your Amazon S3. You also have the freedom to select your own IP address range, create subnets, and configure network gateways.

Azure VNET

Azure Virtual Network (VNET) enables Azure resources to communicate with each other and other networks. With Azure VNET, resources can distribute information through a Virtual Network (VN), Virtual Private Network (VPN), security groups, or network virtual appliances.

In addition to greater freedom, Azure VNET enables heightened security. When you integrate Azure services to an Azure virtual network, you enable private access for virtual machines or compute resources in the virtual network.

Pricing

Pricing is one of the leading concerns when it comes to purchasing a product or service. Luckily, both AWS and Microsoft Azure offer a pay-as-you-go model, making it easier for you to scale your storage and save money.

AWS offers pay-as-you-go pricing for over 160 cloud services. Pay only for the services you use, without additional costs or termination fees. Amazon charges you for every hour the service is used, allowing you to easily adapt your services as needed. You can also save money by paying for reserved instances upfront. The larger the upfront payment, the greater the discount you receive.

Microsoft Azure also offers a pay-as-you-go model, but instead of charging for every hour of services used, Azure charges per minute. You also have the flexibility to choose between prepaid or monthly charges. Azure’s price calculator makes it easy to estimate your expected monthly costs for using any combination of Azure products.

AWS or Azure: Find the Right Cloud Solution for Your Business

Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure both offer excellent options when it comes to cloud services. Ultimately, you need to decide which model works best for you and your business. Whether you’re looking for competitive prices or comprehensive storage options, you can’t go wrong when you choose Azure or AWS.

Here at CR-T, we take pride in providing enterprise-level IT services at prices that work for small businesses. Our team of experts can become your IT support department, responding to issues quickly, often before you even know about them. Covering everything from your servers and network infrastructure to your computers, workstations and mobile devices, we provide end-to-end solutions for all your technology needs.

Time and experience have helped us develop best practices and workflow procedures designed to keep your focus on your business, not your technology.

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