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There has been a constant debate about the most suitable, client friendly cloud available and there is a potent tussle between Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS is quite popular with its customer base and its revenues are a proof of the same. The revenue data shows that the run rate of AWS matches up with that of Microsoft’s commercial cloud services Azure. Although Azure cannot boast of the same customer base but is a potent opponent despite its late launch in the field.
AWS offers a wide range of services that come under infrastructure as a service under four major categories like content delivery, networking, database, computing, etc. But above all the trust that the brand Amazon provides vis-a-vis its security is the reason clients prefer AWS. Azure has subdivided its services under four heads as well, namely- Networking, Performance, Data management and databases and Compute. The reputation Microsoft built definitely helps Azure but we will further see how the competition between both the cloud services is really tough. Let us get right into it with valid comparisons.
Cloud computing holds some a mystical charm over developers due to the fact that it reduces their work and provides many additional services as well that brings ease. Azure has many application deployment and scaling services for the developers no matter the size and kind of the application. AWS has similar services as well but Azure succeeds in holding its own here by hosting cloud applications well where as AWS does not have many options when it comes to app hosting.
For Open source developers
Microsoft has always been a consumer based business due to popular platforms like windows, etc. But Amazon began its journey just as an online selling platform. Making full use of Microsoft’s reputation, Azure ensures smooth integration with Visual Studio and Active Directory but it is not enough to level up to Amazon which is well spread out amongst the open source Developers. Microsoft has tried being warmer to open source developers in the recent years but Amazon has made the most out of Microsoft’s indifference in the past, by taking over the entire customer base.
For Hybrid Cloud computing
Legacy apps migration is a lengthy process hindering a number of companies to stay away from cloud computing completely. For companies without strong resources, a hybrid cloud might be the attraction point since they would be able to keep some of their data including legacy apps while take the rest to the cloud bringing an ease in data management. Azure, again due to the long run of its parent company in the market gains edge here by providing help to move the desired part of the business to the cloud while keeping the rest intact. AWS is trying to catch up but it needs more investments and more research in the following field to strengthen its already running services in hybrid cloud computing.
For Existing Users
Microsoft took years together to build its name amongst large enterprise customers and there is a definite ease for those customers who are already using Microsoft products to move to Azure cloud. Although AWS has been trying to give similar services and has a decent customer base too but they need an USP to give AWS an edge with .Net developers because it’s is highly convenient for existing Microsoft users to continue working on the same front rather than trying everything anew.
Public Sector also relies on the cloud but with certain regulations in order to not display government records and files on public display. Azure and AWS both have a special functions and regulations (DISA, FIPS, HIPAA, etc.) catering specially to the government sector and their requirements through isolated areas which are unavailable for computing and networking unlike other general users thus making them not compromise on security.
License Mobility and fees
AWS has a hassle free licensing policy yet the kind of license mobility standards Microsoft offers which trickles down to Azure as well, is unmatchable. Customers don’t have to pay double for using the same applications they are currently using. This mobility does not extend to all Microsoft licenses but covers most applications. It is a tad bit difficult to compute a definite cost bracket for either AWS or Azure but both services offer cost calculators which can be used to figure out an expected price for the services.
Although both Azure and AWS have similar functions and features but yet there are a few services and features that are exclusive to Azure. This, however, AWS is trying to change by adding similar or better services to beat the slight differences.
The end decision however lies with the consumer. Free trials of both the services are available and the consumer can test and try each of them and choose accordingly.