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AWS vs Azure: Understanding the Key Differences

Last updated on May 22,2024 67.4K Views

3 / 12 Blog from Getting Startred With AWS

With Cloud Computing at its prime, various cloud service vendors have contested to claim supremacy in the Cloud domain. AWS and Azure have been relentless and have taken the top honors for a while now. However, the question that bothers people most is which Cloud vendor to choose? In this article on AWS vs Azure, we will be comparing these Cloud giants to help you figure out what suits your business needs better. This would subsequently help you choose one of AWS Certification or Azure Certification, which hold immense value in the current Cloud market from a career perspective.

We would use the following pointers to compare these service providers:

    1. General Features
    2. Introduction
    3. Advantages
    4. Pricing
    5. Compute
    6. Storage
    7. Databases
    8. Networking Services
    9. Container And Orchestration Support
    10. Compliance
    11. AWS vs Azure: Which Is Better
    12. Final Score

So, let us get started.

AWS vs Azure: General Features

The table puts forth a good enough comparison between these cloud giants based on some general features:

ParameterAWSAzure
Date Of Initiation20062010
Market Share40%30%
Open Source More open to open source communityLess open to open-source community
Hybrid CloudIt is a work in progressExcels in Hybrid Cloud Market
LicencingOffers more flexibilityCatching up with AWS
Linux Ecosystem Extensive support for LinuxStill building up
Level of Encryption
HighLow
Pricing ModelCharges on an hourly basisCharges on per minute basis
FlexibilityMore flexibleLess flexible
User InterfaceUser-friendly and rich UILess intuitive

Related Learning: AWS vs Azure vs Google Cloud

Azure vs AWS: Brief Introduction

AWS, or Amazon Web Services, was launched in 2006. It provides cloud solutions with more than 100 services related to databases, infrastructure management, app development, and web security. AWS, a subsidiary of Amazon, has offices in 16 different locations, with data centers around the world. Customers can use AWS services through a network of AWS servers worldwide. Instead of building physical servers, AWS is a way to purchase large-scale computing resources more cheaply and conveniently.

Azure, or Microsoft Azure, is AWS’s competitor in the cloud computing market. Launched in 2008, Azure offers more than 600 services through a global network of Microsoft-managed servers. These services relate to AI, ML, Networks, Storage, development, and Virtual Machines.

You can check out the details from the Azure cloud engineer training.

AWS vs Azure: Key Advantages

Advantages of AWS:

AWS has several advantages, making it a popular choice for enterprises and companies. Some of the benefits are listed below:

  • User Friendly: The AWS console is easy to use. Even beginners can get acquainted with the platform with a free tier account and start exploring. AWS also has comprehensive documentation that makes it easy to refer to and better understand the services and integration of the platform.
  • Security: The platform uses IAM, or Identity and Access Management, to ensure that no unauthorized user can access it. AWS also has other measures, like Transport Layer Security certificates, that prevent security threats.
  • Storage: AWS’s high storage can be used for backing up data and making archives. The AWS S3 buckets are simple storage containers.
  • Multiple region backups: Your data is always safe, as AWS has data centers worldwide. Regions are also available for users to store instances and information, protecting it from unwanted failures and the loss of critical data.

Related Article: AWS Tutorial for Beginners

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Advantages of Azure:

  • Speed: Azure is lightning fast as its data centers are located worldwide. Thus, you can quickly scale up your existing infrastructure by upgrading the service plans and adding new features.
  • Pre-built tools: Azure offers pre-built tools that save deployment time. Therefore, the cloud architect need not create something from scratch.
  • End-to-end services: Everything in Microsoft Azure, from source control to delivery, is doable within a single environment. The services were built in a way not to disrupt the existing functionalities which have already been deployed and working.

Related Program: Live Intructor-led Cloud Architect Training.

Now that the general comparison is out of the way, Let us take a look at some Pricing numbers for the two giants,

Pricing

Both Azure and  AWS Pricing models offer pay as you go structure. AWS charges you on hourly basis whereas Azure charges you on per minute basis. When it comes to short term subscription plans, Azure gives you a lot more flexibility. In case of certain services, Azure tends to be costlier than AWS when the architecture starts scaling up.

Pricing - AWS vs Azure - Edureka

 

Compute Services

The next halt in this Azure vs AWS article is Compute parameter. Computation or compute services are one of the core services when it comes to Cloud Computing, which is understandable as we have the word compute in the term Cloud Computing. The best way to gain expertise of cloud computing is from the AWS Cloud Certification.

With the large amount of data being generated these days, there is always a need for faster means of processing. Compute services ensure you can spawn instances in minutes and scale up instances instantly if needed. AWS and Azure both have services that cater these needs. You can even check out the details of Migrating to AWS with the AWS Cloud Migration Course.

Compute Services - AWS vs Azure - Edureka

AWS has services like EC2, Elastic Beanstalk, AWS Lambda, ECS, etc. Azure too has services on similar lines like Azure Virtual Machine, App Service, Azure Functions and Container service etc. So it is evident that these services are fairly neck and neck.

However, when you compare the cost, azure instances tend to get costlier as the size increases. When you consider an instance with 256GB RAM and 64vPCU, AWS will charge you $3.20/hour whereas Azure will charge around $6.76/hour.

Now that we have taken care of computation next big concern is storing this data, let me throw some light on it.

Storage Services

Both AWS and Azure provide long-running and reliable storage services. AWS has services like AWS S3, EBS, and Glacier whereas Azure Storage Services have Blob Storage, Disk Storage, and Standard Archive.

Storage Services - AWS vs Azure - EdurekaAWS S3 ensures high availability and automatic replication across regions. When it comes to temporary storage in AWS, it starts functioning each time the instance starts and stops. On termination, it provides block storage similar to hard disks and can be attached to any EC2 instance or kept separate.

Azure uses temporary storage and page blobs for VM volume. It also has a Block Storage option, which is a counterpart to S3 in AWS. In addition, Azure provides two types of storage: cold and hot storage.

So this was about Storage Services, let us now take a look at how these two fare when in terms of Database Services.

Related Course: AWS Masters Program

Database Services

The data being generated these days comes in different formats, hence the databases that hold this data also need to evolve. AWS and Azure both provide different database services to handle both structured and unstructured data.

Database Services - AWS vs Azure - Edureka

If you are looking for durability AWS has Amazon RDS whereas Azure has Azure SQL Server Database. Amazon RDS supports different database engines like MariaDB, Amazon Aurora, MySQL, Microsoft SQL, PostgreSQL, and Oracle whereas when it comes to Azure, SQL Server Database is based on SQL as the name suggests.

When you consider interface, Azure has a friendlier or a smoother one whereas AWS provides better provisioning with more instances. As it can be seen both tools have their features to boast of. If we were to talk about the reach of these services, they are fairly even with both having services for analytics and Big Data. AWS has EMR whereas Azure has HD Insights for the same. Azure also provides Cortana Intelligence Suite that comes with Hadoop, Spark, Storm, and HBase.

In terms of maturity, AWS provides a more mature environment for Big Data in particular.

Learn more about Azure with the Azure training in Chennai.

Networking Services

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) enables the creation of isolated networks under the Cloud umbrella. This enables users to create subnets, route tables, private IP address ranges, and network gateways.

Microsoft Azure Virtual Network as a counterpart to VPC, lets you do all the stuff VPC does. Both the vendors have solutions to extend the on-premise data center into the cloud and firewall options as well.

You can get a better understanding with the following video on AWS Vs Azure – Which One To Learn

Container and Orchestration Support

We have already established that AWS provides more matured Big Data and analytics offerings. It has various services in its arsenal that cover domains like IoT, mobile apps development or the creation of a computing environment depending on needs. They also offer support for Docker.

Microsoft is an equal here and may go a step further, as it offers Hadoop support with services like Azure HDInsight. Azure that Windows Server 2016 provides integration with Docker for both Windows containers and Hyper-V containers.
The platform also runs Windows or Linux containers.

The Final bit in this ‘AWS vs Azure’ article is Compliance, let us try and understand it. You can learn more from the AWS training and certification.

Compliance

Amazon has a great relationship with the government agencies ensuring better government cloud offerings. They also provide great security measures ensuring proper access to individual users when it comes to accessing the cloud, this factor is crucial when companies are dealing with sensitive data.


Microsoft offers more than 50 compliant offerings. Some notable ones include ITAR, DISA, HIPAA, CJIS, FIPS. When it comes to security it’s neck and neck with AWS.

Azure vs AWS: Which is better?

AWS and Azure provide similar services, but they still differ based on multiple factors. Let’s discuss some of the differences between AWS and Azure:

Open Source Community

Microsoft Azure is in the phase of becoming a more user-friendly and open-source community. This is also why AWS is more prevalent in the market with its easy-to-understand documentation and community.

Storage

AWS offers highly available storage solutions and automatically backs up data across several regions. Its temporary storage begins to operate whenever an instance is started and stops once the instances are terminated. AWS also provides block storage that can be attached to EC2 instances or kept separately if required.

ML models

Both AWS and Azure have machine learning models. The Azure studio, however, does not dive deep into complicated data engineering, unlike Amazon’s Sagemaker.

Compatibility with Cloud Market

AWS is still transitioning to be more compatible with the hybrid cloud market. Azure is more established in this space as it provides functionalities extending beyond the on-premise data center. Its services are consistent to be connected with the private cloud and public services.

Licensing and License Mobility

Both Azure and AWS make sure that their customers don’t have any issues regarding licensing. The customer only needs to pay for the services they use. In Microsoft Azure, you are eligible for license mobility if you already have purchased their service.

Once you are done, check out Google Cloud vs AWS comparison for more details.

Final Score

Both Cloud platforms as seen above show potent capabilities and it is difficult to pick a clear winner. Azure is great when it comes to Hybrid Cloud and integrating with Microsoft’s stack of products, whereas AWS has more flexibility and extra features. It very much boils down to the requirements you or your organization has. So choose wisely. To know more about Azure, join our Azure course online. Also, If you wish to master the principles in Azure and DevOps and work on step-by-step tasks that have significant relevance for the world of business, industry professionals developed the Azure DevOps certification course syllabus. After completing the training course, you can apply for one of the top jobs in MNCs in the world with the highest salary.

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AWS vs Azure: Understanding the Key Differences

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