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AWS vs Azure: What Is The Difference?

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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 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 would 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. Pricing
    3. Compute
    4. Storage
    5. Databases
    6. Networking Services
    7. Container And Orchestration Support
    8. Compliance
    9. Final Score

So let us get started with this AWS vs Azure article,

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

 

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 AWS vs Azure 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.

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.

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.

With Azure, it uses temporary storage and page blobs for VM volume. Azure has Block Storage option as a counterpart to S3 in AWS. In addition, Azure also provides two types in their 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.

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.

Let us continue with this AWS vs Azure article and see how it fares in terms of Networking,

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.

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 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,

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 its neck and neck with AWS.

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 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.

This brings us to the end of this article on ‘AWS vs Azure’, in case you wish to take your knowledge on either of these platforms then you may want to take a look at Edureka’s Certification Training programs curated to help you achieve excellence in the domain, here is the link:

Also if you do have a different opinion than lets us know what you prefer more and why, in the comments section below. Happy Learning.

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