Microsoft Azure VS Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Familiar with the above 2 names? Well, these are two of the biggest names in the field of cloud computing and are quite heavily used by companies in the IT industry helping to serve clients in the most easiest and manageable ways. Which platform do you think is suitable for you? Which cloud platform service would be ideal for your business? To help you come to a conclusion, let us see in detail some of the most important and concerning factors of what each provider contributes to its clients.

1. Storage

AWS: Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a few types of storage. The temporary storage offered by Amazon, is allocated once you start an instance and then the same allocation is destroyed and killed as soon as that instance is exited from usage. Another type of storage provided is the block storage which is quite similar to the use of hard disk. This storage can be used separately or used together with an instance that will require it. The other type of storage option is the object-based storage which still hasn’t grown in popularity in the recent times. AWS supports relational database, NoSQL database and Big Data.

Azure: Microsoft Azure has also got quite a few storage options and are relatively similar to Amazon’s. Azure offers temporary storage through its “D:” drive on a Windows VM and “/dev/sdb1” on a Linux VM. Block storage is supported through page blobs where they are mostly used for random read and write operations. Object storage is also supported in Azure through files and block blobs. Azure fully supports relational database, NoSQL database and Big Data.

2. Pricing Plans

AWS: Amazon follows a Pay-As-You-Go scheme, where all their payments are charged hourly. They are generally computed for 3 types of instances.

  • Reserved Instances: Reserve an instance for 1 or 3 years with an advance payment based on the usage.
  • On demand: Payment is done for whatever you use but without an upfront cost unlike in reserved instances.
  • Spot: Clients can bid for available extra storage capacity whenever needed.

Azure: Microsoft also follows the same Pay-As-You-Go scheme, but payments are charged per minute (generally provide a more exact pricing model) in comparison to Amazon’s hourly rates. They too have quite a few options where the clients can opt to stick with either pre-paid or monthly payments schemes if they are on short term commitments.

3. Integration

AWS: Since Amazon has always had a stronger relationship with the open source community, they have more options for open source integrations in the cloud platform and are much compatible and friendlier with the Linux servers. Some of their integration options that are available are Jenkins and GitHub.

Azure: Microsoft hasn’t had a great, or a good relationship with the open source community, thereby not always embracing open source integrations. But they recently have started to change that concept gradually and are now allowing companies to run Apache Hadoop and Red Hat Enterprise Linux clusters in Azure.

If you are a user of the Windows development tools such as VB Script, SQL database and Active Directory, Azure offers its native and own integration tools and is quite good for developers who are involved with the .NET framework.

4. Hybrid Cloud

AWS: Unlike Microsoft, Amazon has only recently taken up the issue of Hybrid cloud with some serious concern. A year ago, they released a 100TB hard drive for shifting workload and services between Amazon cloud and client’s data centers and servers. And a few months later, it partnered with VMWare to let clients to customize its cloud environment. Some of Amazon’s hybrid cloud solutions that are still available are DynamoDB Local, Storage Gateway and OpsWorks. However, Amazon is still developing its hybrid cloud section and is yet to produce something effective and powerful as Microsoft.

Azure: As a longtime and a legacy IT solutions provider, Microsoft identified the pattern of users’ tendency to run some of their applications on cloud and the rest on client servers in their own data centres. As a result they have a strong support for hybrid cloud configurations with platforms like Azure StorSimple and Hybrid SQL Server. Their recent inclusion was the Azure Stack, which is a new hybrid cloud platform that provides a full public Azure functionality to your own servers and data centres using the very same Pay-As-You-Go pricing scheme.

5. Usability and User Experience

AWS: The AWS has a deep learning curve and if you are someone who is willing to learn the AWS system and how it works, then Amazon offers a variety of features and configurations that can be customized according to your choice. AWS does offer a lot of power, flexibility and customization space with support for quite a lot of third party integrations.

Azure: If you’re a windows user, Azure will be quite easy to use and manage since it’s a Windows platform and doesn’t require learning something new or extra to use it. It’s simple to integrate on Windows servers and tools such as SQL database and Active Directory does support and work well with Azure.


Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services both offer many similar capabilities even though they may have slight differences. Overall, it all depends on what requirements your business needs, based on which you have to select one particular vendor that you think be ideal for it.

A significant decision like opting for a cloud platform service without actually giving it a try on the vendor services is generally a critical decision to make. Therefore, both these providers offer a free service that give their clients an opportunity to understand how their services work. So go out and give these clouds a try and see which one suits your needs the best.

And do you know what’s even more amazing? There are companies who offer managed services for both of these platforms and set it up for you according to your needs and requirements. Therefore, no matter what cloud service vendor you choose, we have always got your back and are ready to serve you anytime for your cloud computing solutions.

Osho Garg

About Author
Osho is Tech blogger. He contributes to the Blogging, Gadgets, Social Media and Tech News section on TecheHow.


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