5 Areas of Comparison between Microsoft Azure and AWS


When talking about cloud computing and storage, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) instantly get listed as two of the best and most popular cloud computing services in the world. If you’ve recently decided to jump into the cloud, this article will help you flesh out the differences and advantages of AWS and Microsoft Azure.

Using the cloud for business or personal digital transactions has become a necessity for a lot of people. However, with more cloud computing services springing up in recent years, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with the sheer number of choices.

It’s a good thing that AWS and Microsoft Azure have both been in the cloud computing business long enough to undergo several developmental changes. As a result, these two powerful systems have helped company owners, IT experts, and casual users improve the way they perform online activities.

5 Comparison Points for AWS and Azure

Ready your notes as we witness a showdown of Azure vs AWS across five areas of comparison:

1. Features Breakdown

Amazon has been offering cloud-based services since 2006, and back then it was called Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Today, its cloud-based infrastructure is conveniently categorized into networking, compute, database, and storage & content delivery. When you sign up for an account, you have the power to monitor your chosen cloud services through several management tools (Config, Cloudtrail, and CloudWatch to name a few).

Microsoft Azure started in 2010, and offers IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS. Its wide range of cloud-based services include compute, storage, mobile, data management, CDN, and networking. Like AWS, Azure services may be managed through its own tools such as Active Directory, Multi-Factor Auth, and Active Directory Federation Services.

There are a ton of features for each service, although most of them are comparable with each other except for a few minor differences. In fact, the sheer number of features in Microsoft Azure and AWS is too big to do a side-by-side comparison, primarily because each feature is not an exact match on the other side of the fence.

2. Licensing

Moving to cloud-based services means having to go through licensing, which may incur some charges based on the particular feature that you use. Having said that, both platforms offer licensing options that are not only convenient but also cost-friendly.

License mobility conditions, registration process, and eligibility are available for both AWS (found here) and Microsoft Azure (check it here).

3. Open Source Support

Times are a-changin’ in terms of embracing open source, and the same is true in cloud computing. Microsoft was a considerably closed software system in the past, but the company is now heading towards open-source support, which includes Azure. Users now have the ability to run Linux and Apache Hadoop with Microsoft’s cloud service.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, Amazon has already led the way to embrace open source much earlier. In fact, AWS comes with several integration options for open source tools.

4. Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud configurations are gradually rising in popularity because of the flexibility that this kind of service provides. While you have the option to use your local compute resources, you can simultaneously deploy cloud infrastructure modules and run applications on the cloud.

For this purpose, AWS has OpsWorks, Storage Gateway, and DynamoDB Local. Meanwhile, Azure carries StorSimple, Azure Stack, and Hybrid SQL Server.

5. Price Point

For some people, everything boils down to cost. However, it’s difficult to say which cloud platform is cheaper due to several reasons:

  • Their services are not exact copies of each other, and so the cost may not be easy to compare.
  • Some features in one cloud-based infrastructure are not available in the competitor system.
  • Some features are cheaper in Azure, while other features may come at a lower price in AWS.

The best way to choose based on price is to use the cost calculators of each cloud-based platform (AWS and Azure).

Whichever you choose, make sure that you’re not basing your decision solely on popularity or cost. Spend time in studying each platform and see which one will enhance the way you work online.

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