What should you choose: Azure or AWS?

With all the hype around big data and an increase in the shift towards the cloud services, the biggest question for the enterprises remain, “Which cloud service should we opt for?” There is no hard and fast rule or any particular formula for choosing a cloud service provider. Ideally, the type of the existing IT infrastructure and workload of the organizations are the factors that should drive this decision.

As everyone is trying to get a hold of cloud computing, many cloud services are aiding this shift through their services. There are several cloud service providers in the market, all trying to cash the current upsurge in cloud computing and big data management. IBM, HP, Azure, Amazon, Google are among the top CSPs. A few service providers like Amazon have been around for as long as 10 years.

Today, we are going to talk about the top two service providers in the industry- Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, previously known as Windows Azure. By taking a comparative approach, let’s try to figure out which service should your organization pick.

If we talk about revenue generation, AWS is way ahead of all its competitors, developing nearly $9 Billion a year. This is about 10 times of that generated by Microsoft Azure. As compared to AWS, Azure is a relatively new player. Azure still has a lot to catch up.

Cost and availability are the central determining factors for IT managers while choosing a cloud service. On assessing AWS and Azure on these criteria, the scorecard is almost similar for both. There might be a pricing difference in a few services offered by these providers or one might have an upper hand over other in some scenarios. But overall, both are extremely similar to each other.

Being in the market for 10 years undoubtedly works to the advantage of AWS. The widespread network of data centers is its strongest asset at present. About 29 percent of the market is controlled by AWS with data centers located in the U.S., Singapore, and Europe etc. Having such an extensive network means better service and enhanced user-perceived execution.

The scale at which AWS operates is enormous, but Azure is compensating for that by providing quality services and flexibility. Azure certainly has a leg up while dealing with hybrid infrastructure. Azure works better with specific jobs like identity, site recovery, backup, data accessibility etc. The performance enhances manifolds if an organization is already using on-premise products of Microsoft like Windows server. However, both AWS and Azure stand at the same level in IaaS services.

Both AWS and Azure have their own distinct set of services, meaning, not all services provided by them are completely similar. Say, you need a specific service. Both these providers offer a service or a combination of services that fulfills that need. Instead of focusing on the “brand name”, focus on your organization’s business requirement. So, you should identify the need and then look at the services from these providers and decide which fits the bill in the best possible way.

IT people sometimes get particular about a specific provider, just because they are familiar with the structure and have the know-hows. This acquaintance becomes a hindrance in exploring new possibilities and services. AWS as well as Azure have their own APIs to facilitate easier incorporation and automation. In terms of conceptuality, both are more or less the same. A person familiar with one service can easily understand the other. Both the services provide efficient training programs and internet-based management programs to ease the process of their service integration.

Compute, databases, storage & delivery, and networking are the core services provided by the AWS. Azure excels in Identity management, auditing, monitoring & logging, and Encryption key creation, storage, and control. Now to answer the question that we had in the beginning, this is not mandatory that you have to choose only one. In fact, the ideal path to get the most out of cloud computing is to employ the best of both. Each provider works well than the other in a certain scenario, therefore you should take the case-by-case approach while deciding your service provider.

Cloud computing is being increasingly used by businesses for regular daily IT operations. Breeze Telecom offers cloud related platforms and has undergone many changes recently to suit the security requirements of the enterprises, and big data management is no exception.

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