Microsoft Azure vs Amazon Web Services – Battle Field

It’s been 12 years now, since Amazon Web Services or AWS was launched, almost 4 years before the actual launch of Microsoft Azure in 2010. Both the players in cloud have grown significantly in past few years. Despite a head start initially, first-quarter cloud-revenue for AWS is $5.44 billion and Microsoft as the world’s leading enterprise-cloud provider reported its commercial-cloud revenue of $6.0 billion. Though both Azure and AWS provide a lot of services under multiple category and with different names, the basic concept of cloud computing technologies remains the same. This article focuses on the service offerings from both under various categories. Please click the specific group of services comparisons you are interested in:

  1. Storage, Compute, Networking and CDN.
  2. Big data, Analytics, Machine Learning and Cognitive Service.
  3. Messaging, Server Less, Container and orchestration Services.
  4. Identity Management, Monitoring, Logging and Telemetry.
  5. Key Management, API Management, Email and other Services.
  6. Government Service and Compliance.
  7. User-Friendliness, Pricing, Licensing and Support Plans.

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To save some time you may also refer Azure vs AWS – Services Cheat-sheet.

Storage and Database Services

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  • AWS provides Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) for Block Storage, S3 for Object storage and Glacier for cold storage.
  • Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) is Amazon’s relational database service.
  • DynamoDB is AWS NoSQL offering that delivers reliable performance at any scale.
  • Amazon Redshift is a fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud.
  • Amazon ElastiCache offers fully managed Redis and Memcached.
  • AWS Storage Gateway is a hybrid storage service that enables your on-premises applications to seamlessly use AWS cloud storage.
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  • Azure Storage Blobs and Files, under Azure Storage services is Azure’s block, object storage and cold storage with multiple options to choose storage type.
  • Azure SQL Database is Azure relational database offering that works to create, scale and extend applications into the cloud using Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Cosmos DB provides choice of NoSQL database services including MongoDB, Cassandra and Graph API among others.
  • SQL Data Warehouse is a data warehousing service designed to handle computational and data intensive queries on datasets exceeding 1TB.
  • Redis Cache in Azure is a managed implementation of Redis.
  • StorSimple provides a complete hybrid cloud storage solution for enterprises.

Compute

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  • AWS EC2 or Elastic Compute Cloud is Amazon’s core compute service that allow users to create and configure virtual machines using either pre-configured or custom AMIs (images). It provides option to select the size, power, memory capacity, and number of VMs and choose from among different regions and availability zones within which to launch. EC2 do comes Elastic load balancing (ELB) and auto scaling features.
  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk is a managed service for deploying and scaling web applications and services developed in Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go, and Docker on web servers such as Apache, Nginx, Passenger, and IIS. Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment, provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling and monitoring.
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  • Virtual machines, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering of Azure, allow creating both general-purpose virtual machines, with support for Linux and Windows Server, as well as preconfigured machine images. It also provides all the mentioned options and features as AWS does, just some may be under different names.
  • Web Apps is Azure’s platform as a service (PaaS) offering that let developers easily publish and manage web applications, REST APIs, and mobile back ends in language of their choice, be it .NET, .NET Core, Java, Ruby, Node.js, PHP, or Python. Web Apps provide security, load balancing, autoscaling, and automated management features along with DevOps capabilities, such as continuous deployment (VSTS, GitHub), staging environments, custom domain, and SSL certificates.
  • WebJobs applications can be deployed to a Web App environment to implement background processing that can be invoked on a schedule, on demand, or run continuously.

Networking

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  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) allows users to create isolated networks within the cloud. Within a VPC, a user can create subnets, route tables, private IP address ranges, and network gateways.
  • AWS Direct Connect makes it easy to establish a dedicated network connection from on premises to AWS. It helps in establishing a private connectivity between AWS and local datacenter.
  • Amazon Route 53 is a cloud Domain Name System (DNS) web service. It is able to effectively connect user requests to infrastructure in AWS such as Amazon EC2, Elastic Load Balancers, Amazon S3 and also to infrastructure outside of AWS.
  • Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple targets, such as Amazon EC2, containers and IP addresses. It is able to handle the varying load of application’s traffic in a single or across multiple Availability Zone(s). It has three types of load balancers to offer, which all provides high availability, automatic scaling and fault tolerance.
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  • Azure Virtual Network (VNET) offers ability to create isolated networks as well as subnets, route tables, private IP address ranges and network gateways. It offers solutions to extend the on-premise data center into the cloud and firewall option.
  • Azure ExpressRoute allows you to extend on-premises networks into the Microsoft cloud over a private connection, which is facilitated by a connectivity provider.
  • Azure Traffic Manager allows to control the distribution of traffic for services in different datacenters. It supports services including Azure VMs, Web Apps and classic cloud services. I also support external, non-Azure service endpoints.
  • Azure Load Balancer supports inbound and outbound scenarios, provides low latency and high throughput, and scales up to millions of flows for all TCP and UDP applications.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

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  • Amazon CloudFront is a global content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to the viewers with low latency and high speed.

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  • Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a global CDN solution for audio, video, applications, images, and other static files. It can be used to cache and deliver static assets of websites geographically closer to users to increase performance.

>> Next: Big data, Analytics, Machine Learning and Cognitive Service.

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Written by Varun Kumar

Varun works with Microsoft as a Cloud Consultant. He comes with 10+ years of experience into Consultant, Solution Architect, and Delivery Management roles. As a Consultant in Microsoft, his job is to design, develop and deploy enterprise level solutions using Azure, to help organizations to achieve more.

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