December 20

Microsoft is Winning The Cloud War against Amazon

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Today, I am going to talk about one of the biggest wars of the centuries i.e.: AWS vs Microsoft Azure: which one is better for your business?

AWS:

Amazon Web Service is a subsidiary of Amazon.com that provides on-demand cloud computing platforms to individuals, companies and governments on a paid subscription basis.

AWS launched in 2006 is one of the most commonly used cloud computing platforms across the world. AWS is considered one of the best storage solutions. Companies like Adobe, Netflix, Airbnb, HTC, Pinterest and Spotify have put their faith in AWS for the proper functioning. It also dominates the cloud computing domain with almost 40% of the entire market share. So fare, nobody has even gotten close to beating that number. AWS also provides a wide range of services that covers a great number of domains like compute, networking, storage, migration and so much more. Amazon web services has 69 availability zones.

Azure:

Microsoft azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft managed data centers.

Microsoft Azure entered the cloud war late but had made its mark with a bang. Azure was launched in 2010 and is trusted by 80% of all the fortune 500 companies. The best of the best companies in the world choose to work with Azure. Azure provides its services to 55 regions and 140 countries. Azure also provides more than 100 services spanning a variety of domains.

Azure vs. AWS

Market Share:

Azure and AWS Market Share

Here are the stats for the market share of AWS, Azure and other cloud service providers.

Amazon Web services takes a whopping 40% of the market share, closely followed by Azure at 30% and other cloud services adding to 30%.

This 40% indicates most organizations clear interest in using AWS. They are number one because of their years of experience and trust they have created among their users.

AWS is the undisputed market leader when it comes to cloud computing domain. By 2020, AWS is expected to produce twice its current revenue which comes close to 44 billion dollars. AWS is constantly expanding its already strong roster of more than 100 services to fulfill the  shifting business requirements of organizations.

Azure is also not very behind. It’s only a matter of time before Azure takes the lead. This becomes more likely considering how all companies are migrating from AWS to Azure to satisfy their business needs. The research company Gartner has released a Magic Quadrant which shows the competition is now neck to neck between Microsoft Azure and AWS.

Microsoft Azure is not far behind AWS when it comes to services as well. Azure service offerings are constantly updated and improved on to help users.

Pricing:

Let’s look at the cost of the very basic instance which is a virtual machine of 2 virtual CPUs and 8GB RAM.

  • For AWS this will cost your approximately 0.0928 USD/hour.
  • For the same instance in Azure, it will cost you approximately 0.096 USD/hour.
Free Offerings:

AWS provides a significant number of its services for free, helping users get hands-on experience with the platform, products and services. The services under free tier fall under two categories:

  • Services that will remain free forever
  • Services that are valid free for only one year

Always free

Valid for a Year

>20 services offered

~20 services offered

E.g.: Amazon SNS, SQS, CloudWatch, etc.

E.g.: Amazon S3, EC2, ElastiCache etc.

Both types of services have limits on their usage (e.g.: storage, no. of requests, compute time etc.), but users are charged for using that fall under ‘valid for a year’ category after their year old usage.

Microsoft Azure provides a free tier as well. It also provides services that belongs to two categories:

  • Always Free
  • Valid for a Year

Always free

Valid for a Year

25+ services offered

8 services offered

E.g.: App Service, Functions, Container service, Active directory, etc.

E.g.: Linux/Windows Virtual machines, blob storage, SQL database, etc.

Azure also provides users with 200USD credits to access all their services for 30 days. After which they can use their services that fall under the free for a year and always free category.

Instance configuration:

The largest instance that AWS offers is that of a whopping 256 GB RAM and 16 virtual CPUs.

The largest that Azure offers isn’t very far behind either, i.e., 224 GB RAM and 16 virtual CPUs.

Comparison:

Factor

AWS

Azure

Features

Good

Better

Hybrid cloud

Developers

Pricing

Good

Better

Good

Better

Good

Good

  • AWS has a wide range of features that users benefit from. However, they require a little management from the user.

Azure goes slightly deeper with services that fall under certain categories like PaaS and IaaS.

  • Although AWS didn’t emphasize on Hybrid cloud earlier; they are focusing more on the technology now.

Azure has always emphasized on Hybrid cloud and has features supporting it since the days of its inception.

  • For developers, AWS is better, and Azure is good because AWS supports integration with third party applications.

Azure provides access to datacenters that provide a scalable architecture.

  • AWS provides a competitive and constantly decreasing pricing model.

Azure provides offers that are constantly experimented upon, to provide users with the best experience.

Each Cloud Computing platform has its own pros and cons. Choosing the right one is based entirely on your organization’s requirements.

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About the Author

Farwah Aslam: Your routine healthcare physician and a technology enthusiast.

Farwah Aslam

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