Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure are two biggest public cloud infrastructure provides.
AWS core offerings are:
2. Content Delivery and Storage
Azure core offerings are:
3. Site Recovery
4. Data management
Below table summarizes the services offered by AWS and Azure.
|Services||Microsoft Azure||Amazon Web Services (AWS)|
|Available Regions||Azure Regions||AWS Global Infrastructure|
|Compute Services||Virtual Machines (VMs)||Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)|
Azure Websites and Apps
|Amazon Elastic Beanstalk|
|Azure Visual Studio Online||None|
|Container Support||Docker Virtual Machine Extension||EC2 Container Service (Preview)|
|Scaling Options||Azure Autoscale (how to)||Auto Scaling|
|Analytics/Hadoop Options||HDInsight (Hadoop)||Elastic MapReduce (EMR)|
|Government Services||Azure Government||AWS GovCloud|
|App/Desktop Services||Azure RemoteApp||Amazon WorkSpaces
|Storage Options||Azure Storage (Blobs, Tables, Queues, Files)||Amazon Simplge Storage (S3)|
|Block Storage||Azure Blob Storage (how to)||Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS)|
|Hybrid Cloud Storage||StorSimple||AWS Storage Gateway|
|Backup Options||Azure Backup||Amazon Glacier|
|Storage Services||Azure Import Export (how to)||Amazon Import / Export|
|Azure File Storage (how to)||AWS Storage Gateway|
|Azure Site Recovery||None|
|Content Delivery Network||Azure CDN||Amazon CloudFront|
|Database Options||Azure SQL Database||Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)
|NoSQL Database Options||Azure DocumentDB||Amazon Dynamo DB|
|Azure Managed Cache (Redis Cache)||Amazon Elastic Cache|
|Data Orchestration||Azure Data Factory||AWS Data Pipeline|
|Networking Options||Azure Virtual Network||Amazon VPC|
|Azure ExpressRoute||AWS Direct Connect|
|Azure Traffic Manager||Amazon Route 53|
|Load Balancing||Load Balancing for Azure||Elastic Load Balancing|
|Administration & Security||Azure Active Directory||AWS Directory Service
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
|Multi-Factor Authentication||Azure Multi-Factor Authentication||AWS Multi-Factor Authentication|
|Monitoring||Azure Operational Insights||Amazon CloudTrail|
|Azure Application Insights||Amazon CloudWatch|
|Azure Event Hubs||Amazon Kinesis|
|Azure Notification Hubs||Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS|
|Azure Key Vault (Preview)||AWS Key Management Service|
|Compliance||Azure Trust Center||AWS CLoudHSM|
|Management Services & Options||Azure Resource Manager||Amazon CloudFormation|
|API Management||Azure API Management||Amazon API Gateway|
|Automation||Azure Automation||AWS OpsWorks|
Azure Service Bus
|Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS)
Amazon Simple Workflow (SWF)
|Visual Studio||AWS CodeDeploy|
|Azure Search||Amazon CloudSearch|
|Analytics||Azure Stream Analytics||Amazon Kinesis|
|Email Services||Azure BizTalk Services||Amazon Simple Email Services (SES)|
|Media Services||Azure Media Services||Amazon Elastic Transcoder
Amazon Mobile Analytics
|Other Services & Integrations||Azure Machine Learning (Preview)||Amazon Machine Learning|
AWS Lambda (Preview)
AWS Config (Preview)
Content delivery network is global distributed content hosting that serves files and content to geographical regions most near to end users.
Azure Content Delivery Network is Microsoft Azure’s primary CDN for content delivery. It has a rich set of APIs and larger global connectivity with high availability of Microsoft’s data center. Azure CDN has robust security and real time analytics.
CloudFront is the Content Delivery Network for AWS. CloudFront is easy to get started and completely integrates with Simple storage service. CloudFront easy preferred for less price and best for startups.
In terms of storage, AWS has better offering than Azure. AWS Simple Storage Service is mostly used for object storage and delivery.
AWS Simple Storage Service: S3 has highest durability and availability. S3 also allows users to run data analytics query within S3 and doesn’t require you to move your data to separate analytics platform.
Azure Storage Blob: Azure storage blob allowed us to upload blobs or larger files or files of any type to azure storage account. Azure storage account can be accessed by any azure services that makes storage centralized and easy.
AWS Elastic Block Storage: AWS EBS is the virtual server disk infrastructure provides high IO for compute intensive tasks.
Azure Storage Disk: These disks are optimized for random read-write operations and suitable for IO intensive computing.
AWS Elastic File System: A shared file storage for AWS services.
Azure Files: Shared file system for VMs in Azure.
Backup and disaster recovery:
AWS yet does not feature a disaster recovery and backup for on premises VMs.
Azure Site Recovery automates protection and replication of virtual machines. Offers health monitoring, recovery plans, and recovery plan testing. Backup and archival solutions allow files and folders to be backed up and recovered from the cloud, and provide off-site protection against data loss.
Compute is the core feature offering in most cloud computing platforms. Virtual machines run on high available infrastructures and offers variety of operating systems and configuration.
AWS EC2: AWS Elastic Compute cloud or EC2 is the virtual compute infrastructure. Amazon Machine Images (AMI) are available in marketplace to choose between different operating systems. Users can configure their machine with templates and specify memory and cores.
Azure Virtual machines: Azure VMs are the virtual compute infrastructure for Azure. Azure market place has various templates to choose like Windows server, SharePoint Server, SQL Server, Red Hat Linux, Ubuntu, Next Gen Webapp Firewall etc. Users can select availability region and standard VM size. VM sizing are available in Marketplace.
Azure offers virtual network and AWS offers Virtual private cloud to isolate and private environment in cloud. AWS VPN gateway and Azure VPN gateway provides virtual network connectivity to on premise or end users.
Azure DNS and AWS Route S3 are DNS management record for billing and support. Azure traffic manager is the DNS host service with high availability over failover.
Azure ExpressRoute and AWS DirectConnect provides direct access to your cloud and on premise network. However, these are very expensive.
AWS and Azure both provides network and application load balancer for load distribution to handle incoming traffic and scale the application.
AWS RDS or Relational database service is a database service includes Amazon Aurora, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server. It is easy to setup and operate and has a pay as you go pricing model.
Azure provides SQL Database, Azure Database for MySQL, and Azure Database for PostgreSQL.
For No-SQL documentDB AWS has dynamo DB and Azure has Cosmos DB. For No-SQL key value document, AWS has simpledb and Azure has table storage. For caching AWS has elastic cache and azure has redis cache.
For Big data, AWS has Elastic MapReduce and azure has HDInsight.
Cloud service performance are considered according to many key points. Region near to user and pricing model used are two key factors.
Amazon and Azure VM instance type and Server less computing platform and Database/storage are three services where users are mostly consider for high performance and a reasonable pricing.
High config instances provide high performance at a high price. Availability set and geographical regions affect pricing and performance.
AWS and Azure data centers are highly secured firms and strong physical security is present in each data centers. Data security and compliance are certified by trust agencies.
As cloud providers store sensitive business information and database, they provide high-end encryption and strong password policies for VMs, Databases, and Applications.
Amazon EC2 uses a modified version of the Xen hypervisor, which can significantly improve the performance of virtual machines through Para virtualization. In addition, access to the CPU comes with separate privileges. The host OS has the highest at level 0, the guest OS is at level 1, and the applications have the least privileges at level 3.
Multifactor authentication and mutual SSL authentication is used by AWS and Azure. All firewall ports are closed. This means that the customer himself must open the ports for incoming traffic. Amazon provides the ability to split the levels of access groups. The hypervisor and the root OS filter unsafe packet traffic.
AWS: Amazon has a pay-as-you-go model, where they charge per hour. Instances are purchasable on the following models:
On demand: Pay for what you use without upfront cost
Reserved: Reserve an instance for 1 or 3 years with upfront cost based on use
Spot: Customers bid for extra capacity available
Azure: Microsoft’s pricing is also pay-as-you-go, but they charge per minute, which provides a more exact pricing model. Azure also offers short-term commitments with the option between pre-paid or monthly charges.
AWS support rates are quite high if you are a heavy user.
Basic plan includes USD 29, Business plan includes USD 100, and Enterprise Plan includes USD 15000 per month.
Azure bills its user a monthly flat rate.
Azure support plan basic is at 1,916.80 INR per month while professional is 66,096.25 INR per month. Standard plan is 19,828.88 INR per month.
Both Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon’s AWS are powerful, dynamic cloud platforms. AWS has more number of features and Azure is still growing and introducing new exciting features.
To choose the right solution, focus instead on understanding the following:
* VM types and use cases
* PaaS offering types, use cases, and optimization best practices (for example, Azure SQL, or Amazon RDS optimization methods)
* Serverless optimization and development best practices
* Cost control and reporting methods
* Overall platform monitoring (the cloud equivalent of a Network Operations Center)
AWS has the largest market share but azure is capturing new market share by introducing new features like cognitive analytics and data lake storage etc.
Azure is best choice if your on premise systems are windows system then you can easily migrate them to azure cloud.
Azure integrate best with Microsoft products like EMS, Office 365, Active Directory, and Windows Servers.
AWS is best for Linux and Web applications.
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