Cloud Storage companies have become the niche in the market touching millions of businesses and catering to their needs. Organizations have realized the benefits of cloud and are using it to make a change. There are two cloud giants in the realm of cloud computing that are always in a head to head battle i-e AWS and Azure. There always comes up a question whether to go for AWS or Azure. The answer to this question is quite open ended because one needs to take multiple factors into consideration while assessing the merits and demerits of both.
Before diving further into the technical discussion it is necessary to give a brief overview of both cloud services.
Launched in 2006 AWS was one of its kind. The services that Amazon Web Services provide are content delivery and storage, compute, networking and database. These services falls under the category of Infrastructure as a service (Iaas).
It was launched 4 years after AWS i-e in 2010. It was not well received in its nascent stage but now is competing with the best cloud service in the market . It also has four classes of offerings such as data management and data bases, compute ,network and performance.
Both cloud services are the solid performers in their domains with a parity of almost 99%.Choosing which one is the best is more of a business related decision than a technology based decision because each organization has different requirements. If a company is looking for Paas (platform as a service) provider then Azure is the best choice while for Iaas (Infrastructure as a service) AWS comes handy.
Here are some key considerations while opting for AWS or Azure:
1. Developer Friendly:
Azure is more developer friendly as it has multiple app deployment options for developers for instance App Services, Cloud Services, Service Fabric, Container Service, Functions, Batch, Web Jobs and more.
AWS have similar solutions with Container Service, Elastic Beanstalk, Lambda, and Batch but does not have as many options or features on the app hosting side and has a room for improvement in this regard.
2. Open Source Model:
AWS is favorable with open source models while Azure is a bit unadaptable with the open source community.
3. Government Cloud Offering:
Both Azure and AWS are used in different sections by the government users for the public as well as confidential data.
4. Hybrid Model:
Azure supports hybrid cloud model as organizations can integrate onsite servers with Cloud instances while AWS is still catching up in this regard.
5. Big Data Handling:
AWS has more mature cloud environment for big data as compared to Azure.
6. Long term data archiving:
AWS has both short(S3) and long term data archiving(Amazon glacier) and retrieval options while Azure only has short term data archiving option(Blobs, Queues and Tables) while lacks the latter.
7. Machine Accessibility:
In AWS machines can be accessed individually while in Azure machines are grouped into cloud service and respond to the same domain name but different ports.
8. Infrastructure Pricing:
AWS EC2 pays by the hour while Azure infrastructure services pay by the minute.
9. Partner Ecosystem:
Azure still has to work on building partner ecosystem while AWS leads the game in this regard with extensive partner ecosystem -Linux and Windows.
Growth and Revenue:
Comparing AWS and Azure on the basis of revenue is not a good idea because Microsoft does not release individual revenue figures for Azure, but includes them in what the company refers to as its “Commercial Cloud Business”. Similarly both companies are poles apart in providing services as AWS has grown into the largest cloud services provider by being first to market and by being the more developer-friendly of the two platforms, Azure caters better for larger organizations already committed to Microsoft products moving an existing infrastructure to the cloud.
As of February 2020, Canalys reports AWS with 32.4% of the market and Azure at 17.6% of the market. Microsoft’s platform may possibly increase its market share over the next couple of years, but parity is not expected until five years.
So comparing both the heavyweights of the cloud platform always gives ambiguous results as both companies are evolving and introducing new products, new integrations and new pricing structures. The choice between the two ultimately depends on the needs of the organization.