What’s the Difference Between AWS and Azure?

What's the Difference Between AWS and Azure?

Since the pandemic, most companies have realized that they need to be operating their business processes in the cloud. Cloud infrastructure reduces costs, because services are purchased “as needed,” and ensures that apps and data are available to employees no matter where they’re working.

In 2021, the number of employees working from home permanently is expected to double, so remote access to business systems has become a must for most organizations. 

Cloud infrastructure also ensures business continuity and that operations can stay up and running in the event of a disaster or other crisis that makes working at an office location impossible.

When choosing a full cloud transition, companies often look to large infrastructure platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. These act as a basis to run multiple applications in the cloud and help companies avoid a disjointed cloud infrastructure with data spread across multiple apps and cloud environments.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) makes it easier to automate and connect processes, provides a standard set of security policies across all cloud assets, and improves the password/login experience for employees.

The two biggest platforms for IaaS are AWS and Azure. Which one is best for your business?

We’ll go through a comparison of Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure services below so you can see which one might be best for hosting your business cloud environment.

Microsoft Azure vs Amazon Web Services

Pricing Models 

Both services offer a pay-as-you-go model, allowing you to add or remove resources as you need them. There is however a difference in how you pay for cloud instances.

  • AWS: pay-as-you-go by the hour
  • Azure: pay-as-you-go by the minute

With Azure, you can pay by the minute rather than the hour, offering you more exact timing and thus shorter-term commitments for your computing resources.

According to Microsoft, “AWS is 5 times more expensive than Azure for Windows Server and SQL Server.”

How Do You Pay for Services?

When you purchase any type of ongoing technology subscription, the goal is to keep monthly costs as predictable as possible. There is a big difference between the two services in this regard.

  • AWS: pricing based on a sliding scale according to monthly usage.
  • Azure: flat monthly rate

While AWS could be more flexible for those with fairly consistent usage, if you are a heavy cloud resource user, you could end up with an unexpectedly high bill. Azure offers a more predictable monthly cost.

Free Options

Both AWS and Azure offer free versions of their cloud services that companies can use to get used to the environment and how it works.

Both services offer several different free models, we’ve highlighted three for each of them. 

AWS’s free models and features:

  • Free Tier – Compute (EC2): 750 hours per month, 12 months free
  • Free Tier – Storage (S3): 5GB, 20,000 get requests/2,000 put requests, 12 months free
  • Free Tier – Database (RDS): 750 hours per month, 20 GB general-purpose storage, 20 GB storage for database backups, 12 months free

Azure free models and features:

  • Free Tier – Virtual Machines (Linux or Windows): 750 hours per month, 12 months free
  • Free Tier – Blog Storage: 5 GB, 20,000 read requests/10,000 write operations
  • Free Tier – SQL Database: 250 GB with 10 DB transaction units, 12 months free

Integrations With Other Applications

The flexibility of integrating with other applications that you want to use is important with any cloud infrastructure. For this attribute, AWS comes out ahead because it has a better relationship with the open-source community. Azure is more guarded of its inner workings when it comes to outside developers.

  • AWS: More open-source integrations available, including GitHub and Jenkins.
  • Azure: Native integration with Microsoft tools like VBS, SQL database, and Active Directory. Not as many open-source integrations.

Ease of Use

  • AWS: offers more configurations and features, which makes it a little more flexible, but more difficult to learn.
  • Azure: is easier to use “out of the box” and integration with on-premises Windows servers is simple.

Compliance & Security

Both AWS and Azure tout excellent security and compliance support for their virtual platforms. 

  • AWS: Amazon notes that it regularly receives 3rd party compliance validation for 1,000s of global requirements. It further states that AWS supports more security standards and compliance certifications “than any other offering,” including PCI-DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, FedRAMP, GDPR, FIPS 140-2, and NIST 800-171
  • Azure: Microsoft notes that its platform has more than 90 compliance offerings, including over 50 that are specific to countries and regions. Azure adheres to security controls for ISO 27001, ISO 27018, SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC3, FedRAMP, HITRUST, MTCS, IRAP, and ENS.

Get Started With a Pay-as-You-Go Cloud Model

B-Comp Services can help your Denver area business fully evaluate which service works best for your needs and help you set up a powerful, cost-efficient cloud infrastructure.

Contact us today to discuss your cloud needs. Call at 303-282-4934 or contact us online.