Microsoft Azure Vs Amazon Web Services : Which is the Best Cloud Provider for Small Businesses


microsoft azure vs amazon web services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are two of the leading cloud service providers in the world. Their groundbreaking technology has enabled millions of SMBs & enterprises to leverage cloud technology at affordable prices. Let’s a take an in-depth look at Microsoft Azure Vs Amazon Web Services to find which is the best cloud service provider for your business.

 

Microsoft Azure Vs  Amazon Web Services : A Detailed Comparison

 

Features & Services

Both Microsoft Azure and AWS provide similar capabilities such as instant provisioning, autoscaling, security, compliance and identity management features.

AWS still offers the widest range of services across computation, storage, database, mobile, developer tools, networking, management tools, IoT, security and enterprise applications. However, Azure’s feature list is catching up.

 

Compute, Database, Storage, Networking

For computation purposes, AWS offers EC2 instances, that are nothing but dedicated virtual machines for hire and available in a variety of configurations. In addition, it also offers Elastic Beanstalk for app deployment, EC2 container services, auto scaling and Amazon Lambda (for serverless computation).

Azure’s services are built around virtual machines, with services like autoscaling, cloud deployment and resource manager to complement virtual machines.

When it comes to storage and databases, AWS offers Simple storage (S3) for files, Elastic block system (EBS) and Elastic File System (EFS) for file systems, Glacier for archive backup and Storage Gateway for on-premise systems. It also offers Relational Databases Storage (RDS) for databases, and RedShift for data warehouses.

Azure provides analogous services such as Azure Storage Service for files, Azure Blob block storage, and also Table, Queue and File Storage. Azure also provides services for site recovery, data import & export, and data backup.

Both cloud service providers provide great networking capabilities that support auto-load balancing and connection to on-premise systems.

 

Pricing

Any discussion about Microsoft Azure Vs Amazon Web Services (AWS) is incomplete without the mention of pricing information.

Both services charge you on per-second basis, that is for the number of seconds you use one of the services (e.g EC2) in a month.

You can use the pricing calculators for AWS and Azure to get an estimate for your requirements.

 

Customer base

If you’re still skeptical about cloud providers, then their customer list might help you decide.

AWS has supported famous, large-scale businesses such as Dropbox, Quora and NetFlix. You can see the list of customers here.

Although Microsoft doesn’t have the high-profile customers such as AWS, it has managed to line up companies like Ford, NBC News and EasyJet.

 

Pros & Cons

AWS is a pioneer cloud service provider that provides a world-class infrastructure. It provides tons of configuration options, monitoring and security features. It has a great partner ecosystem and a plethora of third-party software services.

However, it doesn’t offer a great hybrid cloud service, which is required for companies that deal with sensitive financial data. That’s where Azure comes in.

Azure is a favorite among businesses that already use Microsoft products and services. However, it doesn’t support as many platforms as AWS, and is prone to occasional outages. For example, if you want to run any operating system other than Windows Server, you’ll need to AWS. However, Microsoft is slowly beginning to support Linux operating systems since 2017.

 

Wrapping Up

When it comes to Microsoft Azure Vs Amazon Web Services, if you’re a small business just starting up, AWS is your best bet, as it provides a 1-year free tier that gives you access to tons of their services, free of cost, for one year. With Azure, you’ll have to start paying after the 30-day trial period or after you run out of initial free credits. However, if you’re an enterprise already using Microsoft’s office productivity tools then Azure might be a good place to start.

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About Sreeram Sreenivasan

Sreeram Sreenivasan is the Founder of Ubiq, a business dashboard & reporting platform for small & medium businesses. Ubiq makes it easy to build business dashboards & reports for your business. Try it for free today!