Azure vs AWS: Which One Is Better?

Saturday, March 21, 2020
No items found.

Gartner Group estimates that, by 2022, no less than 60% of organizations will enter a contract for a type of managed cloud service. Although it might seem like a bold forecast, we know that more and more businesses are transitioning to the cloud every year. The sheer benefits of this framework are increasingly difficult to ignore.

If you would have the opportunity to access increased scalability, better security, superior functionality, and compliance at a smaller cost, wouldn’t you take it? These are some of the reasons why the cloud service market is expected to reach a total of $350 billion by 2020, effectively surpassing an outstanding 15% year-on-year growth.

Image Source: azure.microsoft.com


Although AWS currently holds nearly 41% of the public cloud market share compared to Azure’s 29%, the Microsoft-owned service has grown substantially in the past few years due to a series of advantages it holds over AWS.

To understand which one is better, we have to take a closer look at both AWS and Azure.

AWS – The Dominating Force in Cloud

AWS, short for Amazon Web Services, is a cloud computing service offered by Amazon.com. With over 40% of the current public cloud market, AWS continues to be firmly entrenched in an industry that’s poised to grow exponentially in the foreseeable future. Its position is currently challenged by Microsoft’s Azure and, to a lesser extent, by the Google Cloud Platform.


Image Source: aws.amazong.com


Although AWS has been around ever since 2002, the service was re-launched in 2006. The cloud network officially became more profitable than its parent company in 2016, a record that has been repeated every year since.

One of the kernel reasons that propelled AWS to where it is today is developer functionality. Instead of having to physically build, grow, and maintain computer systems, AWS does everything for you, while you get to pay only for the resources you use. You also don’t need to make a huge up-front commitment as needed by in-house systems, nor predict usage.


Image Source: aws.amazong.com


For developers who constantly have to switch between local infrastructures, having a scalable, adaptable, secure, and reliable computing network at their fingertips is too much to pass up on.

AWS loves to do things their way, so there will be a steep learning curve for your technical crew if they’re not certified yet. Still, the good news is that there is an encyclopaedia’s worth of free, in-depth documentation on anything and everything AWS.  

Businesses are increasingly acknowledging and harnessing the benefits of cloud infrastructures, which is why many people are saying that AWS has changed the world of computing just like Amazon did with retail.

Even if AWS had an immense 5 to 7 years head start on all rival services, its market share has consistently shrunk in comparison to that of the other participants to the cloud business. Don’t get me wrong, AWS is posting ever-increasing profits on a yearly basis. It’s just that their pole-position is no longer as ridiculous.  

Azure – The New Challenger

Much like AWS, Azure is Microsoft’s version of a public cloud computing platform. As is the case with the former, Azure gives people access to SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) solutions.

You can rely on Azure to deliver critical network infrastructure for your business, provide redundant storage files, data management, offer virtual computing, analytics, and much more. In its earliest version, Azure officially entered the market no less than 4 years after AWS.


Image Source: azure.microsoft.com


Despite the fact that Azure barely challenged AWS for its early existence, the rivalry between the two intensified as of late 2015, early 2016, with the release of the Azure Resource Manager and SONiC, their first cross-platform Linux distro.

The latter essentially marks what will become Azure’s main advantage over AWS – its openness to hybrid cloud solutions and to the open source community. In terms of infrastructure, Microsoft’s Blobs, Queues, and Tables work in a similar manner to AWS’ S3, while Virtual Machines and App Service are counterparts to EC2 and Elastic Beanstalk, respectively.

Azure’s growth nearly doubled from 2018, when it held just 15.5% of the market to Amazon’s 47%. In 2019, the company officially stated that Linux is more used on Microsoft’s servers than its own OS. Consequently, the company is now the largest supporter of open-source projects in the world and you can equip their VMs with Debian, CentOS, Oracle Linux, ubuntu and more.

Azure offers a wider range of baseline app deployment tools than AWS, despite the advantages of the latter’s container service, Elastic Beanstalk, Lambda, and Batch. This is the reason why Azure continues to be a more attractive choice for start-ups.


Image Source: azure.microsoft.com


Is Azure Better than AWS?

If you want to gradually transition into the cloud and adopt a hybrid infrastructure until you’re completely there, Azure is definitely cheaper than AWS. Aside from a lower initial cost, your organization will also save money by avoiding the immense upfront investment required by a complete transition. Excellent compatibility with a variety of on-site networks is a significant drive behind Azure’s recent growth.

AWS, however, will likely save you money in the long run due to its sheer infrastructure, which gives clients access to continued use discounts, as well as better prices for enterprise-grade instances. Although Azure has grown considerably in the past years, it’s yet to reach the maturity of Amazon’s level of storage, deployment, and partner ecosystem. If you can think of a function or task that your AWS VM needs to perform, there’s almost certainly a third party that has developed an app for it.

As you can readily tell, the two cloud providers are almost neck and neck. The truth is that deciding which of the two is better depends on what you’re looking for. Azure is easier to learn and transition to, while AWS still pulls slightly ahead in terms of database technology and long-term storage.