Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are considered the leading cloud service providers today.

Although Amazon had a head start on Microsoft Azure and is undoubtedly the winner when it comes to sales volume and capacity, Azure definitely offers a tough competition that cannot be underestimated.

Both provide similar cloud services and their pricing seems to be quite similar, so let us compare the two to help you choose better because the choice of the right service provider depends on your exact needs and requirements.

Features and Services

Both AWS and Azure have service offerings in the fields of compute, storage and networking and there are many similarities in their public cloud offerings.

Both provide instant provisioning, auto scaling, security, compliance, and identity management features.

In addition, they both provide advanced analytics features, such as Hadoop clusters, and other innovative solutions that incorporate machine learning tools and internet of things.

Compute, Storage, Databases, and Networking

Compute and storage are the most commonly sought after cloud services and both AWS and Azure excel in these offerings.

AWS provides storage services mainly through its Elastic Cloud (EC2) instances and additional services, including Elastic beanstalk, EC2 container service, AWS lambda and auto scaling.

Azure provides computer services via virtual machines and other tools, for example resource manager and Azure auto scaling.

One notable difference between AWS and Azure in terms of these services is their auto scaling feature. AWS’s auto scaling can be configured to take more flexible actions, such as on-demand terminations of instances, while Azure’s auto scaling is less flexible.

The billing also differs since Azure offers billing per minute and AWS uses hourly usage. Both provide similar storage options and have support for relational and non-relational databases.

Customers

Amazon has the greatest number of high-profile users, including government agencies and leading companies like Netflix, Nike, Geiger, Dow Jones and Channel 4.

Though Azure has a smaller number of high-profile users, it has a strong hold on the SaaS market and continues to expand its market with successful client partnerships with companies like NBC News, Ford and Pearson.

Pros and Cons

AWS

Pros

  • – The breadth and depth of services offered by AWS are huge, as they have the highest experience in the cloud   industry.
  • – It has a great partner ecosystem and general product strategy.
  • – The third-party services are various and easy to integrate.
  • – It is open and flexible: AWS provides customers with the ability to choose and build parts of the cloud elements.

Cons

  • – The hybrid cloud strategy is not well developed.
  • – AWS’s support for on-premise private cloud services is insufficient.

Azure

Pros

  • – It has excellent support for development and testing tools.
  • – It works great with existing Microsoft frameworks and on premise systems, for instance Windows server, system center and active directory.
  • – Azure provides support for on premise private cloud setups.

Cons

  • – It has weak disaster recovery capabilities for non-critical applications.
  • – Azure’s support for multiple platforms is restrictive.

Comparison table

Here is a general side-by-side comparison of AWS and Azure for a better overview of the services offered by the two service providers.

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So, which one you plan to use? Do you have any questions or points to add here? Please share your thoughts on the comparison and comment if you feel we have missed something